Alreet petals. Long time, no speak!
Between moving house, unpacking and getting settled in said house (well, flat – who are we kidding?), starting a new job and generally being all over the shop a bit, blogging has been soooo far down my list it’s almost embarrassing. I’ve read enough posts that start like this and thought to myself ‘hun, give yourself a break!’ that I know not to feel guilty – but it feels good to be back on track enough to actually write something!
To be honest, there’s one thing in particular that jolted me back into action – on Saturday, I took part in the Free The Nipple march in Brighton (and rally, and insane after-party…), and it was honestly one of the most incredible experiences of my life! I couldn’t NOT share it with the world.
So what exactly is the Free the Nipple movement?
Nipples. Most of us have them, but only half of us are allowed to reveal them without fear of ridicule, sexualisation and – in some cases – criminalisation. Funnily enough, the marginalised half have picked up on this inequality, and thought ‘hmm, this doesn’t seem right – we need to do something about this patriarchal bullshit’. The Free The Nipple movement aims to smash the shit out of society’s idea of what is ‘acceptable’ by marching, rallying, posting, speaking and shouting from the rooftops:
Having spent the morning covering ourselves in glitter and body paint and making sassy signs, my lovely friend Caitlin and I rocked up at Old Steine gardens at around 2pm on Saturday. The weather was incredible, there were smiling faces and naked nips everywhere, and the buzz in the air was electric! We were joined by our friends Kyle and Dick, whose nipples are allowed to do as they please, so it meant the world that they wanted to show their support by marching alongside us. I popped my top off, put my floral nipple covers on (I wasn’t ready to bare all just yet!), and opened a cider for a little dutch courage.
We set off along the seafront, marching through the hoards of people who had gathered to enjoy the sun and watch the England game. I have to admit I was a bit worried about being hassled by drunken cishet men, but whilst obviously we did receive some negativity and objectification, most people were incredibly supportive. Honestly, the number of women coming forward to clap and cheer just knocked the bullshit out of the park. It was a truly liberating and empowering experience, and it was clear that it meant a lot to so many people that we were fighting for them.
When we reached the i360, Pop-Up Brighton (just to the left) was hosting a rally. There was a bar, DELICIOUS vegan indian food, topical art to look at and buy, an insane DJ and a safe space where we could bare all to sunbathe. Of course, this wasn’t essential – throughout the whole event we were encouraged to wear whatever we felt comfortable in, be it just a pair of bikini bottoms or a coat, hat and scarf. The only thing that mattered was that we were all there for the same cause, all supporting each other, and all having the best time doing it!
After a few hours enjoying the rally, we headed back home and got ready for the official after-party, which was held at the Rialto Theatre and organised by Traumfrau (Brighton’s most inclusive queer club night). It featured more incredible music, performances from local queer artists, happy people in various states of nudity and possibly the sweatiest (but most liberated) dancefloor I’ve ever experienced!
Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: whatever your gender identity, sexuality, or status of nipple acceptability, this is an incredibly important cause that anyone with an ounce of desire for equality should get behind. There is nothing sexual about a boob: they are designed to feed children, possibly the least sexual act in the world (in fact, sexualising breasts feels kind of creepy when you put it that way). Nipples are not offensive, and there is literally no reason why some should be deemed ‘indecent’ whilst others are not. If you follow me on Instagram (or even better – if you don’t *hint hint*), just go and take a look at some of the disgusting comments from frightened and uneducated men on the picture of me before the march. We are oppressed because of just that: fear. Fear that women are fighting back, making their voices heard, and striving for equality!
What do you think of the Free the Nipple movement? Would you ever consider marching (nipples out or not!) to support it? Let me know in the comments or drop me a message if you prefer!