Are My Nipples Offending You?

Why are men’s nipples out there chilling, yet women’s are classed as nudity and censored on social media platforms like Instagram? Please somebody tell me why. Because I’ve been wracking my brain for justifications and I’m stumped.

Some women feed their babies this way. Cool, even more reason for them to be uncensored and completely normalised. Is it not common knowledge that babies need to eat? Unless the suggestion is that we should hide the baby bottles and spoons too? It’s illegal in the UK to ask someone to leave a public space or restaurant for breast feeding. Yet Brits still love a loud tut to show disapproval, so there must be something offending about a nipple.

Nipples are sexual. Okay yes, that statement alone can be true. Nipples are an erogenous zone for many people, but this is true for both women and men. So why are they seen differently? Ears can also be an erogenous zone, but we aren’t governed to constantly wear muffs in public. Why is it that women’s nipples are more sexualised than men's? Does anybody even care whether a man's nipples are erect or not? Yet we, as women, are held to these ridiculous standards that our nips should be standing to sexual attention at all times, because you know, attracting the male gaze is so damn important.

So, as women's nipples are more sexualised by other people, why is society telling us that it is the woman herself who is responsible for preventing the lustful thoughts and heinous actions of men? Why are we feeding into the rape culture that women must cover their bodies in order to be protected rather than teaching men some basic human decency? Just because something is on show, or you like something, that does not mean that you are entitled to it. It is 2020. Why on earth are we still saying this?!


Maybe it’s the boob itself that is offensive. Although if someone with boobs wears a top, you can still tell they have boobs, unless they’re wearing a tent. Besides, cleavage (as long as it’s not too much for the patriarchy) is deemed acceptable.

Nope, Instagram and Facebook specifically state ‘female breasts that include the nipple’. Apparently the display of the female nipple is only allowed by Instagram if the user has made it clear that the display of nudity is to raise awareness, or is meant as a form of protest. But men’s nipples are chilling, they don’t need to be educating other people or fighting causes. Are women’s nipples going to be paid for the teaching they are providing, or is that just more unpaid work to tuck under women’s belts?

How about transgender and non-binary people’s nipples? Where do they stand?nIs it still a female nipple if the person no longer identifies as female? What if someone has transitioned to become a woman, are their female nipples now censored? Or is this dependant on whether or not they have the protruding shape of a boob? Because my humble A-cup certainly doesn’t guarantee that my breast tissue is larger than any man’s. Besides, having large protruding breasts is not the only way to be a woman. There is no right way. Deciding against any type of breast changes would not make a trans woman any less of a woman. Yet society is so messed up that transgender women have to perform to hyper femininity just to be accepted by society.

Although a nipple alone doesn’t seem like a big issue, it highlights how the objectification of women is deeply rooted into our society. It’s not about women walking round topless, it’s being able to do as we please with our own bodies. It’s yet another double standard of rules made by men, teaching women that we have no autonomy over our own bodies and must be covered as animal like men have no damn self control.

There is no justification. No real reason. Let's normalise nipples, we all have them. Small nipples, inverted nips, and hell some people even have 3! Big, small, hairy and all. Know what’s healthy for your own body and bloody celebrate it! And if you're one of these people who finds nipples offensive then have a chat with yourself please.


Written by Simone Robinson

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1 comment

  • Esther O

    Love this! I especially love how Simone finished this piece with such a warm warning!

    “…if you’re one of these people who finds nipples offensive then have a chat with yourself please.”


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