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Yes, this is about breasts.

April 6, 2009

Here is gallery of just breasts – all shapes, sizes, races, sagging, perky, asymmetrical, what breasts  actually look like. I encourage you to just take a minute to look at breasts – not being motorboated, not being shoved up in a push-up bra, not waiting for a man. They are part of our bodies, even when they are not being stared at, or during sex. They are for our sexual pleasure too. They breastfeed, bounce when we run, sag when we age, they can get cancer and mastectomies. Our breasts are not an object for the male gaze, they are part of our bodies, and part of ourselves. 

I want to write more later about the objectification of the female body as it relates to a culture of sexual violence, and how that can be changed. But for now, lets just take a second to appreciate our breasts. Hell, take as long as you want.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jill permalink
    April 6, 2009 11:56 AM

    I remember us all crowding around the table in WHOA looking at this site and paging through Nikoleta’s book and feeling really fulfilled. It seemed like kind of an odd event at the time (a bunch of college students looking at naked people who were not performing some kind of streaking or sex act), but it was kind of exciting to be able to say, as a group, “Your breasts are fine. Your breasts are fine. Your breasts are fine.”

    I think for women especially, so many of the nude and mostly-nude pictures we see are meant to make us say, “Your body is bad.” or maybe even more perniciously “My body is bad.” It’s nice to be able to say that that just isn’t so.

    • Nikoleta permalink
      April 6, 2009 5:01 PM

      I completely agree. I also thought it was great to be able to see bodies in a way that acknowledged them as bodies rather than vehicles for sexual entertainment. They were naked, but there was nothing vulgar or “dirty” in the act of looking at them. They were simply bodies. They performed acts vital to these women’s lives -dancing, breathing, walking, laughing – and there was this feeling that that was more than enough. Beauty in the function and being rather than how closely they resembled an idealized form. That was really powerful for me.

  2. April 6, 2009 4:07 PM

    It’s also difficult to get past the socializing within many groups of women to respond to anyone’s self criticism about her body not so much with, “No, you’re fine,” but instead with “OMG, my thighs are much *worse*.”

    The first semester I did the parody show at law school, I was calling for the women’s dressing room to be a body-criticism-free zone. Someone said, “Wow, that’s really feminist,” and I said, “Yeah, but mostly I’m worried that once we get into hardcore cellulite comparison, we’re going to miss our cues.”

    Which seems like a good metaphor for women’s lives in general: if you spend too much time comparing your body to other women’s, even if it ends up making you feel better at their expense, you’ll probably miss your cues for what you’re really supposed to be doing in life.

  3. Sarah permalink
    August 20, 2009 12:23 PM

    I just found The Belly Project, was reminded of this post, and wanted to pass it on.

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