Category: SPREAD BODY POSITIVITY

On Nipples

male-nipple

As a female, I find nipples funny looking, more than anything else. A bit out of place, really. That is of course because I look at them every day, and my continuous observance gradually wears out whatever sexual impression they once had on me (the first time I pondered their sight was when I learned what they meant to the other sex, and of course I don’t remember when that was—I absorbed the information unconsciously, which should give you a clue about what our society is doing to young girls); and because they are mine I am entitled to touch them—to whatever I want to do with them indeed, say to cut them off. Now if that doesn’t hurt I might seriously consider the amputation, so that people would stop censoring that part of my body if I choose to expose it. The whole point of censorship is, of course, that nipples arouse men—they are these mysterious little softies that crown their accompanying hilltops, that are always blackened out, forbidden under those strips of black duct tape on top of the other in the shape of a cross.

AS IF MEN DON’T ALREADY KNOW HOW A NIPPLE LOOKS LIKE.

Our nipples don’t have horns, they don’t talk or make poetry, they don’t turn funny colors when we change our mood. Female nipples are no mystery—they look exactly the same as their male counterparts. There is no difference in a woman showing her nipples and a man showing his nipples. Yet, women are supposed to keep our nips hidden, and it does not matter if we’re breastfeeding or raising awareness of breast cancer prevention, because women nipples are seen as sexual accessories. Female nips are more sexually objectified- well, because our bodies are more sexually objectified. Anti-nipples policies are there to accommodate men’s inability to contain their sexual arousal, which is not to say it is men’s fault because unfortunately it is the way things are that frames this mindset. Nipples are mysterious, forbidden, suggestive of imminent sex. The prohibitive censorship and laws heighten the hype, making the awkward protrusions more and more appealing.

Perhaps, if we start freeing female nipples they would cease to seen as forbidden, and with it the nonsensical rave and the objectification would vanish. And it matters. It matters because there is no gender equality without nipple equality, because nipple equality is not just about women complaining about wearing bras, but about women standing up against the sexual objectification of our bodies.

The way we see nipples is the ultimate double-standard. It is not right that women do not get to take off their shirt, say to feel more comfortable in hot weather, because of some perverts who would assume she wants attention. Women can’t even go braless without getting unwanted attention, let alone topless.

Now that it has been mentioned, let’s talk about bras. Women wear bras for many different reasons: to prevent them from sagging (a myth according to Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon in a quite interestingly counterintuitive study), to shape them into social standards of attractive boobs (huge, yet firm), to keep them from having too much fun while their owner goes for a run. Yet, the number one reason why women are unwilling to take them their bras is the attention. Bras are not good for us, mentally and physically. Studies have shown they cause back pain and muscle dependence, which in turns cause our breast to sag (also by this guy Rouillon—such a hero). Women are suffering this risk among many others because somehow it is our fault, somehow if we dress a certain way it is automatically assumed that we want the attention.

Free the nipple. Stop seeing our bodies as sexual instruments—see them as the beautiful creations that they are. Now that you have successfully finished reading my long-ass rant, here is a female nipple: thank you for appreciating its beauty.

female-nip

Image source here

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Fat is a social construct

Fat in itself is not instinctively unhealthy or unattractive, society attaches these implications to someone who is “fat”, whose meaning as used implicitly nowadays is no more confined to scientific assertions. Being obese is an unhealthy condition in the harmful way fat dominates body mass, but the word “fat” has been stigmatized and abused so constantly it has become a hateful insult to everyone who has any fat visible, which is 99% of the population, one that is meant to permanently damages one’s self esteem and even capable of influencing one’s lifestyle afterwards. People don’t call others fat after knowing their BMI or Body Fat percentage, they do without taking a look at how one eats or exercises, without even knowing if underneath those sleeves are dangling sags or toned triceps. People call others fat when they see how much fat there is on others’ bodies and compare that to themselves and others who they deem attractive/having a desirable body. The concept of “fat” as a derogatory term, an unideal health condition, representation of laziness or inactivity, and unattractiveness, is as much a social construct as race. As ridiculous as it is this concept has impacted millions of people, young and old, East and West, male and female, making them feel less worthy when in reality they are just victim of a horrendous mass torture inflicted upon us by our own selves. The stigmatization of fat is social expectation in its cruelest form, the kind that labels and defines us.

We should have expectations for ourselves but never for others. This sounds easy enough if we don’t realize that there are plenty of expectations we assign to others unconsciously. Men should have huge biceps, women should look slim, mothers should cook heavenly and fathers should know everything and anything in the world. Each of us qualifies and excels in different things; no one has to be anything, at all, ever. These things have been said so many times, but they need to be said again, because someone out there still does not understand. That humans are humans and we define things, not the other way around.