Men: aww yeah. Women: hey, you look great but you are wearing the wrong bra for the dress 🙄 The suggestion was that I should have covered my breasts with memory foam because, decorum. I can promise my choice of undergarment was carefully considered.
I remember the first time I saw a memory foam bra. I was instantly annoyed. To me it looked like the nipple was obliterated, erased. Why? I mean, I knew the purpose of the garment, it just made me sad. I felt like a nipple-less Barbie when I tried one on.
In 2012 I went to the beach in Southern France with my daughter. The minute I realized I could go topless I turned to her and said, 'sorry kiddo, this is happening’. Off went the top and I happily sunned myself, jumped off rocks, and swam without even one errant ogle. It was heaven.
Like most women, I have spent a lifetime listening to opinions on how I should cover/alter my body. Until just a few years ago I agreeably listened to men I was seeing tell me what they 'preferred’ about how I kept myself. I had to arrive at middle age before I questioned if that was even reasonable.
“I don’t want to be told how to be a woman by a man or a woman.” Pamela Anderson
It seems to me we ask women to manage men in all sorts of ways. One of the most pernicious is expecting women to de-sexualize their natural bodies for the convenience of everyone else. My fellow beach-goers in France made it obvious it is possible to keep your thoughts and reactions to yourself.
It’s not that I don’t understand that nipples can be arousing (or not), it’s that whatever the reaction is shouldn’t impede how I present myself. Basically, I don’t care if anyone likes it, loves it or is put off, I wear what I like.
I don’t have the final answer about what is right or wrong about nipple modesty. I know that for women to make truly free choices we need to question every single cultural norm, media influence, and gender dynamic. This is that.
PS. I know this is racy. It’s going to happen from time to time. Sex is a part of culture, and often not in great ways. I am going to talk about it. If it isn’t for you (no harm) there is an unsubscribe option at the bottom of this digest 🌸 🌸