Culture, International Relations, Life, New York City, Politics/World Issues, Sex, Uncategorized

Topfreedom: The Right to Bare Breasts

No, I will not ask anyone if they will be disturbed by what I’m doing. I will not shy away from kids or turn my back to the playground, especially since you could not present me with the specification in the law that says I can’t be topfree in certain proximity to a playground. I will not shy away from answering questions, neither will discourage young women NOT to do what I am doing. I will let my life, the “clarity of my example” and demeanor of calm and stillness be my testament  to prove that I believe in the right to bare breasts.

Maybe I need to present some research on this (maybe not), but I believe the baring of breasts and the viewing of said breasts is very healing for the soul. Although I’m not trying to prove anything. I only wish share my experiences and thoughts about my new movement, a movement of one, (or should I say three: me and my two breasts.) T.I.T.S. is an acronym for Topfree in the Square, and beginning a few weeks ago I have been going topfree, on random days, in Union Square. Today while writing this, I’m in Brooklyn Heights by the Promenade. I like being near bodies of water easily accessible to where I live because it soothes me. It’s very calming. Lately, I’ve been going through some pretty difficult emotional ups and downs, caused by my expectations set upon another human being. That always works out for us right? Especially when sex is involved, especially when no clear commitment has been established (except to be exclusive sexual partners), especially when you’re carrying baggage from the past–and the person is a spot on reincarnation of various traits that you love and hate from the past relationships in your life. And, especially when you’re me. But that’s for another blog post. That deserves it’s own.

This one is about my breasts and my right the bare them and what it means for my personal liberation at this time in my life.  One of my purposes for the movement is to bring up a few points– I think it says a lot about our society and culture when we:

1) shun the sight of the human body in its natural form

2) allow our children to view violence but we are afraid to be naked in front of them

3) spend more time trying make a woman put her shirt back on rather than helping people who truly need help

4) are openly sexist, and have no problem with a man baring his chest. The breasts of a woman are nurturing and generally fare better when they are not strapped down, pushed up and out, or otherwise covered where the skin can’t breathe and the lymph isn’t free to move around. (I wear push up bras, but they don’t feel like I’m wearing anything. I’ve gone back to wearing no bra most of the time, it makes it easier to go topfree, and also I have some pretty nasty scars underneath my breasts from wearing them in the heat where the combination of the sweat, fabric, and friction caused a pretty serious rash. Now there’s hyperpigmentation in that area. I call them my Battle Scars, even though they’re fading.)

Now that I think of it, I should have known that I’d always be this type of woman. When I was younger, while a teenager, I didn’t wear a bra for years. Even as an adult I practiced “topfreedom (I coined it this term. I coined it!).” I was told that my breasts would sag when I got older, but that didn’t really resonate with me. I loved the fact that my breasts were perky enough to wear a shirt that showed a lot of skin with no bra. (And “perky breasts” shouldn’t be a pre-requisite for going topfree or accepting your breasts as beautiful.) Even side cleavage caused an issue. See-through tops I could sometimes get away with. I guess it’s the exhibitionist in me and part cellular memory of when I lived in a place where women walk around topfree; but I just love showing my boobs.

While sitting topfree in the Square (Union Square, New York City) yesterday, two young girls who could have been anywhere from ages 14 to 19 came up to me while I was working on my laptop. They were shy, trendily dressed, had young fresh Cover Girl worthy faces, and they asked me “Um, why are you like… that?” I calmly answered (I love when I answer calmly. When I’m calm, that’s how I know what I’m doing is in alignment with my  higher self and divine purpose.) “It’s my right.” They slowly came to understand, but that answer gave them pause. “It’s legal,” I contiuned. “Anywhere a man can be topfree a woman can be, in New York City.” (This law is People vs. Santorelli, if you’re curious.) They said “Ok” and walked away. Later one of their guy friends came to me and I went more in depth about how I feel that I’m raising awareness of this law so that people will ask other questions about why we feel so strongly about a woman being topfree. Yet, we allow violence and unhealthy body and sexual images to be fed to our children and ourselves, as adults. I told him that it is most important for his generation (which very well may be my generation as well, he is 19, I am 27) to know this. They have the energy and intellect to spread this information and educate people. He was very receptive. I’m sure being topfree didn’t hurt. Most of the time we were talking though, he looked me in my eyes, and his eyes never lingered on my breasts. His friend, one of the two girls who approached me earlier that day, wanted to take a picture with me, but by that time I had my top on. She wanted to take it anyway. She said she felt self-conscious because she was wearing no bra that day, and seeing me really put things in perspective for her. I told her not to allow anyone to tell her she was any less worthy of respect because of what she wears or does not wear, whether or not she chooses to show a little or a lot of skin. I told her that she was a Goddess, although she may not fully realize it yet, and as she gets older and knows herself more, it will show. She nodded. Purpose fulfilled.

I also did a few interviews that day. One in particular I will post here. I am extremely proud and honored to be a part of this much larger movement of women’s liberation, human sexuality, and sexual politics. My part of the movement is called T.I.T.S. for Topfree in the Square, but I am not the first woman to do this. I’m expanding and building upon what has already been done, although I’ve never heard of anyone doing it in Brooklyn. I love being the first. No one is really making a big deal out of here. No one has come up to me. But I’m not even doing it for them. I’m doing it for me. I’ll probably stay out here all night until I have to pee. Then I’ll head to Starbucks where I’ll have to put my shirt back on. They may not force me to, but I don’t know if men can be topfree in a business establishment.

