Though it’s been legal since 1992, that hasn’t kept the NYPD from arresting a number of topless girls over the years, myself included! For individuals who may not know, I was detained on Wall Street for being topless during an art performance in August of 2011. Although the unjustifiable charges (disorderly conduct) were dropped, I wanted an apology in the NYPD / NYC. I also desired to make an impact that would help stop this kind of thing from happening to other girls. My lawsuit was one of a few that led NYC to issue a memo to all of NYPD in February 2013, reminding them about the legality of women going topfree in public.

I have also spent sunny days with The Outside Coed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society and in late August of 2011, I coordinated a top-free day in Central Park.
So this really is how topfree equality became among the causes that I care about and advocate for. I’m also a naturist, and while one might believe I am just supporting more nudity in public, I’m not. Being a naturist doesn’t mean needing to be nude in public everywhere. Nor does it mean that I want to be nude all the time. My support of the cause comes from a deep rooted feminist perspective. It’s about the gender equality.
I don’t like being discriminated against because I ‘ve a vagina, which is what topless laws do.
I do not like society trying to control women’s sexuality using modesty rules and laws.
I don’t enjoy society attributing female victims of sexual assault because they were asking for it through their state of dress.
I don’t enjoy that breastfeeding women are asked to cover up or go sit in a corner.
I do not enjoy society slut-shaming women, especially those who go topfree or wear skimpy clothing on a hot summer day (while accepting the sexual objectification of women on billboards). Female sexuality is employed to sell products, but as soon as women strive to own their bodies or sexuality, they are vilified, shamed, attacked. This must transform.
That’s why it was so encouraging to me when I discovered Free the Nipple not a long time after their effort began in 2012. Lastly, I believed, here is a group of female activists who are putting together a film which will bring mass attention to topfreedom, women’s equality and how it all ties into the problems identified above.
The Free The Nipple campaign took off on social media. A huge variable was the vocal support it received from celebs for example Miley Cyrus and Scout Willis. (Scout staged her own topfree stunt in NYC and composed an outstanding article about it on xojane.)
In the media, Esco emphasized lots of the sexism and discrimination in how society treats women and their bodies. At the start, much of the focus was put on American media’s distorted censorship policies. The media’s portrayal of graphic violence is considered acceptable whereas a female nipple will send people into a frenzy. Esco’s point is a valid one but, for me, it’s not why girls should be given the right to go topfree. Though I disagreed with part of her approach, I figured her statements were crafted as a simple means to gain attention and garner more support in the mainstream people.
Lina Esco Quotation
Flashback to the Free The Nipple film that is now out in theaters. While the film is supposedly based (loosely) on true events, the picture itself isn’t a documentary. The storyline follows a journalist named With (Lina Esco) as she finds a group of activist women crusading for the right to go topless in public.
With tracks down the ringleader, Liv (Lola Kirke), in the hopes of interviewing her for a news story. While With manages to get her interview, she’s crushed when her employer will not print it and during the assembly really decides to fire her. Inspired, With determines to team up with Liv and a number of other recruited girls to found call Free the Nipple. Soon afterward, more topless demonstrations, , attorneys and PR stunts take place.
Jpg: Free the Nipple film screenshot, the topfree activists running in capes
The picture itself got tons of bad reviews. It was deemed amateurish, vexing and shallow. Reviewers mentioned the plot points that did not make sense as well as some inaccuracies that were probably quite embarrassing for the filmmaker.
A particular aspect seemed to be of special interest to critics. In the opening scene, you see several girls running down Wall Street topless but in stark contrast to the remaining picture, the women’s breasts are censored / pixelated.