Guest Post: “Topless in NYC” Photos Hypocritical?

A few days ago, Jug Report posed a question: is it hypocritical for an article about going topless to not show bare breasts? This question, or accusation, was raised in a comment on Elizabeth Siematkowski’s Refinery 29 article: Topless Women NYC – Laws About Being Naked 2013. Was the article hypocritical for not showing bare breasts in the pictures? Lauren, a guest writer, shares her thoughts: 

My first thought, is that there might be some legal issues wrapped up in the choice to not show breasts in the photos. But, that aside, I think they made the right choice by having the photos of the back of her. Because the whole point of the article is that women are displaying their bodies how they choose. When she was actually rollerblading, she was comfortable and not self-conscious, which she pointed out gave her the control to make others feel natural and un stigmatized about it.

source: Refinery 29

source: Refinery 29

If she posts naked frontal photos, the use of those photos floating around the internet could completely undermine the point of the article, and her topless ride. They could be used in bad press going viral, like all those things she mentioned in the article that she was afraid might happen. By posting these topless photos that don’t show her breasts she’s maintaining the control and further preventing the stigmatization mentioned in the article.

Another point is that it’s her choice whether or not to show breasts. That’s the whole idea! Maybe she was comfortable on the ride, but wasn’t ready to post the photos on the internet. And that’s her choice, and nobody should be able to call her a hypocrite for it. Taking one step doesn’t mandate ‘going all the way’ and anyone who says it does, is furthering the pressure and expectations the movement is trying to get rid of.


One thought on “Guest Post: “Topless in NYC” Photos Hypocritical?

  1. Kudos for the decision she made. It’s all about choice, not telling women what to do; and by no means is this an obvious or easy choice.

    The opposite argument says not that the person is a hypocrite but that in the larger picture, having everyone shown from the back would imply that there’s something wrong with breasts or images of them, or that those in such a picture or taking such a picture lack confidence in what they’re doing, even when there’s no such lack. It doesn’t help the promotion of an idea to make assumptions about consequences that are one-sided or perhaps not as valid as it seems. And the choice in images is more varied than front vs. back.

    These things have been discussed and represented for the past 16 years at

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