Breasts: Too Taboo For You?

Good afternoon, Boys and Girls! For the weekend I decided to give more of what some have asked for – boobies! Seems to be the most visited stories on our blog. From the Miley Cyrus bathtub photo to the TopFreedom reports of women wanting to bare it all. And I can’t blame you all for wanting more flesh – and less Mitt and Obama. It’s a crazy presidential race out there and too much news in the way of hatred, riots and anger. So a little more flesh might sooth the daily barrage of ugliness and confusion.

So last night I was scouring my daily news reports from the AP Wire and Reuters, digging up something more interesting than Romney’s mouth and Kate’s breasts. But to no luck. And at that very moment my daughter, now 14, came out of the shower with nothing on but a towel wrapped around her wet head and pair of panties. She strolled by me with no recognition as she began talking on her phone, making a beeline to the kitchen to scrutinize the contents of our refrigerator. My initial reaction was for her to put something over that chest. But then I quickly realized that it is just she and I living alone, with no neighbors within several acres away from all sides of us. And this is her home and if she can’t be safe and comfortable here then where can she?

So why is it a mother’s instinct to call for her slightly chested daughter to cover herself up when we are two girls home alone, with no one here to be offended or subjected otherwise? Society? History? Or is it the continuing sexual association of breasts and nudity?

I was reminded how women in the 1800’s couldn’t show their knees or their shoulders. And now a G-String is firmly lodged in those Godly-sculptured women’s ass. A dental floss covers up her perfectly waxed genitals while her breasts are only covered (but only very slightly) within the tiny areola, while 99% are bouncy-bouncy fleshily exposed as if it was nobody’s business.

And then you turn the channel over and the red carpet events are doused in nipples underneath sheer dresses.

The other day, when engaged in a one-on-one conversation over breakfast, my daughter casually asked me, “What’s the big deal with tits?” My first answer was simple, but silly; “The word ‘tits’ is improper and somewhat derogatory.” She replied quickly, and without much humor, “Not in Europe. But I mean breasts, in general. Guys are always staring at my chest.” [Get used to that one, Sweetie]

“I don’t know, Honey. I guess to guys they are something they admire and want to see and touch.” (A more suitable answer would have taken too long, and make me late for work that morning)

For you ladies reading this, I’m sure you are plainly aware of that all-knowing taboo underneath your shirts, despite the truth in that breasts, as beautiful as they are, can be a massive pain in the butt to carry around all day. And for you guys – well, tits are tits. And for all of you reading, let’s have a respectful conversation, for a moment, about breasts.

University of Maine at Farmington student Andrea Simoneau shrugs her shoulders as Elaine Graham holds a blanket to prevent Simoneau from showing her breasts during a topless protest April 30, 2010, in Farmington, Maine. The demonstration called attention to the double-standard that it’s acceptable for men, but not women.

When a photographer goes to extraordinary lengths to photograph Kate Middleton without a top at a private villa in southern France, there is something to be said about the culture that responds with such giddiness to the thought of a woman with nothing on from the belly button up.

We’d like to say: Get over it. Women have breasts. But the issue is, well, bigger than you might think. People shouldn’t care so much, but they do. Caught up in notions that breasts are signs of fertility, we have a hunch people’s obsession has a lot to do with the unreachable. They want to see what they can’t see.

Across the world, women go topless, and no one cares. It happens in some countries in Africa, for instance.

In fact, when Middleton and her husband Prince William traveled to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific recently, they were greeted by women who weren’t wearing much on top. The irony couldn’t have been more perfectly timed.

We’re not suggesting trying to force the normalization of barechestedness. But can we at least be mature about exposed breasts? They have been sexualized, yes, but they are also utilitarian. They can get cancer. Not to mention that it’s legal to go topless in Maine and other states.

Public relations portrait of Amelia Bloomer as...

Public relations portrait of Amelia Bloomer as used in the History of Woman Suffrage by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Volume I, published in 1881. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Consider the historical perspective: Women have endured finger-pointing for a variety of other clothing choices throughout time. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, for example, was ridiculed as one of the first women to forgo floor-length skirts and corsets in order to wear bloomers — made popular by her friend Amelia Bloomer in 1851.

Studies have shown what many women already know: They are more likely than men to be objectified. On June 29, the European Journal of Social Psychology published a study by psychologist Dr. Sarah Gervais, who researched how people in Western cultures remember images of both men and women. While men were more likely to be seen as a whole, women were more often “reduced to their sexual body parts.”

Some might argue that going topless will only reinforce the objectification of women. But the fault of objectification lies with the objectifier, not the women.

Topless marches have been held in Farmington and Portland in the past to protest the double-standard that makes it socially acceptable for men to go shirtless on a hot day and not women. While some men joined the women in support, many other men (and women) gawked on the sidelines and snapped pictures — perhaps driven by the same desire as the photographer who took photos of Middleton and the people who constitute the market for those photos.

To those and other like-minded people, we say: Be respectful. Have you really never seen breasts before?

My husband and I were always comfortable with our bodies and our sexes. We raised our daughter to be strong-minded and unashamed of who she is, what she loves, and the ‘always-chase-your-dreams’ mentality with a dash of the ‘make-no-apologies-to-anyone’ lessons. I don’t dare contradict myself by telling her to be ashamed enough of her body to cover it up when you are home. I don’t dare switch my open-minded spirit to a conservative single mother when my raising of this girl is going pretty well. I don’t need to change it up now.

Maybe if she had a brother, or if her father was still around, I might tell her to cover up for the decency, and respect, of those around her. And it’s not like she is always naked when walking around, or at the dinner table. But to go topless from the shower to the refrigerator, and then to her room to gab all night with a girlfriend on her cellphone – well, I can’t make a stink about that.

So why am I making excuses for my decision here?

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Oh! And one final note: Looking over our WordPress visitor statistics, we are seeing a massive increase in breast related, and nudity related stories. And, to our surprise, the increase in visits are not from any one source. We are seeing an increase in those stories on our blog from visitors all over the world.

Most notably the Miley Cyrus post and several of the TopFree stories. If you want more (or less) of these kinds of stories, feel free to email me at my personal GMail.com account. My account name is kategilmour68.

And if the increase in breast related stories is only for the thrill of seeing breasts, then you’d be better off looking up “breasts” on Wikipedia. Plenty of pictures there. And I’ll even give you the link HERE.

If you want to support women going topless then visit GoTopless.org.