COUNTY NEWS: Women set to ‘free the nipple’ on topless march

A Free The Nipple march will be coming to Brighton on August 19. (Left to right) Rachel Beck, Suze Smethurst, Bee Nicholls and Dani Simmons. Picture: Mickey Few
A Free The Nipple march will be coming to Brighton on August 19. (Left to right) Rachel Beck, Suze Smethurst, Bee Nicholls and Dani Simmons. Picture: Mickey Few

Thousands of people are expected to ‘free the nipple’ at a march that will be coming to Brighton seafront.

On August 19, the Free The Nipple Brighton march will start at 3pm at Madeira Drive in Kemptown and wind its way along the seafront to Hove Lawns, where a rally will take place at 5pm.

Organiser Bee Nicholls said the purpose of the march is to draw attention to the double standard that says that men may bare their chests where women may not, despite sexualised images of breasts in the media.

Participants could even be interviewed for a feminist documentary.

She said: “Free The Nipple Brighton is about spreading a new kind of message. One that says that we don’t have to subscribe to unrealistic beauty ideals or sexist double standards. Our bodies are policed, commoditised and scrutinised in every conceivable way and it’s high time for that to end. Breasts are a normal body part with a function yet they are so heavily sexualised that often women can’t even publicly feed their infants without being shamed. There is this idea that women must cover up to be seen as respectable – yet porn and sexualised images of women are commonplace.

“These conflicting expectations are confusing and damaging for everyone. This event is about breaking the stigma. On the 19th of August we march to reclaim our bodies and normalise breasts.”

Bee said the event would be ‘fun, family-friendly and 100 per cent inclusive’ to challenge perceptions of breasts and cultivate positive ideas. Those attending the march are invited to be topless, clothed or fancy-dressed. Every part of the march is wheelchair and pram friendly.

According to Bee, the Free The Nipple movement began back in 2012 following a feature film of the same name created by an American woman.

The organiser said she and her team of volunteers have worked hard to ensure the event is accessible and open to all gender expressions, sexualities, ages and identities.

An after party is also taking place at the Rialto Theatre at 8.30pm, hosted by queer club night hosts Traumfrau.