Who likes to go topless children???? Would you believe it was only about some odd 75 years ago the men could finally go topless? The Mistress was shocked himself. Back then had I wanted to run around the lake I'd had to be covered top and bottom.
On social media and in public spaces, there's a fight afoot for the female nipple. #FreetheNipple has become a viral hashtag protesting the inherent sexualization of breasts and bans on images of areola that happen to be attached to female breast tissue. There's even a documentary about it in the works, Men's brief fight to free their own nipples also highlights the disparity in how we perceive these highly gendered bumpy flesh dots. Would you believe it's was only about since the 40's that American men started going toplessness...before that, it used to be illegal for men to reveal their nipples and pecs in public, which was true in certain public spaces. But aside from a brief flurry of press attention in the late 1930s, the issue quickly transitioned from hot button to ho-hum.
The late 1910s many public swimming pools mandated men not wear suits that conformed too closely to their physique, some even requiring short skirts worn over trunks. Good God...the Mistress would have had a fit!!!!! Swimsuit fabric and style quickly evolved in 1920s, introducing tighter two pieces as well as belted and elastic waist briefs, which some men like Hollywood dreamboat Rudolph Valentino wore sans shirt or tank.
Then in the 1940s, male nipples and pec had their heyday. On the silver screen, Olympian Johnny Weissmuller wore nothing but a loincloth in 1932's Tarzan and the Apes.Two years later, Clark Gable impressively sidestepped the Hays Codes with his famous undressing monologue to Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night. Men's undershirt sales even fell after the film's release, though it's unclear whether Gable's inspirational nipples were the cause. I would like to think it was. Hubba Hubba!
Off screen, male swimmers began intentionally flouting Coney Island's coverup rule by going barechested to the beach.
After a series of fines, a judge overturned New York state's male shirtless bans in 1939. The incident attracted press attention, as Atlantic City and other waterfronts similarly mandated against man-nips. With that legal domino tipped, along with help from Hollywood's hunks, men's barechestedness was here to stay by the late 1940s, save one homophobic exception. Even after New York state lifted its male nipple ban, publicly shirtless men still risked arrest if they were perceived gay. In 1947, for instance, Harvey Milk was among a group of shirtless men arrested for indecent exposure in Central Park, yet the bare-chested married men in the park weren't harassed. Good thing the Mistress wasn't living back then. My summer attire is usually very lax in the summer. At a pool , lake or running I also go topless. This would have had them in fits....
And this for sure would have had them reaching for their smelling salts and powders...
And I would have replied back, in the famous words of Mae West, Those who are easily shocked, should be shocked more often.