Recently two protest marches were held – one in London, another in central Auckland, New Zealand. Participants were strolling down the streets with their breasts naked, only with crossed black tape over the nipples. The aim of the two campaigns was to promote gender equality and to raise awareness of the unfair situation in society via media.

'Free The Nipple' Campaign

'Free The Nipple' Campaign

What all these women were seeking? They wanted their naked bodies (and nipples too) to be taken as men’s. Andrew Rose, a spokesman for Free the Nipple Auckland, said that a man can walk bare chested while a woman can’t and that demoralizes the latter. He also noticed that in all the cases when a woman’s breast is shown it is done in a sexual setting – at a strip club or at a sex scene in a film.

“Maybe it seems like a slightly trivial movement on the surface but it’s well-known New Zealand has a huge domestic violence problem, and a problem with sexual assaults as well.” – said Rose.

'Free The Nipple' Campaign


Violence or a Nipple?

The campaign originated in December 2013. In 2012 by an American director & actress (LOL) Lina Esco directed & starred in her first feature film Free The Nipple. Based on real life, it tells the story of a group of young women who make their way to the streets of New York topless, to protest the time-worn censorship laws in America. Two activists are determined to start a revolution and change the system having the support of First Amendment lawyers. The film explicitly shows the contradictions in the society dominated by media, the society where violent acts are glorified, just when women’s body images are censored by the FCC and the MPAA film-rating system. It raises the question then: “What is more obscene: Violence or a Nipple?”.

No surprise the film failed to pass censorship. But Lina wasn’t going to give up and initiated an online-movement propagating a hashtag #FreeTheNipple. Trending on Twitter in 2014, it was used 10K times. Over two years two hostile camps for and against women’s everyday breast exposure were formed. Madonna, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus together with Bruce Willis’s daughter Scout took the “for” side.


The Problem of Instagram

What stayed wrong after the film was released in America in 2014 is Instagram and Facebook censorship. It is totally fine if a man shows his nipples but it when it comes to women, they get banned and their posts deleted. A special Instagram account was created to change the nudity policy.

Plus, Scout Willis’s contribution to the field is also great. Her mission as well was to protest. “Legal in NYC but not on @instagram,” she captured a Twitter photo of her buying flowers only in a skirt.
'Free The Nipple' Campaign

The Campaign Mission

'Free The Nipple' Campaign

Free The Nipple, as they describe themselves, is a global campaign made for change. It’s focusing on three key concepts – equality, empowerment and freedom of human beings. The campaign a mouthpiece for gender equality, making use of all forms of contemporary media, in order to raise awareness and cause change, eliminating social injustices.

Here is their mighty slogan:

“We believe that all human beings are created equal.

We believe that the time for change is now.

We believe that together, through one unified voice, we can affect change globally.”

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