One of the reasons that I love summer so much is because I get to wear as little clothing as possible.
I absolutely love baring my legs, wearing light fabric and pretending that pants don’t exist. It’s also why I spend most of my time at the beach during the hot season—because I get to be half naked in public without there being a problem. What I’m saying, is I love to be half-naked. There are times when I’m jealous of men due to the fact that when it’s sweltering outside, they get to remove their shirts and strut their stuff, no matter how fit or big their belly is. I’ve always wondered, why do we women not have that right?
Well, it turns out that women in New York State are allowed to be topless (Lucy also talks about this here). Yes, you read that right. Women can indeed bare their breasts in public and be completely within their legal rights.
According to a report in The Village Voice from last year, the NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, Paul Browne, was quoted as confirming the right that women have to wear no tops. He stated, “The state’s highest court established long ago that women have the same right as men to appear topless in public.” The law dates back to 1992 in the case People v Ramona Santorelli and Mary Lou Schloss when several women were arrested due to a law that prohibited exposing any part of the breast that is below the top of the areola. The Judge found this to be discriminatory since men can be shirtless in public and show their nipples, and therefore, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in their favor and allowed women all over New York to go topless as they please.
This came as a shock to me at first, but then I remembered that last year in August, I was strolling right outside of Central Park and a topless woman rockin’ her bare bosoms, a long necklace and a pencil skirt strutted right past me. I remember thinking, damn, this woman has guts.
It seems pretty crazy, right? Crazy, but completely acceptable and brave in my eyes, though I’m sure many find it to be crude.
The breasts of a woman in our society symbolize sexuality, or rather, sex. It’s sexy when a girl has big boobs, and when she wears low-cut shirts—never mind the fact that they’re attached to the rest of our bodies. But going topless isn’t about being sexy. It’s about utilizing the freedom that we have as women, to be half-naked because we can be. Jordan Matter , a photographer has been documenting women all over New York celebrating their right to go bare and the stories that go along with why they decided to do so. He captures these women in a way that shows their confidence and their beauty in an artistic way.
Later this month on Sunday, August 26, 2012 is International Go-Topless Day —will you be wearing your regular clothes, removing your top, judging these women or cheering them on?