MOMENT | Free The Nipple

When I was putting together the Tomboy Style book, about three years ago now, I remember having a few heated debates with my editor about the inclusion of nudity. She wanted it, I didn't. Her opinion was that it would make the book more artful, and mine was that it might prohibit younger people from buying the book. It's not that I disagreed with her point, it's just that my whole objective was to write the book that I wish existed when I was growing up. I ended up winning the argument, but I'm thinking a lot now about why this argument had to exist at all. With the buzz surrounding the forthcoming film Free The Nipple, protests of the censorship on Instagram (even when it's "artful"), performance artists taking to the streets of NYC in the pursuit of nipple equality, and celebs like artist Shepherd Fairy (pictured above) and Rhianna weighing in, there's a lot to process. It all has me asking why our social custom is so wildly different for men and women when it comes to the public bearing of breasts? I'm not jonesing to go topless in public by any means (even on an Australian or French beach where it's de rigueur), but I certainly don't think it should mean jail time (up to three years and $2500 fine for exposed female breasts in Louisiana). In 35 states it's illegal for a woman to be topless, five of those states even include breastfeeding.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what may be the feminist issue talking point of the year.