Free The Nipple: We’re not afraid to show our naked breasts

‘I should be the only one with the power to sexualise my own body’

From prudes who hate public breastfeeding to cowards who want to confine them to porn sites, society has a problem with women showing their bare breasts.

Today Tab readers and writers celebrate their nipples as a part of their body, not a sex object we should be ashamed of.

If you want to join the campaign, email your submissions to [email protected] and let us know what the campaign means to you, and we’ll add you in.

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1

“I totally support the free the nipple campaign, and honestly I think anyone who identifies themselves as a feminist should.

“Nipples are such a harmless, inoffensive body part and they are so similar whether they’re male or female, so why should guys be allowed to express themselves freely and be acceptably topless in public and on social media when we aren’t? I call bullshit.”

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“Why not show off one of God’s many gifts he gives us. Nipples are a beautiful part of the natural female body and society should embrace that.”

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“It’s time to evolve, it’s time for equality and I love my nips.”

2

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“Nipples are nipples. I get mine out all the time and no one seems to care. I think it’s about the people you associate yourself with. Free the nipple and stop the madness.”

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“In an ideal world, if I ever have a baby daughter I want to be able to take advantage of my free Waitrose coffee when I’m getting my shopping in* without worrying that I’ll be kicked out of the café just for feeding her.

“And when she grows up I don’t want her to experience the shame and embarrassment many of us lasses struggle with throughout puberty and beyond simply for having boobs.

“Why should the female nipple be censored when it actually has a functional purpose, while blokes can get their nips our willy nilly?

“*in an ideal world I could afford to do all my shopping in Waitrose, instead of nipping in (excuse the pun) for my coffee holding my Lidl carrier bags and getting serious side-eye from the cashier.”

33

“Why on earth should half of the population cover their chests while men don’t?

“I want to be free to pull off my T-shirt when sitting in the sun a warm summer day -just like my male friends do. I want to be free to open the door in my panties -just like my ex used to do. I want to be free to go to the toilet during the night without having to search for a T-shirt to chuck on -just like my male housemate does.

“It’s just boobs! It’s not a big deal.”

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“I don’t think it’s right that it’s socially acceptable for men to have their nipple on show, but for women it’s not. Just because we show a bit of nipple doesn’t mean that we’re ‘asking for it’ and the only way we can change people’s views is to free the nipple.”

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“Free the nipple is the start of a very important turning point, it’s time for woman to start reclaiming their bodies. I am the only person who has the choice to sexualise my breasts no one else.”

31

“What’s so offensive about nipples on a female as opposed to a male?”

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“Because objectification and sexualisation of women shouldn’t still be a thing that’s happening.”

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“Because if anyone ever asks me to stop breast feeding in public, I will have to squirt them with my breast milk – and then I’ll probably be arrested.”

28

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“‎Female nipples should be celebrated, they are the natural source of life to us all once we are born, however over decades of powerful small mindedness women have been made to feel embarrassed and breasts have been objectified resulting in this backward phenomenon. The fact that women and men are both allowed to vote but both cannot bare their chest in public is simply dumbfounding.”

13

“Everybody is born with nipples. There’s nothing shameful about them, and there’s nothing overtly sexual about them.

“If men’s nipples can be displayed without censorship then it’s double standards to censor women’s nipples.”

3

“I should be the only one with the power to to sexualise my own body, and if I say that my nipples aren’t to be sexualised then they just won’t be.

“It’s that simple.”

Beth Meadows, Liverpool

4

“Free the nipple is an important movement for gender equality.

“It brings it back to basics. To ask simply why can a man show his nipple if a woman can’t show hers?”

Abby Meadows, Liverpool

5

“I know many of you will look at this article and still perv on the breasts rather than focus on the idea of what we are doing. That’s a shame and it depicts the sadly sexualised opinion society has of women.

“If we’re talking equality, one should feel the same looking at my nipple as one would looking at a males, but that just isn’t the case.

“We have a long way to go to reaching real gender equality, but hiding your nipples does fuck all to help it. Viva la nipple!”

Jess Howard, Norwich

21

“I won’t be ashamed of my boobs to save your embarrassment.”

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“I want to be the person who has control over my body. This is my choice.

“If I want my body to be sexualised, then it’s my decision alone.”

Jack Rivlin, Editor-In-Chief, The Tab

6

“Most of us spent our early years with a nipple in our mouths, and that presumably includes Mark Zuckerberg. Yet some people are determined to ban women from showing a normal part of their body to their friends.

“We live in a society which sexualises women’s breasts on the one hand, and tells them to be embarrassed about them on the other. It’s baffling how uptight people are about naked bodies, especially since most people are happy to watch hardcore porn.

“By looking at breasts outside porn, maybe people will start to view them as more than sex objects.”

34

“I find it hard to understand why female nudity is accepted when for the purpose of being a sexual object, but not for the most natural act in the world.

“We all have nipples, and some people need to get over themselves.”

7

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“I’ve only recently had the courage to leave a boyfriend who overly objectified me and sexualised my body, making me ashamed if I wore (what he deemed as) low cut tops and short skirts.

“Being a devout advocate of feminism and equal rights I’m mortified at myself for putting up with it for so long and letting people like him think that it’s normal and okay.

“So here’s a bit of a middle finger to him, and a reminder that we should stand together against people like this.”

8

“It’s n-otter issue.”

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“At first I wasn’t too sure about this Free The Nipple campaign, I thought it would’ve died out long ago. The fact that it’s kept going strong has completely changed my views. Why should we as women or human beings need to be covered up? By submitting this I will truly feel like my first step has been taken to finally accepting my body for what it is, beautiful. I’ve always hated tan lines, get those nips out.”

