Free the Nipple

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Words by Elizabeth Pollard

In the last few years we have seen a surge in modern feminism. Whether it’s leaving a house hubby with the babies, reading Victoria Coren’s monthly column in Elle or getting your tits out on the streets of Manhattan, equality has not been reached, therefore we have not finished campaigning. One of these campaigns was founded by Lina Esco, a filmmaker passionate about equalizing women’s rights to go topless with her ‘Free the Nipple’ campaign. And whilst the press has had a good go at attacking it, the popularity and awareness of the campaign has increased.

Feminist or not, you might be asking why some women feel so precious about this cause? I believe the answer is not as simple as women desperate to free their caged breasts but is more about hearing women’s voices, breaking those final taboos between men and women and changing old fashioned perceptions; after-all, even fifty years ago homosexuality was still a crime.

On starting the campaign Esco writes: “[going topless is] an act of self-confrontation which I believed to be essential, both for my personal evolution, and by way of understanding viscerally, the taboo-tyrannized dynamic I was trying to change”.

Across the pond in the UK, campaigners are fighting to end page 3 and the sexism that surrounds it with ‘Boobs Aren’t News’. This message isn’t trying to contradict the work of Free the Nipple by hiding a woman’s body away, rather, demand respect for nudity. Side by side, these movements demonstrate exactly why social thinking needs to change. Much to contrary belief, Free the Nipple isn’t about women wanting to tear their clothes off, it’s about freedom of choice and ending the sexual objectification of women.

Photographer Florence Early, supports the Free The Nipple campaign by celebrating both the male and female form in her photo essay entitled with the same name of the campaign.

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torsoAll Photography (above) by Florence Early Words

See more of Florence’s work here: cargocollective.com/FlorenceEarly

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Scout Willis made headlines earlier this year after she showed her support for the campaign by walking down the sidewalk in Manhattan, topless.

Photograph courtesy of @Scout_Willis

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