Plus, today, I’m tired. I’m low on iron because of a low dose estrogen birth control pill that my uterus is type ANGRY for me even considering taking it. She has been crampy, bleedy, clotty. My vulva tissues have been off balance (on intermittent fire) since even before I started taking the pill, stressing about womb choices and financial issues, synthetic unnatural birth control options and, despite a strong desire to someday be a mother (I feel I’m being chosen by a soul in the beyond) whether or not I’m even worthy to get pregnant, being jobless and ringless and all. And Black. And a woman! Bottom line, I will NEVER go against my womb and my better judgment again. And if I could let her breathe without being arrested or harassed, I would do that too. There are worse things than getting pregnant, even by a man who doesn’t want kids. Feeling like you betrayed one of the most important parts of you does not feel good at all. My womb and I had an agreement that we would keep our self care and healing as natural as feasible. Also, I went to the water last night to do a gratitude ritual (topfree as well), because I was just so thankful that the water was still THERE… (Abandonment issues that by the time you read this post, will be cleared. Hopefully. )  It is so expansive and cleansing, so maternal and feminine, I was reminded me of how I need to be, and how powerful I will always be if I remember it, honor it, and embody its characteristics.  The water and womb are closely connected. I let my spirit speak for me when I sat down: “I feel I’ve dishonored you in some way.” Damn right I did. When I dishonor my womb, I dishonor all the waters of the world: I went all demanding on my womb choice, or at least, impatient.

And I put these damn God-forsaken fake ass hormones in my body, to stop one of the most natural and desired processes of the female reproductive system. Not only does it stop pregnancy, but it stops OVULATION! I can’t say I would be 100% thrilled at getting pregnant right now, especially in the circumstances I’m in, but I use my cycle to track my life. And to stop that….well when you know better you do better. And I know there are natural ways where if you don’t want to get pregnant, you won’t.

I believe that personal liberation comes from living your life like you were the first one to ever do it…If it weren’t for those damn precedents. And, I still kinda do wanna get pregnant. This desire has not gone away, despite not having the other things I want yet like: that loving supportive and willing partner , and that flowing abundance, and most importantly, fulfilling divine soul-purpose work. Like emotional calm and balance. I want the right to bare breasts and the right to be unemployed, unmarried, and pregnant if I so choose…and blissful beyond my wildest dreams.

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110 thoughts on “Topfreedom: The Right to Bare Breasts

  1. Pingback: My Body is a Temple… | Helese TALKS!

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  3. Dave says:

    i love what your doing. i want to say that your very sexy and i hope that you will keep going topfree. what does your hubby or boyfriend let you going topfree? if your not married or have a boyfriend i would love to be yours.

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  5. Go girl! I try, and I try, but I can’t understand what could be wrong with a woman’s breasts being seen in public. Now if you took off your shirt and exposed a writhing mass of tentacles – that might shock the children. But breasts? Some people just seem to have a problem with the fact that we are humans. (I’m male, a naturist, and in New Zealand)

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  7. Dr Hogan says:

    well well well i took time to go through your write-up an the comments and i just have to thank God that you have a little sanity in you, why not demand the right to go stark naked on public places, i want to let you know that this is not the best for our society i mean our sexually perverse society where a son-of-a-bitch will go to the nearest law court and demand for right to same sex marriage, you see i like the central idea of this post which is freedom to say yes and to say no there are many things one can stand up to say no to take for instance our children are being fed with immoral themes arising from there addition to walt disney an co bullshits. sister i strongly believe that those two things (boobs) are the basics of your sexuality and shouldn’t be bared to Tom, Dick and Harry to look at as they wish didn’t you mother tell you that or perhaps didn’t she tell you at least a story of how The creator clothed those parts after the fall of man in eden. think twice sister.

    • I didn’t even read your whole message. Who are you again? I work full time now, you’re gonna have to come with something original for me to do more than scan your responses. Yawn.

  8. Tony Williams says:

    While I do understand and salute your desire to express and protect your freedom to be topfree, I think the last part of your pust hit me harder. When I was younger I took at Natural Family Planning course and after that I never wanted a girl I was dating to be on birth control. It does really alter how the body and in many ways the emotions work and I would applaud you your desire not to take the pill. i have found when I am dating that keeping track of my partners cycle gives me much more insight into what she may be feeling and also it makes sex when we choose to have it even better.

    • I find it wonderful that you take that much responsibility for what you’re doing sexually with your partners. Kudos to you. It’s called co creation for a reason. The more authentic communication, the better, in these situations.

  9. Pingback: Sex at the Sinks-The Hidden Sexuality of Touching a Stranger « Helese TALKS!

  10. Tom says:

    As you become successful at removing the chains and ignorance in people’s minds you will experience an increase in persecution from the people who profit from controlling public opinion. Give us (the slaves) freedom and the ones who fancy themselves our owners will act to stop you. I sense that you will continue to enlighten others until enough power is used against you. I think you do this out of love. Be well.

