Looking at the Bare Reality montage in the Guardian on Sunday filled me with an intense set of emotions. I was happy, I was awe-struck, I was proud to be a woman, but I was also tearful for a reason I can't quite place. I cried when I saw Laura Dodsworth's work. And I think it's because I've never seen so many real women's breasts before.
For over a year now, I've been campaigning for No More Page 3. I've worked for better Sex and Relationships Education, fairer media representation and more acceptance of women's bodies generally, as they are. It's not that I haven't seen breasts before, because throughout my life I've been practically bombarded by them. On television shows, advertisements, the "family" newspaper, online porn, movies, graphic novels, billboards, underwear shopping, video games, CD covers, women's magazines, fashion magazines, the list goes on... and on... and ON.
But - and this is a very big but - pretty much every pair of breasts I've ever seen (apart from my own, and well, a few other women's in everyday life) I've never really seen honest breasts before. Earlier I mentioned the word "real." It's not that slim, large-breasted women don't exist anywhere but in the media, it's just that they represent such a minority of the population, that seeing their breasts exclusively is unrealistic. Bare Reality shows women's breasts for what they are; diverse, exciting and, yes, beautiful.
Women's breasts, like every other part of the body, shouldn't be expected to fit an ideal. I think what struck me most about the Bare Reality images was the pride. For the first time in my life I saw the breasts of women portrayed accurately, diversely and honestly. The women were proud of their breasts, they shared stories about them. They weren't trying to titillate men, or conform to societal standards, they were happy, reflective, and sharing for themselves.
Please take some time to visit the Bare Reality website here.