The fact of censorship is this:
a body is a body, no matter what pixels or black boxes you place over it.
For centuries, women have felt the pressure to be conservative in body exposure in fear of being viewed as unladylike or inappropriate, particularly when it pertains to their breasts. However, breasts are not "inappropriate". Although women's breasts have been sexualized, the reality is that they are just anatomical parts of the human body. Breasts are not a reproductive organ. They are on a woman’s body as a means of breastfeeding their potential children, which is something that should be celebrated and respected, not shunned and censored.
In the younger generation, a movement widely known as “free the nipple” has picked up in a larger audience. This movement originally began in the 1960s along with the beat movement, anti-war movement, and the hippie era. “Free the nipple” has been something of interest for women since the ‘60s, and it is a movement that I personally hope catches on to spread the message of acceptance of a woman’s body all around the world.
While the debate rages on regarding the appropriateness of baring the female breasts, even going braless under a shirt is consider lewd by many. Although bras provide the practical purpose of providing upright support to a woman’s breasts, many women prefer not to wear bras for various reasons. If a woman with smaller breasts do not need the support or finds wearing bras uncomfortable, she should be given the freedom and feel the acceptance if she chooses not to wear a bra.
Nipples are not something to be shunned or censored. The only biological differences between a man and woman’s breasts are potentially the size and the ability to breastfeed. We’re progressing in a direction in which women can feel more accepted in their wardrobe decisions; however, when large social media platforms such as Instagram remove or report photos that reveal a woman’s breasts or nipples, we are only moving backwards. According to Instagram’s community guidelines for users, Instagram encourages “a safe and open environment for everyone” ; however, “[they] do not allow nudity on Instagram for a variety of reasons . . . [which] also includes some photos of female nipples”. How are we meant to fully express ourselves as women if we aren’t truly given a platform for “a safe and open environment for everyone”? It’s not possible if such online censorship exists.
While many parents may decide to keep their children away from these types of images, what they need to understand is that they are shielding their children because they sexualize the female breasts. The exposed female breasts should be viewed no differently from the male breasts. In fact, the female breasts' breastfeeding purpose should be celebrated and respected. If breasts were just treated realistically as a part of the human body, women would feel more respected and inclined to express themselves. We should be given the freedom to post photos of our bodies if necessary or desired.
The censorship of a woman’s body is not aligned with maintaining respect for the woman.
The censorship of a woman’s body will not make it go away.
The censorship of a woman’s body will not demoralize the woman it disrespects.
The censorship of a woman’s body is unjust.
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