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You cannot spell identity without tit(t)y, a perspective on the female body

If you would ask me for the last time I was told to undress in front of a group of strangers I would tell you it was yesterday.

I work as a fashion model. It is not your typical nine to five job, but even in modelling a certain routine kicks in. A day in my life is pretty ordinary. I arrive on set. They have coffee, breakfast and, if I am lucky, even some soy milk for my poor, lactose intolerant soul. I meet the rest of the team (and forget their names immediately, which leads to awkward moments when I ask for the WiFi password and am being told to ask somebody named Tiffany).It is a job like every other. With the minor exception that I am undressing and changing into a dozen different outfits in front of strangers (and Tiffany). And I do not care. Why would I?


I find it ironic that working in one of the most sexualised industries desensitizes you to being naked. Because few people have mastered the art of simply not giving a damn like the people working in fashion. Changing my shirt has about the same sexual value for me as if I was changing my socks. Boobs out, toes out, where is the difference? In many ways my work environment is a safe space, where my nipples are allowed to peacefully co-exist with all my other body parts without any judgement. Fast forward to when I leave my job, take the tube, visit a restaurant or go out - and get labelled “provocative” for not wearing a bra.


At which point did we decide that our secondary genitalia are such a big deal? Lips aren’t only associated with kissing, they are just another part of our body with a lot of other functions. Why make a fuss about boobs then? We live in a society where people happily listen to Gwyneth Paltrow talking about how to steam clean vaginas, we shouldn’t blush in embarrassment when we see somebody not wearing a bra! It is this weird limbo where people can’t decide just how tolerant they are. Yes, free the nipple, but please not at your grandma’s birthday party (inappropriate, duh!). Of course, men and women are equal, but if there’s a side boob on your Instagram be prepared to get reported real quick (unholy nipple alert).


I understand the difference between seeing the body in a sexual and nonsexual way while identity seems to be tied to one’s body and physical appearance in the public eye. But one has to make a distinction between viewing the body and the person behind it. I identify as a woman but most of all I identify as a human being. My breasts (or their lack thereof) do not define me.

Maybe I am oversimplifying here, but generally speaking, people should just calm their tits.


It’s only boobs after all.



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