Why Are Nipples So Upsetting?

Thu, 11/11/2010 - 10:07
Submitted by Carlin Ross

I found this image of Miranda Kerr on dailymail - a british blog.  I thought it was beautiful and maybe I'd post it here on the site.

Then, I went on the DailyBeast and the Huffington Post and they had the same exact photo but they'd put black boxes over her nipples. 

The nipples are what's beautiful.  Are we really that prudish that nipples have to be blacked out in an image posted ONLINE.  WTF!  After the Janet Jackson Super Bowl nipple scandal (the most tivo'ed event in history), I thought that maybe America would be desensitized to nipples.  We can see man nipple - what's the big deal with woman nipple?

Are we that sexually repressed that the image of a pregnant women - nipples out - is too stimulating?  It's not like there aren't breasts everywhere smacking you in the face as enticements to purchase every product imaginable. 

I think it's time to grow up America.  And in the context of motherhood nipples are beautiful.  Those black boxes may seem harmless but it's the same puritanical thinking that gets breast feeding mothers escorted out of Victoria's Secret and arrested for indecent exposure. 

If we could just get over it already, it would be a much more hospitable environment for women and for mothers.  Sometimes a nipple is just that: a nipple.

Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson

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That's the thing: in today's

Thu, 11/11/2010 - 12:01
VirginMonoblogger (not verified)

That's the thing: in today's society, a nipple is rarely ever just a nipple. It's all about sex, and that's why we never see them. Even in medical documentaries on television, we don't see them. Nipples are just another over-sexualized body part. If society equated feet with nipples, I bet they would put blurred bars over women's toes.

When I was on the homepage, I actually noticed her tummy before I even noticed her breasts, and I think it's a beautiful picture.


Thu, 11/11/2010 - 20:13

mmm, the point is, we suppress our sexuality to the extent that men shave one of the most strking examples of their masculinity off - their facial hair - because that is too in-your-face.  Women cover up their breasts as that is too in-your-face.  Both are sexual signs and both are indicators that the person is sexually mature and therefore available for sex.  Nipples are again even more of a sexual signal, so we must cover them up so that people don't get aroused in everyday life or else males would indulge in possesive agressive behaviour and fight over women and also make sexual overtures towards the females, which the female might find undesirable.  However, advertising agencies know that we know that just under that fabric, those things (nipples) exist and they use that to the fullest to entice males to purchase their products.  However, society doesn't want us to get too excited in every day life, or else we wouldn't get anything done - we'd be too busy mating with the new contacts we make every day.  We can't have women showing those beautiful arousable nipples, or else men would get too horny!  :P

I think nipples are pretty

Miss Moonlight's picture
Thu, 11/11/2010 - 23:31
Miss Moonlight

I think nipples are pretty rather than sexual.  They are certainly not a problem.  Europe's attitude does not seem perfect but in this respect it does seem better than the US.

I have nothing profound to

Fri, 11/12/2010 - 11:44
LeeV (not verified)

I have nothing profound to add to the discussion, I just wanted to say that that is a beautiful picture.

I find nipples are too over

Sat, 11/13/2010 - 19:22
WhyLime (not verified)

I find nipples are too over exaggerated. I just wish people would appreciate their bodies more and feel unashamed of them. It's not like you have to think of them as little goddesses, but don't look at them as little demons either.


vii's picture
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 15:59

What a beautiful photo! Sometimes I wonder about life in Europe.. and wish that I had been born in Italy or France. The culture in Europe is so free and breezy, so filled with passion and indulgence.. yet the people of Europe aren't half as fat!

Weaning off the Puritanical nipple!

Joelface's picture
Sun, 11/14/2010 - 16:41

  I think the nipple being covered is a desperate attempt to hold onto the puritan "ideal" of modesty - the idea that we've let so much slip - but at least the nipple is still under wraps.

  Back in the day, even the ankle was on par with the nipple, but of course it has slipped and slipped, and now only the nipple and the "crack" of the ass, any pubic hair, and genitalia is considered obsene. All of those ideas of modesty are forced into such a tiny space.. The nipple itself representing one's sexuality, their private sexual life, their "privates"... to see a woman's nipple is to know her intimately (in this culture).

  The fact that we can see male nipples with no such feelings just further expands on the totally fabricated nature of the situation... but in our cultural setting, the female nipple does hold great meaning... to the point where a woman breastfeeding can make many people very uncomfortable.. The hyper-sexualization of a baby-feeding device. It is quite disturbing to see how many people have SO bought into this system of puritanical thought that they would prefer a woman feed her child in a bathroom than to question what they've been told about nipples.

  The good thing is that puritanical thought does not hold up well under scrutiny - and as we move onto the internet, where many cultures collide, these ideas ARE questioned, and at some point we realize.. a nipple is just a nipple.

...and what a beautiful nipple it is. :)


Sat, 11/27/2010 - 12:21
Brenda Giese (not verified)

It's crazy!  We are talking about a quarter size piece of flesh. Our puritan society cannot handle it.

Cultural-religious customs imposed by law

Sun, 01/02/2011 - 09:49
BobbieB (not verified)

As women and girls have no restriction on going about with the precise contours of their labia and even clitoris openly displayed, with only the coloration obscured by a 1/64" of cloth, how is it that the nipple is so discriminated against? It isn't even adjacent to a generative organ but is over a foot away from the genital orifice.
Men's eyes will always be attracted to the features of the female body that distinguish them from males. We have gotten past flattening the breasts to a male-appearing contour. Girdles are almost totally a thing of the past - butts are free to wiggle, wobble aned quiver. The labia and clitoris can be on near-open display without fear of arrest and punishment. So what is it with the nipple? Is it more dangerous or frightening than the pussy? You'd think the nipple and areola would be viewed as a decorative feature!

Come on People

Sat, 02/26/2011 - 08:04
Jason (not verified)

I find that it is crazy that this is still an issue.  The black box is what makes it seem more sexual then the nipple that is under it.  If people would grow up and get over this the world could be a better place. 

I don't visit this site very

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 05:49
Jordan1993 (not verified)

I don't visit this site very often so pardon me for the late posting to this particularly entry. What I find issue with the whole breast feeding mafia is that the assumption that breasts are purely functional as a nourishment device for children ONLY. That is such a very wrong way of thinking. Maybe because I am in an ANR, I understand that my breast are part of my sexuality and embrace it. Even though I haven't always had nursing relationships, my breasts were part of sex in some form or another. So to assume that once you reproduce that breasts are ONLY about feeding your child seems hypocritical to me.

Your comment "I think it's time to grow up America. And in the context of motherhood nipples are beautiful." adds to puritanical notion that breasts and nipples are only beautiful when connected to motherhood. No. Breasts and nipples are beautiful because they are a part of you. They don't define your complete beauty or sexuality but are a part of it. It doesn't make you more of woman if they are large or small, elongate or inverted, perky or sagging, or if you've had a mastectomy.

I also think this adds to the confusion that some nursing mothers have if they become aroused by nursing their infants. Sure it doesn't happen to all women, but it does happen and there's nothing wrong with it. It just is.

And yeah sorry for referring to those who think breast feeding in public as the breast feeding mafia. No there's nothing wrong with it, yes it should be OK, but realize that not everyone WANTS to see you nursing your infant or breast pumping in public. Frankly I am not bothered by it but we must be respectful of people around us. However, I have to admit that it is such an intimate experience between a mother and child that it should not be shared with shallow & disapproving eyes.