What Is Free The Nipple?
Have you ever challenged the social constraint you must follow because of who you are? Free the nipple is a campaign created in 2012 during the pre-production of the film of the same name. It aimed to highlight the unjust treatment of women in society as a topfreedom campaign.
Men are allowed freely to go topless in a different environment, whether they be construction workers under high heat or swimmers looking to chill on the beach. Society graciously accepts men go topless and won't bat an eye on it. However, women don't have the same privilege. If a woman goes topless, she will most likely be charged with public nudity.
The campaign aims to legalize women going topless as men as part of the freedom and gender equality fight. Since the birth of the movement, it has gained worldwide support and thousands from around the world have joined annually on the Free The Nipple day on March 23.
Free the nipple movement is seen as the pioneer for women to fight for equality in a cultural field. Despite the many attempts to provide an equal environment for men and women professionally, women are still not treated as equal in their workspace. This movement shows one of the many challenges women face, not only in an office. Women are judged wherever they go because people can't look at them the same way they look at men.
Participants hope to raise awareness on gender equality and fight so women can free their nipples whenever they want if they feel comfortable, as men are allowed to.
Reasons To Support Free The Nipple
1. A recognition of gender equality
We live in a highly unjust world, this has been increasingly obvious in 2020. People are being judged and prosecuted for something they are born with, something they don't have a choice on. Society discriminates against those they see as less-capable in any way it can. Free the nipple is an important step to that fight. For those enjoying the privilege, it seems stupid of those fighting for their freedom.
The question of "why can't I" lingers on the mind of many young women. Why can men walk down the street feeling sexy when they are topless but women have to face charges or getting sexually harassed? Society is built to not be equal and we can change that. We blame society, we are society. The step starts with us.
2. A recognition of your feminine side
Some may get confused as to how fighting for gender equality and going topless is seen as a recognition of your feminine side. It's easy. Are you still bound by the social construct that there is a certain rule of your appearance that makes you a girl? Once you stop following those rules, you are not girly or you are not a woman? Many women have been put through the doubt and struggle. The gender line has become increasingly blurry and many women have found themselves having an identity crisis because they are told: "they are trying to prove their worth by becoming a man".
Your self-recognition as a woman does not come from your appearance or how you present yourself to the public. It comes from within, because you have a woman's brain, proudly knowing that you undoubtedly identify yourself as a woman and not trying to be a man. You are not fighting this so you can be a man, you are fighting this because you agree with your feminine side and it's no less than other men. You want to be you and be treated the same. Next time someone accuses you of trying to be a man because you want equality, let them know they have got the concept all wrong.
3. Be comfy
Let's face it. Most women don't particularly adore bras. They are tight and uncomfortable. Winters are the best because women don't feel the pressure to wear a bra and can hide their nipples under a sweater. Summers don't offer the same luxury. Having to wear a wired bra on a 100-degree day is torture. By the time you go home your bra is already soaking in your own sweat for hours and hours, waiting to brew something disgusting if it stays on any longer.
Why must women be put through this so others feel "it's socially acceptable". Isn't society supposed to make comfort for all its members? Why are women isolated when men can go topless whenever they want? The comfort of going braless is beyond words. Women deserve the same level of comfort too.
4. Awareness on breast cancer
Although this is not the primary goal of the movement nor is it widely discussed, many women have attributed it to raise awareness on breast cancer. A lot of women who underwent surgery for breast cancer feel the need to wear a bra to hide the toll cancer had taken on them. Activists have encouraged people to accept different body types and pass no judgment in society. Women should not feel scared or judged because of the trauma they go through. There's nothing to "hide" about your body. By going topless and shining through, more people will talk about this issue and it will be more socially acceptable. Then, in turn, more women in the same situation will be less fearful of being rejected by society and induce more confidence in themselves about their bodies.
Is Free The Nipple Supported By Social Media Platforms?
Unfortunately, no. Instagram and Facebook have explicitly said only men and non-binary people showing their topless bodies will be accepted. Transgender women or any women showing their breasts will be removed. Many users have said this is the problem of society. Even the tech giants supposed to be leading changes are creating wedges and gender discrimination.
How can one justify that it's socially acceptable for men to do one thing but not okay when women do the same? In recent years, social media giants are panned for their discriminatory acts against different groups of people. Sadly, things don't seem to have improved as the restrictions remain.
That is why many have turned to the streets to express their frustration and demand. The government should not be deemed women exposing their top half as illegal and influential people and companies should speak up as part of their social responsibilities as humans continue to fight for equality in all fields.
Should I Join The Free The Nipple Movement?
Do you believe in the cause of it? If so, the answer is, without a doubt, yes. People deserve to live freely or to be granted the same right, to say the least. Not freeing the nipple is oppressive because another group of people in society have the right to freely do so.
Remember that just because you support the movement, you are not obligated to show your nipples if you aren't comfortable doing so. That's exactly what this movement is about, to fight to have the same freedom in making your own choice. If you aren't comfortable showing your nipples, cover them up with a sweater. But if you do want to free them, why is it illegal in society?
There are plenty of ways you can join in support of this. Either you can take to the streets, to follow updated information on what events are being organized in relation to this movement, or you can sign some petitions or simply by speaking up about it and raise awareness to those not familiar with the situation. You don't have to feel you want to show your nipples to support this movement. This movement is about having the chance to a free choice for women.
If you believe in what they are fighting for and want to be a part of, whether or not you personally want to free your nipples, you should consider joining and listening more to participants and organizers as to what this means to them and what other ways you can help. This movement means a lot to many women longing for the same type of freedom as men. You will be one of the many voices speaking up for unjust treatment. This movement has gained wide recognition and it continues to spread to different corners of the world. In the future, it's expected for it to grow further and attract more supporters.
There is a deep meaning behind the free nipple movement. The fight for equality and freedom will be long and exhausting. After all, human civilization began more than 5000 years and we are still not equal. It won't be an easy fight but as the world becomes increasingly open, hopefully, changes will be seen soon.