    • Tom, thank you for your insightful response. I don’t know if I’m actually removing any chains, it’s up to people to do that themselves after reading and thinking about what they’ve read. And, it’s interesting that often people who AREN’T gaining anything from being controlled are the ones who most adamantly defend the status quo. I think it’s interesting and sad. I don’t think there is any power greater than love, and if you’ve read comments from others saying I should be stoned, suggesting I don’t deserve to live, calling me insane, and even hinting that I will be raped again, I am learning what it means to truly love.

  11. I would stop wearing bras if I were you Helese. It would make the transition to topless a lot easier when you do it, and besides, your breasts, as like all women’s breasts, need to be free—-TOTALLY !

    • Ok….you’re not me. That’s the issue I have with men who try to impose their own shoulda coulda woulda’s onto women. I still wear bras, and I at the end of they day while I will not deny a link between bras and cancer, I think it more so has to do with the fact that certain habits are done out of fear which is the root cause of all diseases. I don’t see cancer as something that can solely be caused by wearing a bra and I’m sure your research would reflect that. Also, I don’t go topless, I go TOPFREE, and there is a difference. There’s nothing difficult about it at all actually, but you wouldn’t know that because you’ve never been faced with the real decision about wether or not wear a bra or go topfree…hence the serious tone in my first sentence of this comment. You’re walking a fine line with me and testing my patience, which, of course, is good. As Abraham-Hicks calls it, you’re “harassing me into expansion.”

  12. Pingback: The Helesian Renaissance: 2011-Present (Why I Chose Media as a Means of Re-Birth) « Helese TALKS!

  13. Jamie (male) says:

    Hi. Briefly heard you on the radio recently. Congrats on your journey. Please forgive me if these questions were already asked & answered. Just curious; 1) What does your boyfriend/husband or significant other think about your legal bodily expression? 2) If the situation arose, would you honor their request for you to no longer “not dress” in such a way? And lastly) If the mood should strike you, would you roll top-free at age 80? (smiles) Thanks for your time & God bless you

  14. Keith "Tart" Bond says:

    Hi – My name is Tart – I feel you but I don’t get it – I fully embrace your right to do as you please but with all the problems in this society and specifically in the black community there are other causes you can take up i.e. child abuse, childhood obesity, education, aichohol and drugs abuse…… Your beautful – I don’t get it!!

    • If I am going to be the change I am going to see, I have to start within on undoing my own personal chains. Did you not see my post about The Education Industry? I choose to focus on topics that affect me personally at this time. And you’ll see I most of the time weave my own personal stories in with the issues I discuss.

      • Tart says:

        I truly understand your right to do your thing but young black women are begging for role models like you – Your well educated, an artist, independent, articulate, and beautiful. Our children need to be exposed to folks like you. That’s why I can’t get the topless thing…. Do you know how many young black women look up to Michelle Obama? She is a fantastic role model. I first checked you and your sister on Judge Joe Brown. I am not going to beleager this conversation — I just wish you would not do the public topless thing – Your too precious – Just my two cents — Peace!

      • Thank you! But I encourage young women to decide for themselves what makes sense! What is intrinsically wrong with baring your breasts except that everyone else thinks it’s wrong? And quite honestly Michelle Obama just came to the scene a few years ago. I looked up to several women before I even knew she existed, the range was from singers to actresses to my sister to activists and writers. So at the end of the day, young women have to be encouraged to look inside themselves and find someone outside themselves who models what they’d want to resemble. “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Just remember that.

  15. Pingback: This Friday Live: Radio Show will Discuss T.I.T.S. Movement and The Social Politics of Black Female Sexuality « Helese TALKS!

  16. GG says:

    More power to you – although you seem to be good friends with empowerment Exposing your breasts is natural (although not normal) and because for hundreds of years missionaries went to all the places where nakedness was still relaxedly practiced in the world and infected others with their ‘original sin’ damage doesn’t mean that someone shouldn’t try to live as if non-diseased.

    I live in Polynesia, am from the Caribbean and travel across the globe and I am tired of having to cover up my body, especially my breasts. I love reading about all the places – especially in Polynesia – where nakedness and sexuality (not the same but often associated by Western minds) were not only natural but often considered sacred. I grieve for this loss of naturalness and the introduction of ashamed-of-itself Christianity, venereal diseases and genocide to these places.

    When I breastfed my two children for a total of 9 years I couldn’t care less who saw my breasts. And if children can’t see breasts then who can? It’s amazing to me to see people horrified by children seeing the unclothed body. ALL children should be accustomed to bare breasts from their breastfeeding years and watching other mothers breastfeed even when they have stopped drinking mother’s milk themselves. We should all be accustomed to naked breasts from seeing our mothers, sisters, cousins, daughters, friends breastfeed and walk around home naked. So I admire you, I support you, and I look forward to more and more woman around the world taking back their right to be bare breasted and more and more women and men taking back the right to leave their bodies unclothed.

    With much love
    G

    • You are not only an excellent writer but a powerful woman. I admire you and your dedication to natural living and spreading the truth. Yes, we are all around the world, and I was just reflecting today about how awesome it is that women from around the globe are coming together to support one another and advocate for the children who are subject to the poisons of all of our fears. I just thank you, and please, ROCK ON.

