The nipple issue

The nipple issue appeared to have reached worldwide proportions of censorship in our society, but funnily enough, the first ones to be nipple shy are often us women.
What is the nipple issue? Apparently nipples are to be censored, cancelled, covered, and somehow vilified because seen as “sexual“.
I am not sure what this nipple issue is about – I am definitively not nipple shy and am all up for a tasteful and elegant nude -, but I do believe that a breast without nipple looks very weird.

I remember Helmut Newton complaining for the same issue about nipples when women in the 1980s and 90s, despite being more open about their femininity than nowadays, were banned by magazines and any other forms of media from showing breasts with nipples.
Today, exactly like 20 years ago, many women and editors still ask to have their nipples Phoshoppingly removed from pictures as something vile or indecent to be looked at.
Thank goodness there is movement that is called “Free the nipple” that is doing some good PR to try to normalise the nipple and its damaged image, but I feel there is a long way to go to set the nipple free for good.

The real question is why the nipple is such a big issue?
It looks like a button, and while I understand that for someone can be a touchy subject, its exposure, especially when a baby is latched onto it to banquet, should not be subject to sexualisation.
The nipple is part of our body, exactly like the tip of our nose is, but while that is ok to have on show all day long, the nipple…well, not so much.
Is it because in many countries is considered rude to point, and nipples are the culprits of being inappropriate in public or on social media? Jokes aside, this is becoming a subject that worries me a little. As a boudoir photographer, mother, woman and estimator of women’s beauty in all its forms, I feel that many women are voluntarily amputating – or erasing or covering – part of their bodies because someone is convincing us it is something we should be ashamed of.

But let’s be plain. A nipple is not the sex.
The sex has its own definite function, so it may be ok to be shy about it, but the nipple is just an appendix that does not even define our gender. We all have it, but we are not all free to expose it. And in fact, the other odd situation is that women’s nipples are more especially pointed at, while men can happily show theirs around unquestioned. No shirts or bras required. Why is that?

Another issue that I find particularly disturbing is the concept of nipple tassels or pasties. I find them totally cute, but why have they been even invented? To say that you were wearing something?
While we totally respect our clients’ decisions to use nipple tassels and be nipple shy, we personally feel that nipples are ok to expose because there is nothing weird or sexual about it. Nipples are part of the chest. And, by the way, of any chest.
Definitively for us the body – nude, dressed or in lingerie – is not a piece of meat, but a beautiful piece of art, and this is how we want to celebrate it with our photography, creating beautiful and artistic memories of it.
So, if in doubt, we are totally judgment free about you freeing your nipples in your pictures, or covering them, if that makes you feel more comfortable, also because at Faby and Carlo you can be sure they will remain for your eyes only.

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