Mainstreaming the Nipple

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For most of us, the female nipple is the first body part we encounter upon entering the world. The nipple is nourishment, the nipple is life. It is warmth and motherhood, it is love. But somehow along the way in modern life, the nipple becomes taboo, something to be covered up and remain unseen by all except sexual partners. Even toddler girls wear swimsuits to cover the nipples.

Aaron Sagers ponders recent media coverage of recent nipple exposures and comes to the conclusion that "the nipple has become a somewhat acceptable level of PG-13 taboo". But has it? While Sagers cites recent events involving nipples, such as the Janet Jackson Super Bowl exposure, and the woman who was forced to remove her nipple rings for airport security, these are anti-nipple stories. Even a story about the WrestleMania billboard in Florida on which the male nipples were airbrushed does nothing to improve our society's phobia regarding the female nipple.

Sagers goes on to say:
Of course sex sells, and drives Web traffic, and when respected news outlets expose the exposed (sometimes with accompanying photos online), nipple news becomes required browsing.
This is still the problem, that the female nipple is still treated as a sex object. No matter that the female breast is nearly fully fleshed out in mainstream media, such as in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, it's that damn nipple that still remains the final taboo, that magic body part that must remain covered for the sake of "the children" and the well-being of society in general.

But there is hopeful news elsewhere in the world. While topfreedom exists on many European beaches, it has not been acceptable in European public pools. All that appears to be on the verge of changing, as Sweden's Bara Brost Network has challenged the inequality of men being able to be topfree while women cannot, which has in turn inspired Denmark to accept topfree women at its public pools.

With Liz Book's recent success in Florida at her TITS demonstration, the road to topfreedom on America's beaches has been paved. While the current generation of young Americans are poised to elect the first African-American President, or the first woman President, they are also the ones destined to embrace the naturalness of their own bodies.

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