  17. I would like to thank you for this post. I rarely ever comment on blogs, preferring to respond on the link but I think you deserved a personal response. Your post was/is such a breath of fresh air and I won’t say that I admire you or you are brave, because I don’t think that admiration and praise is what you are seeking. The action is what’s important; the ability to do what you feel is best for you. Thank you for being honest and sharing your experience. I would like to invite you to my face book group womantra https://www.facebook.com/groups/womantra/ (the most recent post being your article). womantra is a feminist space for caribbean women and I’m not sure where you’re from but it doesn’t really matter because you are my sister. someone asked me how trinis would respond to something like this … I said I’d love to find out!

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  19. Kutia says:

    First let me say that it’s impossible to be natural in an unnatural environment. It can only bring about confusion and complications. I’m not against you doing this because I think its nasty or morally wrong. I’m not even against you doing it. But I do see it as quite pointless. One of the tricks that was played on the black family through black women was making us buy into this whole feminism struggle when clearly our major issue is first that we are black in America. So while it may be natural for you and an expression of your rights to go topless for most people that see you going bare chested its sexual. You cannot solve a problem by starting at the end. We live in an over sexualized society and when u go bare chested in a park you are feeding into that regardless of what your motives may be. I saw a five year old girl in the bank last week swinging on a pole and dancing like a stripper. I’ve taught a number of middle school girls who were pregnant. We have alot of work to do as black women to change the mindset of the next generation and I just dont see where this fits in. You are tryna put a band aid on a disease. But I suspect that the exhibitionist in you which you kinda mentioned in passing is probably playing a much larger role in this than you are even ready to admit to yourself.
    But enough about that. Honestly that doesn’t really bother me that much. That part that worries me as a black single mother is this idea that pregnancy is natural and its what ur body wants to do blah blah blah. You sound very much like I did before I got pregnant at 20. I understand and yes PHYSICALLY pregnancy is natural and birth control stops a natural process of your body. But mentally and emotionally theres nothing natural about single parenthood. Dont forget where you are, in the belly of the beast. And what happens after you have a baby. There is nothing natural about trying to be mommy and daddy. Do you really think that the creator, universe, god or whatever you may believe in meant for more than half of all children to be raised by only a mother? There are direct negative implications of this. But I’m not gonna go into a whole bunch of stats right now. Dont think that you will be all right. Its so much bigger than just being able to pay the bills. There are emotional needs children have that cannot be satisfied by one parent. You are talking about nature and the body as if you are living in a society thats not severely tainted and damn near broke. If things were the way that they’re supposed to be we could all walk around naked and allow our bodies to determine when we get pregnant. But MORE IMPORTANTLY we would not be having casual sex even if it is exclusive. We would only choose to share our bodies with those that we wanted to share the rest of our lives with and raise children with. Now that is natural but that takes way too much discipline for most of us to even try.

    • Thank you for your sincere response. I don’t think that the movement is pointless, because like I said this is also tied to my personal liberation. I remember being 20 and I was NO WHERE NEAR the type of woman I am now, at 27. So, while I do see that being a single Black mother is not ideal, I also know that bleeding non stop for 45 days isn’t either. Now, I feel free. I haven’t worn underwear in over a month. Maya Angelou was pregnant at 17 and she said that experience made her “become herself.” I am not saying I am as prolific as her, but then again we are all just human. I do stand on her shoulders though, as a fiercely independent (somewhat) fearless black female writer and public speaker. I am saying that I would make it work if I had to. But I am not intentionally trying to become pregnant. I’m never alone. Maybe we see the world differently in that regard. Didn’t I say my abandonment issues would be cleared by the time I published that piece?

      I believe that what I have done is beneficial for the different categories society has put me in. As a black woman, demystifying black female sexuality is key in gaining our respect. People see the breasts then they read the words and if they interact with me, they will understand that an intelligent woman with a mind and heart for freedom exists behind the screen. This radiates and helps lift up women of all races and humans of all genders who wish to be free.

      As far as casual sex…no sex is casual. Sex is too spiritual to be casual. I am definitely growing in the area of my choices about who I choose to engage in this highly spiritual act with.

      I have relentless optimism that even if I followed the road less traveled or if I blaze my own trail (although I am pretty traditional in a lot of ways) everything will be fine. This is the meaning of inner peace.

      • Also I think that your statement “it is impossible to natural in an unnatural environment” is genius and quite possibly true. This may take me a while to figure out. But if it is true, shouldn’t we at least try to be as close to nature as comfy for us, or the individual?

  20. Erik says:

    I absolutely love this blog, and I admire your courage to fight for your rights and what you believe in! To me it is beyond belief that women’s breasts are seen as somehow offensive.
    How come children are so often used as the excuse for objecting to female toplessness, when I’ve never witnessed any child getting upset by it?
    When women are allowed to bare breasts in public places, I’m sure that at first many men will stare. We are inherently attracted to the female form and it’s a natural reaction when a part that is usually hidden from us is for once revealed, but when the novelty wears off and it becomes commonplace, I believe that will soon cease.
    You are also right on the mark in saying “I believe the baring of breasts and the viewing of said breasts is very healing for the soul”.

    • Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the piece….and yes, I saw no children negatively affected and if anyone has proof of this I would love to see it. Actually I wouldn’t, because I don’t wish to see any children negatively affected by anything…but a theory would do just fine. Children absorb all our fears like sponges. We project our insecurities onto them and this is really a shame. When they get older, they become as fucked up as we are.

  21. Saludos, Helese! I love your words and your presence in the world. Yours is a most purposeful and Divine work, in spite of your present circumstances and some of the indelicate comments here. Continue to shine brightly here and in NY and everywhere your path leads. I’d love to interview you! You are such an Enlightened Soul! I received your information from Yemi Toure Youngblood. If you’d like to connect with me, you can reach me at MissClaudiaMiss@gmail.com.

    Sending love and light for your heart’s desire this Fabulous Friday morning!

  22. Kinectic says:

    Go ahead and moderate/delete my comment. I’m sure you have deleted more comments than the ones you posted. As long as you see what I have to say. So what if men wanted to protest the rights to bear bottoms?? What if they decided to walk around with their penises hanging out? Would that be okay??? Dumb ass. Stop subjecting our children to this mess! You filthy whore.

    • I will let all comments show. I thank for even caring enough about me to expend your energy on MY cause. So, let’s talk about this. Breathe……ok. If men wanted to bare bottoms I would have no problem with that. I love penises and vaginas and human body parts. They should be able to flop around freely in the open air. But this is not legal. And no, I’m not dumb, not by a long shot. And I’m not subjecting your children to anything worse than they are by the media, or probably your own judgemental and violent thoughts and ways. And…what is a whore exactly? Someone who has sex with a lot of people? (What does that have to do with this post? Did you read the article?) A woman comfortable with her sexuality? Please, help me understand.

      • what-ever says:

        The original poster is very hostile but you state violence.. sexuality is on full display on TV as well… “wardrobe malfunctions” and the glorification of stripping, playboy, being a porn star and teen pregnancy and, the justification of violence against women because they expose themselves is something that will be an uphill battle to change…I personally feel like it is a huge distraction to have naked people walking around..every society including the most primitive have something on their bodies.. it’ll be like a free for all, technology doesn’t take away our primitive instincts and I am certain that men will get loose and then there will be outrage about controlling urges.. where does it end.. why does being comfortable with my sexuality mean exposing my tits? I am very comfortable and open so I personally don’t get hyped about things like this except when people are all militant about it on both ends…if you choose to walk arund like that then you have to take the harrassment and bs that goes with it without complaining..because like it or not we are talking centuries of conditioning to wear clothes and if you think you will change that by confusing sexuality with exhibitionism then we have an issue.. some people might want to be topless for the sake of comfort or they just like to let em breathe it’s not always SEXUAL..anyway yeah yeah breatst are associated with sex.. but they are also associated with nursing too..i dont want to see floppy titties all over the place..i noytice when they had that topless thing in the park it was like the grossest of women that wanted to expose themselves… it was gross.. if a guy was walking around with a wood those same women would decry and moan and groan about a man exposing himself and how they feel uncomfortable with his wood…anyway…do you dont let anyone stop you…also the other poster sounds very close minded and mean spirited… whore? seriously?! and funny he has an afrocentric name and in Africa many many groups women are topless and NOT WHORES same in the Amazon Papua New Guinea etc etc… but they arent conditioned like the west is so when they are topless it is different its how they have done forever..

      • Felicia Mason says:

        I chose to read all of the comments and responses prior to making my comment….I am 43 (almost 44) and until about 3 years ago I would never have thought that this was something positive…bound I was in the status quo of this world that I missed so much about myself…thankful for a husband that truly believes in the natural way of life thus giving me the external support for an internal change. What you have chosen to do should cause an uproar because if it was quietly done no one would notice or question themselves much less the worlds thought process…bras, heels and underwear (in my opinion) were definitely NOT created by a woman…who would want to bound themselves up, over themselves or stretch their foot to such painful lengths….it is clearly time that each woman sits down with herself and inspect why she feels about herself the way she does and asks if it is TRULY comfortable to her and her alone…I am required by my husband to remove my bra when entering my home….he clearly feels that his girls should be free…taking that piece of material with wires and hooks off feels like FREEDOM…I wish society would allow me to walk around without one but I guess that would keep the bra industry from making money off of the various types of BRAS we are required to wear in public….as for the issue of appeal…there are quite a few men that I see without tops that personally I think should cover quickly but the reality is that they have the right to dress or undress the way the see fit and if I find it something I do not want to view then I look another way or leave the area…we all have a freedom of choice and society takes that freedom away by stopping us from what we can do and we do not even notice it because we allow these so-called rules to be put into place….You have my full support both on the topfreedom (T.I.T.S.) as well as how you are coming to term with you Yonni! Peace and Blessings to you My Sista in your journey of self discovery and may you find a King that supports your movement completely.

      • @what-ever, (love your name by the way) you said “some people might want to be topless for the sake of comfort or they just like to let em breathe it’s not always SEXUAL” <—-my reasons for going topfree were these reasons and NOT political but while doing it, the above 4 points in the post came to mind…so once people started to take notice, I realized it is about SO MUCH MORE than just me.