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“It’s 2015 and human anatomy hasn’t changed all that much in the last 200,000 years so why are women and girls still being shamed for having breasts?

“Is everyone mad because the female nipple has a function – unlike the useless male nipple?”

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“I wasn’t sure whether or not to do this because of what people would think of me.

“But then I realised that’s the whole reason this campaign exists, and the only way we’re going to fight this inequality is if we stand up to it together.”

16

“I don’t really get why people get so offended, a nipple’s just a nipple. I’m lucky enough to have two of them, and I’m quite thankful for that.

“If you’ve got a problem with them, then that’s your problem. Here’s to nipples. (Sorry Dad).”

12

“To me, the Free The Nipple campaign embodies female empowerment and my freedom over my own body.”

“I wouldn’t be embarrassed of myself to go topless on the beach, I’d be embarrassed for the people who would stare because I had my nips out #freethenipple.”

24

Matt McDonald, Deputy Editor, The Tab

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“My Facebook is full of pictures of me topless on holiday, or with my shirt off in a nightclub, and no-one bats an eyelid. Our society should be more accepting of the same kind of behaviour from women – it’s normal, and Facebook’s so-called ‘community standards’ should reflect this.

“If a prospective employer saw those pictures, they’d be absolutely fine with it. If they saw the same thing on a girl’s profile, they’d probably have a few doubts about hiring them, which frankly is total bollocks.”

32

“A nipple is a nipple it shouldn’t have to be hid away no matter what size or what gender.

“A nipple is a nipple and I’m proud to show mine.”

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“Why should something both men and women are born with be sexualised for women only? It’s yet another bullshit reason to suppress women, make them cover up, or make them self-conscious about something completely natural.

“If my tata’s want to see the light of day then they should be allowed to. #freethenipple

19

“It’s 2015 for fuck’s sake.”

20

“When did the woman’s body become something to hide? Why is there censored nipples and  uncensored nipples? Why should my bare skin be offensive to anyone? A woman should not be robbed of the right to go topless due to the relation between breasts and sexuality.

“Should a man loose his freedom to grow facial hair? Should a man have to wear a crop top? No? Then why should a woman. Female censorship is NOT equality.”

22

“I think the campaign is important because women shouldn’t be held to a different standard to men.”

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“The Free The Nipple campaign means a lot to me. Double standards are not okay and people deserve to be treated fairly without the patriarchal bullshit of this society.

“But specifically nipples on Facebook mean a lot to me for another reason. I’m a transgender man, and, like many other trans* people, the internet has been a great resource for me in finding a community and general information surrounding transitioning.

“On facebook there are groups  where trans* people post results of their surgeries for discussion and for the information of other trans* people. These surgery results are a lot more useful when pre-operative pictures can be included, but Facebook won’t allow topless pictures of pre-operative transgender men because they have deemed their chests as something to be sexualised along side the women being affected by nipple censorship.

“So on transgender day of visibility and in solidarity with women, this picture is a big fuck you to anyone who wants to censor nipples.”
23

“It’s hot and sunny in the summer, but I’m making sweat patches while the boys are getting a tanned chest?

“No thanks. Stop making me embarrassed to take my top off just because men get aroused looking at a part of the anatomy. You know who else has nipples? Your mum. Your grandma. Your granddad.

“Time we all got over it! #freethenipple”

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“Free the nipple is so important because undoubtedly people will view these photos and judge the women harshly, but allow male nipples. Even on nudist beaches women with their tops off are gawked at and condemned by society.

“We must normalise women’s bodies and stop us being placed in a sexualised, male desired box.”

Photo on 25-03-2015 at 19.45

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“I’m a nineteen year old student from Northumberland. I believe very strongly in equal rights for men and woman and the unnecessary sexualisation of the female body, especially the nipple. The best way to get equality-start with fairness. Why should a woman be bullied into covering herself to avoid causing a scene? Men can and do go topless and no one thinks anything of it-why should gender determine what a woman wears?
“For years I have been ashamed of my breasts and ridiculed or harassed over them. When I go out, I have to cover my chest to avoid rude comments or males trying to physically grab me, which has happened several times and caused me to become more self-conscious than I already was. Why should I feel the need to cover myself completely- I am not defined by my body.
“It’s not males that need to be made aware of this important campaign-women hate on other women just as much and I think this is a crying shame. I was bullied all through puberty for the size of my boobs, told to wear a sports bra and pushed around by other women. I am involved in this campaign as I already identify as a feminist and believe strongly in the fierce importance of gender equality.”

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30

“I don’t understand what everybody’s issue with nipples is, female breasts are used to feed babies, that’s why they’re there. No man is ashamed to show his nipple in public so why should any woman?”

36

“I’m all for gender equality, not being oppressed and having power over my own body. But what pains me most is how women get stuck with the weirdest top half tan lines, or else adopt the mighty task of altering their bikinis because our nipples lost their freedom and we can’t go topless.

“Now we’re changing the world’s perception of our breasts. It’s 2015, and it’s time people stopped staring at us topless on beaches. Preaching it – #freethenipple.”

40

“Free the nipple is about gender equality. Men who argue ‘well why can’t I get my dick out in public as well then?’ completely miss the point. They forget that they have nipples, they just aren’t forced to cover them up.

“This is about gender equality which is why I thought I’d use the opportunity to get my fuzzy pits out too. #FreeTheNipple”