It’s been a year since The Tab’s Free The Nipple campaign – so why hasn’t anything changed?
They’re just boobs, ffs
It’s been a year to the day (almost) since The Tab published our Free The Nipple article and launched our campaign.
Since then hundreds of girls, Tab writers and people I know, friends and strangers, have sent me their pictures and their words of support. But frustratingly, one year on, nothing has really changed.
Facebook still has the same strict nudity laws it had a year ago, Instagram only allows “some type of female nudity”, and when I shared our article on social media on the one year anniversary of the piece, it was seconds before the links had been pulled, and I was locked out of my Facebook account for 48 hours – even though there were no visible nipples in any of the infuriatingly, carefully obscured pictures I shared.
Despite hundreds of articles, endless support from girls (and guys) all over the world, a Free The Nipple movie and even high profile celebrity backing, people are still afraid to see a little boob on their screen.
But it’s not just social media that has disappointing regulations: it’s attitudes of real (IRL) supposedly average, normal people. When we originally published our Free The Nipple article, girls who shared it were messaged by weirdos and told that the piece “belonged on PornHub”. I personally had an “other” inbox filled with strangers wanting to know if I’d contributed. Creepier still – when I shared my article just days ago, a year since they’d first got in touch, one messaged me again within minutes. You’ve got to wonder – what on earth do they have to gain? Why is it all still so sexualised? And why can’t they just fuck off?
These are the same kind of people – lecherous men, and arguably even worse, salty, disapproving other women – who called Kim Kardashian a slut for her nude selfie and ignited innumerable tedious Twitter arguments about it. And yes, it is great that the backlash made people pose nude outside murals of Kim topless, and that Emily Ratajkowski and Amber Rose have thrown their nipples into the arena too, and that there’s broadly mainstream support for women being body-positive. But on some level, it’s all kind of ridiculous.
Because it shouldn’t NEED to happen. Really, we should all be fine with it by now.
However sexual our bodies may be, we need to hve the freedom as women to choose whn & how we express our sexuality. pic.twitter.com/1KK0MtXRuv
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) March 30, 2016
It’s easy to get disheartened and baffled by the negative press and reaction to Free The Nipple, especially because – despite the thousands of words written on it – it is literally just skin, but that shouldn’t make us stop giving a shit and being seriously fucked off about it. Until people realise that no, OK, boobs aren’t news, and they’re not problematic or offensive or anything else, I’m not going to stop complaining about it, and sharing my boobs on prudish social media channels. And neither should you.
If you want to contribute to The Tab’s Free The Nipple campaign, email firstname.lastname@example.org