      • @Felicia Mason, thank you so much for your support, and thank your husband for me too, your “external support for an internal change.” BRILLIANT Wording. I swear I’m surrounded by geniuses.

    • nata says:

      Whore – is a person who has sex for money, not a person who sharing their thoughts…. in your (to “kinectic”) little life you will hear a lot things you a may won’t like it……..Being comfortable with your own sexuality doesn’t mean scream on each comer about it, as author did… but calling person “filthy whore” is very low of you… It’s what young people do – learning about world: some people keep it to themselves and some has a need to be hear out…..

      • Thank you for addressing the above dissenter and their abusive violent comment. I see a community emerging from among us commenters….I never screamed on any corner. Sitting in the park topfree is a silent act. Writing a blog is a silent act, I did it for me, but of course it has now become bigger than me. (Let me note that I was only NEAR a playground which I didn’t know existed until the park guys came to me and said so. It’s kind of hidden and has gates and walls surrounding it.)

      • Let me correct: I was IN a park but again I was only NEAR a playground. The fact that I was near a playground only came to attn after the fact of me going topfree, but by then I realized that it wasn’t harming any children and I stand by that fact.

  23. rahmi says:

    It’s awe-mazing how one can set out in a particular direction to have taken several before arriving at that one. And that’s the gist of my journey to the Now. I was on another site…came across the [edited] picture up top [the edit actually brought more attention to it than just letting it Be]…read the article there…dug deeper…read the full article here…thought about the +/-s…and the more I thought about it, from a holistic view…the more the minuses morphed mostly into no thing…and of course, being that we’re in this realm of duality, there’s always gonna be polarities…but in this realistic illusion/illusionary reality the probabilities/possibilities of ‘whatever’ will invariably be [to] infinity.

    While there are many in-betweens that I feel could/should be considered…your conceptualization, or personalized element of this societal construct, transcends what I think the average is able to grasp in such a programmed culture of [mind] control…which is where all the in-betweens come in due to the resultant [bondage of] un-Consciousness and dysfunction that would dis-proportionately surround and most likely infringe on “topfree”-ness . Not that it couldn’t work…it’s just that an overwhelming number of cogs – right now, still -are broken.

    Personally, you’re existence is refreshing. Keep Be-ing & Injoy. In peace…

    • You response was so fluid, so intuitive, I totally got it and appreciate how the Universe brought you here. Please come back! I encourage you to read the other blogs I wrote. I feel that the direction will go more towards issues that affect everyone, not only personal. I would like to hear your pluses and minuses on those issues as well. Let’s stay in touch. I have a feeling I’ll need your feedback to keep me motivated!

      • rahmi says:

        Greetings, Helese! I’m glad some of what came thru spoke to you…trustingly, to some others, too. I’ll definitely continue to visit…it’s not the easiest thing finding frequencies I “feel”. Life is |absolutely| simple and complex within the same space(s)…saying that to say this…whatever issue it is that’s personal is equally as public. As difficult as it can be to wrap my Self around it [in moments], We are All One. I’m on my way to check out a couple more of your topics that caught me. In peace…

        Oh yeah…I’ll follow-up on those +’s & -‘s soon.

      • rahmi says:

        Funny, seriously, how clock-time is clicking faster and faster as the days pile up and disappear. It’s almost September and seems like the shock-and-awe of bearing breasts has digressed. Back to the positives & negatives…

        Being that this society is still trending [on] Negativity, it makes more sense to begin with the minuses. [wait~hold up!] As soon as those thoughts trickled out of my mind, I re-minded my Self of duality-polarity-and paradox…yet another ‘trinity’…you know, Father-Son-Holy Ghost…hot-warm-cold…here-there-everywhere. What I’m attempting to get at is…there are no “right or wrong” pluses or minuses in the |absolute value| sense of things…perspective paints the picture (outlook, viewpoint)…with countless numbers of opinions (and judgments) that in the final analysis are nothing more or less than Experience.

        Having said that, I feel closer to a truth than I was when I first looked [into] and learned about this movement [of one or maybe more]…at least I feel this way right Now. Spiritually/Scientifically speaking, we’ll always have positives and minuses, together, in order to Re-Create the Source Energy that Serves Us thru infinite outlets – both figuratively and literally – in this 3D pseudo-reality. So – stay with me – it seems the more important aspects of a thing, this movement, since +/-s are both necessities to Humanity, is the aspect of serving/Service and is it service-to-self or service-to-others? And when one thinks on “which-is-which?” – because there is service in both – we benefit to think of pure intent. Then this pure intention influences the who-what-when-where-and- how’s of the service. Service…assistance-kindness-inspiration…Support.

        Trust me, I’m almost there…but when we move into a space of Transcendence we move higher towards our Higher Selves to Be One with Oneness which, in whatever moment or series of moments it happens to be, is an Evolution…[back] connected with Existence…which Is thru Experience. Practicality suggests we serve ourselves, first, in order to serve others. Excessiveness, or in this case – to be “excessively selfish”, suggests we serve ourselves, first, whether we serve others or not. Transcendence suggests we serve for the Highest Good of All concerned. After delving deeper into what I originally thought, whether it’s more in-line with what’s positive or negative is not the issue, imho…the issue is who or what is served. And while we’ll still have to deal with the infiniteness of opinions – if we want to – the primary mover of the movement is where it begins and often ends. So for the others [of us] on the fringe, still concerned, who do we choose to serve?

