August 28, 2011

Ditch the Bra and Show Nipple

Why are nipples so offensive?
I could never stand how Sarah Jessica Parker's presumably sexually liberated character in Sex and the City would always wear a bra during sex. But then there I was, one among the likes of hers; wearing a bra having sex with my husband. -- A pad cushioned nursing bra, that is, lest my breastmilk drench all of him and our bed.

Bra burning women is a myth but has become a thing to represent feminist women of the sixties and seventies.

I've always loved to sunbathe topless and never liked the restraining feel of bras. Unless I was exercising, I'd walk around brafree.

But then I became a mom. A breastmilk-leaking-mom. From practically never wearing a bra I found myself constantly wearing one -- a padded bra at that; and day and night. For three whole years.

Until once this summer, my daughter told me my breasts were empty. First the one, and then the other.

After three years of nursing, my nipples are not small. I never thought of nipples being an issue until now. I cannot remember ever worrying about my nipples showing. But these days I do. Seeing that they now protrude even from beneath a padded nursing bra, it's kind of hard not to.

I hate to confess that it makes me feel self-conscious.

Our culture's nipple taboo reflects the pressures put on women to contain their sexuality. A contained fluidless plastic sexuality.
Nipple Non Grata
The New York-based photography duo Loreffrey addressed this issue in their "Nipple Non Grata" series. The series features shots of topless women whose nipples have been digitally removed in an effort to find out if censoring them does, in fact, desexualize the women:
By digitally removing a woman's nipples, have we desexualized her? ... Does nipple removal let us flirt with feminine sexuality without crossing the boundaries of 'good taste'? What does this say about American culture? Does it reflect a certain type of hypocrisy? Does this approach further objectify women as plastic objects or playthings?

I'd like to hear what you think. In the meantime, I'm choosing to strut around brafree in an effort to overcome my silly self-consciousness about my nipples showing and stand up against this boob hysterical culture's attempts to control women's sexuality.


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