Why? We all know what nipples look like, we all know that women have them and there is nothing inherently sexual about them- if the individual sees them as sexy, then great, but unless that is the intent it shouldn't be assumed.
The #FreeTheNipple campaign has been going for a while now with thousands onboard, but the bosses over at Instagram and Facebook still aren't being swayed. C'mon guys, can you not see the hypocrisy? Boobs are continually hyper-sexualised and used to sell products that have nothing to do with them, like beer, but if a woman breast-feeds in public people lose their sh*t.
The patriarchal world we live in likes to pick and chose how and when it sees boobs, a bit of cleavage or spread across page 3 is normal, it's 'acceptable'. A woman showing her nipples in public, whether that's as a form of activism, to feed a baby or just because they want to, causes outcry- because a man hasn't specifically asked to see them or the act isn't aimed at a man for his sexual pleasure.
For example, we live in a society that lapped up Kim Kardashian's sex tape but went mental over her posting a nude image of herself. Society is cool with it if the man feels in control of seeing nipples but not when an empowered woman shows them.
Nipples are cool, they look badass and can really transform a basic outfit into something that feels high-end. The nipple is a powerful feature because of its history of oppression, and that's why it makes such an impact on the runway and in real life.
Supermodels have often shown their nipples, not as an act of seduction but as something sexual aggressive; it shows strength and empowerment. Kate Moss was the poster child of the '90s nipple, her androgynous look is on one side what made the imagery so powerful, but also it feeds into this sexist ideology that small breasts are more palatable because they look more masculine.
Lous Stoppard made an interesting comment about this double standard, when she stated "But it's hard to imagine even the progressive style magazine popping a bare-breasted Upton on the cover. Rightly or wrongly, that would feel too page 3".
Cara, Kendall and Gigi are the new wave of supermodels embracing the nipple, yet it seems that this is even more controversial then it was in the '90s. Kendall recently wore a sheer top that showed her nipples and nipple piercing, and it sent the media into a frenzy.
I'd love if the reason it caused such a stir was simply because she looked stunning and the nipples really add a lil something to the look, but no, it was deemed "scandalous" and "provocative" by publications like the Daily Mail.
The only real reason they are given so much attention is because they've been kept hidden for so long, the nipples are what the ankle was in the 1900s. They are just another feature, no more provocative than a toe. So, let's embrace them and see them as just another feature that looks cute sartorially, like shoulders or the midriff.
Photo Credit: Pinterest
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