I recently read an article, on policymic.com, illustrating the reversal of laws prohibiting topless women in public. On a facebook post of this article titled, “Topless Women In Public Not Breaking The Law, Says NYPD,” men applauded the decision but women called it “lewd” and “inappropriate.”
As the media has taught us, public toplessness has been more socially acceptable for indigenous societies. ” The lack of clothing above the waist for both females and males was the norm in traditional cultures of North America, Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands until the arrival of Christian missionaries, and it continues to be the norm and acceptable in many indigenous cultures today, “ –Wikipedia
Public topless women were a cultural norm for Renaissance Europe from the 14th to 19th centuries as reported in Wikipedia: ” In many European societies between the Renaissance and the 19th century, exposed breasts were more acceptable than they are today, with a woman’s bared legs, ankles or shoulders being considered to be more risqué than her exposed breasts.”
Words like lewd, indecent, and inappropriate are judgmental, egocentric words in our language which limit our ability to progress spiritually. They are fear-based and they cause our energy to vibrate at a lower frequency. These are times in which we have the capacity to align to a higher truth and be happier and more powerful than we could ever imagine.
If we wish to obtain higher consciousness, we need free ourselves of old beliefs which no longer serve us. The minute we begin to judge others, we need to think about the cause. In most cases it’s due to the social constructs set forth in many societies. A group of people, a long time ago, decided how they wanted people to behave. The resulting beliefs caused fear, separation, judgment, competition and enslavement. Then, society judged people for actions that were completely natural.
In the case of public topless women, these beliefs have generated the unhealthy concepts, preoccupations and insecurities that many people accept regarding the human body. Take, for example, the wardrobe malfunctions of Janet Jackson, Tori Spelling, Sofia Vergara and Yeo Ming Jung. They were all accused of staging their wardrobe malfunctions and most, if not all, were compelled to issue a public apology. While it is possible that the exposures were staged, it’s also very likely that the celebrities were mortified. Who are we to judge?
Another example are the mothers who, due to social conditioning and public reaction, sheepishly breast feed in public. Neilia Sherman, in her article “Sexualualization of Breasts/The Impact on Breastfeeding,“ says “Breasts are sexualized in our collective psyche but, realistically, any part of the body can [be] sexual. Many cultures force women to cover their hair, as this attribute is seen as enticing to men. We have been making decisions about women’s bodies based on concerns that men cannot practice self-control. This mentality relieves men of any responsibility for their behavior.”
This is a great read regarding status quo hypocrisy. She adds that, “There seems to be a fear that real, “imperfect” breasts will ruin the carefully preserved illusion that breasts are sex objects. Yet, male toplessness is not viewed as sexual. Even though their chests and nipples can be erogenous and exciting to some women. And here’s the “rub”: If a man with a nice chest walks around uncovered, he puffs it out with pride. No one worries about women gazing at men.” – See more at: http://www.breastfeed.com/nursing-mothers-life/sexualization-of-breasts#sthash.KMRb5eiL.dpuf
As the policymic article points out, this construct has been reversed under the eyes of New York State law: “This decision means that breast exposure is not considered public lewdness, indecent exposure, or disorderly conduct.” The law is designed to eliminate legal gender discrimination. Although it may take a while, it will end the sexualization of breasts. It’s a beautiful indication of our realignment with nature.
From a health standpoint, I believe that all body parts should have daily exposure to oxygen and sunlight. We are electrical beings and all of our body’s cells need solar recharging for healthy growth, just like the trees and plants. Arnold Ehret recommended nude sunbathing as part of the healing process; “The sunbath is an excellent “invisible” waste eliminator and rejuvenates the skin, causing it to become like silk and coloring it a natural brown.” “The clothing of civilization has made it impossible for man to secure his proper quota of the life-giving power of fresh air and sunshine, so essential to health and happiness.”
Dr. Mercola also points out, ” Sunlight causes your skin to produce vitamin D — a fact that, ironically, means that sunscreen campaigns may have made millions of people chronically short of this critical nutrient, and put them at a greater risk of skin cancer, rather than reducing their risk.”
Will I rush out topless into my neighborhood and encourage other women to do it? Personally, I’m not prepared for that level of attention. Alternatively, I could see myself exposing my breasts on the beach or similar sunbathing venues. If other women choose to, I hope that it will be in a safe environment. I look forward to seeing the ultimate changes within the media and pop-culture which will eventually flip this “lewd” action into a cultural norm. This will, in turn, diminish the sexual objectivity of women.