Ladies, have you ever gone to the pool or the beach and were overcome with the desire to ditch your bathing suit and go topless? It’s perfectly understandable. Sometimes you just need to feel the sun on your chest. Unfortunately, in most areas of the United States, it is illegal for a woman to expose her bare chest in public.
Let that sink in for a moment. In 2017, female bodies are still taboo. We even see it in our nation’s schools through sexist dress code policies. Erotica author Violet Rose says it best: “It is illegal for women to go topless in most cities, yet you can buy a magazine of a woman without her top on at any 7-11 store. So, you can sell breasts, but you cannot wear breasts, in America.”
So if you’re a woman who wants to go topless, what can you do? Go for it and risk arrest? Be scrutinized and shamed by strangers if you live in a state where your breasts aren’t criminalized?
A Snarky Solution
The clothing company Beloved Wear has a solution. Well, almost. Just in time for bathing suit season, they are now offering a “sexy chest one piece swimsuit“. This cheeky addition to their apparel collection is exactly what the title suggests. The swimsuit is designed to resemble a bare male chest, complete with nipples and chest hair.
Free That Nipple
When you get over your initial shock reaction, you might be able to appreciate the snarky intelligence of the design. By and large, a man’s unclothed chest is not sexualized to the degree that a woman is. Considering that both are anatomically similar, it doesn’t make much sense. More than that, it’s unabashedly sexist.
By covering a woman’s bare chest with the image of that of a man’s, Beloved Wear is making a shrewd statement about the double standards regarding public nudity. Although its only immediate function is to cover yourself, this hairy chest bathing suit does make you confront the social and political implications of inhabiting a female body. After all, breasts are not the only part of a woman’s body that is regulated and restricted by laws.