Yesterday was GoTopless Day, which according to our local newspaper, is celebrated annually on the Sunday closest to Women's Equality Day, marking the day American women earned the right to vote. Supposedly it's a global event, yet I've never heard about it until I read the tiny article buried on the 6th page at the very bottom of said paper. Furthermore, the only parts of the country that actually participated in this celebration were Los Angeles, New York, New Hampshire, and Denver. No surprise there!
So why the big cover-up? And this time, yes, the pun is intended. Is it because women still have low self-esteem regarding their bodies, continue to hold on to the puritanical mores of the past, or just don't care to make waves about something so seemingly inconsequential?
Or is it because men want their women to see themselves as second-class citizens, dress modestly when in public, and focus on more important issues such as child-rearing, and homemaking?
I often wish that when I'm at the beach I could bare my breasts in order to get a uniform suntan. I envy the guys when they dive into the ocean, feeling the cool waves beating rhythmically on their chests without being criticized for being scantily dressed. When my hubby is outside cutting the grass, he's got a hat on his head, but no shirt on his back. When I'm outside tending to the flowers or picking weeds, I'm in a tee and bra which are hell to take off when every fiber is soaked in a disgusting sweat. At the end of the day, when watching a sports game, hubby is comfortably clothed only in a pair of shorts, while I'm in a nightie designed to cover all my private parts. If he happens to drip his beer on his tummy, all it takes is a swipe of the hand to remove it. If I spill my gingerale because the dog unexpectedly jumps up on my lap, I've got to do a complete change of attire.
I don't know if there are many women who agree with me, but I've never let public opinion stop me before. Here's my take: Both men and women have breasts, even though in most cases, ours are definitely larger, more supple and perky (at least before giving birth), and have a defined purpose, nursing our young. Women's breasts come in many shapes and sizes, but all are beautiful. As we age, these body parts change exponentially as do all body parts. Do we put bags over our heads because our faces are lined, and do thicker thighs and rounder butts stop us from wearing swimwear? Hell no!
Now I'm not in favor of having women run through the malls with swinging boobs exposed for all to see. I don't think that would be even safe. Nobody wants to be inadvertently hit in the eye by a fellow shopper's dangling breast when brawling over a coveted sale item. I don't think going topless is a good idea when attending a baseball game. What if a high-fly ball is hit in your direction and a group of fans dive in to get it? Unknowingly of course, somebody just might grab one of your boobs thinking he or she has just secured a ballpark trophy! Ouch!
But going topless at the beach or swimming without a top would be a freeing experience, at least that is what I believe. Even as a senior, I'd love to have the option and would not have any qualms about it.
I think it would be a step in the right direction to start here. Yet I don't have any problem over time extending going topless to one's backyard and when relaxing at the end of the day on the back porch sipping on a chilled glass of your favorite beverage.
If indeed GoTopless Day is an annual globe event, let's publicize it more, become more comfortable in our own body image, and begin practicing going topless on a more regular basis. Let's become the 'Susan B. Anthony's' of today and gain our rights as women to be equal in this area as well. Eventually women going topless in society would be seen as normal and not a big deal.
Women Unite! Free Your Breasts! Uncover the Cover-Up!