    • Jonathan says:

      I think your beautiful woman and I admire what your doing and think the photo is a good shot. What obstacles have you faced on your journey?

  24. NinniMiranda says:

    Thank you for this. I really enjoyed reading this, and I support you and what you do. I live in Sweden, and even if we are more open minded here, we still have the same problems as you have. We also fight for a more relaxed way of viewing nudity. I think it is so natural and I love laying on à blanket in the sun “top free” and just soaking up the sun. Why is this so offensive? I dont know if it used to be more relaxed here in maybe the 80s, but now we are, just like you getting fed unhealthy ideals and ideas about the human body. I hope the trend turns soon. Well I just wanted to say I support you all the way from Sweden 🙂
    (I sent my last post by accident without finishing.. Sorry 😉 )

    • When something so natural is offensive then we really have to keep asking ourselves why until we get to the root of why we have so much fear. Thanks for chiming in from Sweden, and for your support.

  25. Chris says:

    I don’t know if I agree or disagree because of several obvious reasons but I do find this interesting and want to see where this leads and how it affects society in the short and long term. Part of me wants to scream naivety but another part of me, the curious side, see this as a cool social experiment . I hope the outcome is a positive as possible!

    • What are the obvious reasons you say that you don’t know why you agree with what I’m doing? I’m curious to know, and thanks for seeing it as an experiment (I think we need to study ourselves more) and the well wishes.

  26. RJS says:

    At 27 i was unemployed, unmarried and pregnant in NYC. Still unemployed (self employed). Content and headed toward bliss. Live your life how you want….

  27. Also, I’d like to add, if they permitted women aged 21 through like 55, then this would be okay too. I mean there are still gonna be old horny perverts riding around in their cars with their pants off holding their things anyway, they do it now. wasting their lives and time; divorcing their wives who’ve been committed to them for years, to go out and get a cheap thrill(more often than not ending in a disease for all 3 parties. Eww. They do that anyway. also, if SEX wasn’t so terribly introduced to people, this would help.I don’t want to violate anyone’s privacy, just like I don’t want them to violate my privacy. and personally some women with BIGGGGG BREASTS GROSSES ME OUT. Yours look like mine and are cute. But, Babe most women’s breast don’t look that cute.
    This would be a good thing to cut back on so many men being gay however. :~)

    • Joe Anybody says:

      If big breasts are “grosses you out”, that’s your phobia, your job to heal yourself. Others have phobia about small breasts, big hands, small mouth, etc. – that doesen’t means others have to cover those body parts because of whom has a fear for it.

  28. I THOUGHT of this the other day when it got sooooo hotttt outside, however, there are enough pervs as it is, and that’s all they would do all day is drive around looking at boobs. And, for elderly ladies, humm…? I’m not tryin’ to see that; just like I’m tired of seeing these young boys underpants as they wear their pants at their thighs, eww I’m NOT tryin to see that. HOWEVER, IF everyone had perfect boobs and pervs wouldn”t run around with their d…s in their hands all day; then it’d be fine. which would also be A COLD DAY IN HELL. I agree with Claudean here about the going to Africa thing. That’s an Idea for me.

    • Joe Anybody says:

      That’s the main thing: you don’t need to be have “perfect breasts” when you not cover them – either you are a woman or a man. That’s the right to be not perfect. Just like our ears or nose, we don’t need to cover them if we think they are not perfect.

      • And there are also some non gender conforming people and people actually born with both male and female genitalia, so where do they fit in this equation? That’s why this brings up so many issues. All people of all identifications need to be acknowledged, or they will ban together, rise up, and scare the shit out of people. And rightly so. We are moving into other dimensions y’all, time to see ourselves as human. That’s how the extra terrestrials see us anyway.

  29. Ash says:

    It is amazing what you’re doing here. Double standards have always been an issue in this society, and even when I was younger, I noticed them and refused to accept them. I had to grow up Muslim because of my parents, and it never made sense to me that women weren’t even allowed to show their heads. Today I’ve distanced myself from religion, which has allowed me to see even more double standards, and protest against them. One day I would like to follow your inspiring example, because I see nothing wrong with my body and neither should anyone else.

  30. be free!!

    like you, i thoroughly enjoy (and, have for years) being ‘top free’… unfortunately, as a southern womon (texas), most don’t agree with me being comfortable and physically free while in public… blessedly, i can do what i want at home…

    which is being mentally and physically free of ‘over the should bounder-holders’…

    TOP FREE is for me!!

    all i can say is thank you, Helese… please know that your efforts and your strengths are appreciated!

    continued health and happiness to you and yours!

