What’s the big taboo about the female nipple?
I have anxiety, so to be honest, a lot of things keep me up at night. Did I actually set my 7 am alarm? Oh god, why is Boris Johnson our new PM? And last night, the thought that niggled at me at 1 am: Why the fuck are people still offended by female nipples?
My thoughts shifted to the time I was in a lift in the University library. I was wearing a vest top because it was boiling hot and midsummer. I had my headphones in, but no music playing. A dude next to me nudged his friend and pointed out the fact that, yes, you could see my nipples.
Seriously, dude? They are NIPPLES.
I then thought about the number of times I’ve been scrolling down Instagram to see that one of the accounts I follow has been enraged that their photo has been taken down because it included a female nipple. Meanwhile, I cannot leave my house in summer without being met with a thousand male nipples staring me in the face on the bodies of topless men because the UK weather exceeded 15 degrees for more than 5 minutes. And guess what? I’m not offended, BECAUSE IT IS A NIPPLE.
So, I can see Bob-from-down-the-road’s nipple on aisle 3 of Tesco, but I’m a woman – so mine are obscene, indecent, and banned on social media.
Instagram’s Community Guidelines state they do not allow “photos of female nipples”. But an awesome new account is taking the Instanip by storm. taboob_official is an “artful investigation into Instagram’s definition of a female breast” – they post artistic shots of female nipples to see what Instagram will and will not permit. The best part about it is that it highlights the ludicrousy of the female nipple ban.
Let’s delve into a brief history of nips. About 75 years ago, nobody could go topless. In the 1930s, men were granted the right to take it off from the waist up. Ok, guys, this was decided in the 30s. Can we catch up now on this whole gender equality thing?
The continued censorship of the female breast and nipple is nothing more than outdated fetishization. I don’t know about you, girls, but I am sick of my body only being seen as a sexual object.