  31. Danielle says:

    I’ve been going through a break up and one of the dealbreakers was that he didn’t like the idea of me baring my breasts at a place nearby where people go to swim and women bare their breasts legally. He didn’t like that people could see HIS girlfriend partially naked, which made it clearer to me than ever that breasts are viewed as something to be owned by the man you are with. I am going to miss him very much, but I know I am making the right choice. I feel very strongly about my right to go topless, and it is now on my bucket list to visit New York and hang out with you topless for a day. Thanks for posting this incredibly validating piece of writing.

  32. Richard says:

    Just FYI, People v. Santorelli, is a court case, not a law. Although that is indeed the case that established the right of women to be topfree in New York State, it did NOT, as you say, do so by saying they had the same right to be topfree as a man. Please read the case more carefully. According to the majority decision, they interpreted the Penal Code section 245.01 as only prohibiting women as being topfree for commercial purposes. So, even though men can legally be topfree for commercial purposes, women cannot. But both can be topfree for non-commercial purposes.

    Now, you’re quite correct that a concurring minority decision said (politely) that the majority opinion was nonsense and that it was a bogus interpretation of the law (it was!) and reached the constitutional issue you mention (about gender equality). But a concurring minority opinion is merely persuasive, not precedential.

    • Quote from the 1992 rulling:

      In summary, the People have offered nothing to justify a law that discriminates against women by prohibiting them from removing their tops and exposing their bare chests in public as men are routinely permitted to do. The mere fact that the statute’s aim is the protection of “public sensibilities” is not sufficient to satisfy the state’s burden of showing an “exceedingly persuasive justification” for a classification that expressly discriminates on the basis of sex (see, Kirchberg v Feenstra, 450 US 455, 461). Accordingly, the gender-based classification established by Penal Law § 245.01 violates appellants’ equal protection rights and, for that reason, I concur in the majority’s result and vote to reverse the order below.

  33. dee says:

    I truly admire you for taking on a cause that is so much bigger and deeper than baring flesh. How can a breast which provides nourishment and survival for so many be viewed negatively? If ever you bring your movement to the District of Columbia the nations’ capitol, please let me know as you have my support

  34. Pingback: NY Woman Starts Movement to Bare Breasts | EURweb

  35. black_feminist says:

    I’m so glad that you are doing this! I wish that I could. I think it would be an incredible experience in personal liberation, as well as acceptance and affirmation of my body. Good for you!!

  36. Pingback: Topfreedom and the Right to Bare Breasts | Clutch Magazine

  37. Virginia Williams says:

    Sister, you are very courageous for baring your breast in public, I just have one question to ask, is there ever a time when the law is going arrest you for indecent exposure?

    • They tried. See the post Support and Attacks on the T.I.T.S. Movement. They argued that I am harming children. I stress in the post that you just read that I believe that this is not true. Anyway, if they ever do, I could sue the city for wrongful arrest. In New York, it has already been decided that a woman with her top off is not indecent. A woman’s body is just as decent as a man’s.

  38. feylezofriza says:

    I am a male, I like the idea and fully I support your act. All laws and social norms that incriminate an action (like taking your top off in a public park or smoking a certain herb) must be justified by evidence that the action causes injury to others. Going out top-free doesn’t injure anyone, and if there is someone who will be psychologically disturbed by looking at bare breasts because of their commitment to ancient superstitions, they are free to look away. No one is asking them to stare at someone’s breasts. Those who will claim that this may children, I would like remind the horrors and miseries brought upon children by sexual repression and shame associated with human nudity. It is time that humanity grew up and learned not to feel guilt for what is only natural.

    • Your comment addresses many issues that I bring up in my piece and you even take them further. Thank you for that. I will always stress that looking at breasts in their natural form is simply healing! Breasts represent nourishment, connection, abundance, and maternity. All of these concepts are comforting. What could be wrong with that? Sexual suppression continues to be a cause of ills in our society. I thank you for your comment and support. Woohoo! Lol

  39. steve says:

    i think the only reson people have problem with top less females or nudity is their parents have told them its wrong and indesent and they belive them,native people and young kids dont have a problem with it untill some str8 and narrow people tell them it wrong

    • Yes, if you look at European cultures and other cultures around the world, THE SAME HANGUPS DO NOT EXIST. And the US is number one for ALL TYPES OF SEX CRIMES. The way we see sexuality and the human body is screwing us up! We will continue to self destruct if we don’t see that.

    • You know, I was going to not approve your comment, but it’s important for me to acknowledge and for all to see that some people simply will ignore what this post is about. I wish you the best in life.

  40. Phil says:

    If a woman’s body is inherently more offensive than a man’s, what does that say about the way we look at women in general?

    • That is a great question and I would love to use this question for further discussion. I think because women are more sensual than men, if we are truly in touch with our feminine nature, then women’s bodies naturally pose more of a threat to this patriarchal society. The naked female body is an assault on anyone who feels that sex is unnatural. What do you think?

      • Phil says:

        I’m not sure, but my impression is that the male form is looked at as more functional, while the female form is generally seen as existing to be oogled. People think of boobs, and they think of Playboy or Victoria’s Secret, not nursing infants, or the people the boobs are attached to.

    • I thank you deeply for the support. There are a lot more things going on in my life besides this, and you all’s feedback support, even disdain is really fueling my life right now. I feel like there is a bigger purpose behind all of this. When we can get more comfortable with sex we can become freer than ever.

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