Scout Willis defends Free the Nipple campaign
Scout Willis releases a statement refuting claims she is attention seeking, and calls for social acceptance of the nipple.PT0M50S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-39fmj 620 349 June 3, 2014
Scout Willis has continued her topless campaign against Instagram’s anti-nipple policy, releasing a statement explaining exactly why the time has come for social acceptance of the nipple.
Likening the #FreetheNipple campaign to the male body activism campaigns of the 1930s, Willis has posted a statement on her blog refuting claims of privileged attention seeking and sharing her reasons for continuing the successful social media campaign.
“I am not trying to argue for mandatory toplessness, or even bralessness. What I am arguing for is a woman’s right to choose how she represents her body -- and to make that choice based on personal desire and not a fear of how people will react to her or how society will judge her,” she wrote.
Last week, the photogenic offspring of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore took to the streets of New York topless to protest the popular photo sharing app's policing of pictures of the female body after being kicked off the social network for "instances for abuse".
The “abuses” which got her kicked out of the popular photo sharing community were sharing a photo of posing in a sheer top, followed by an image of a new jacket she had created which featured images of two topless friends.
The campaign took off, with the official account Free the Nipple gathering 108,000 followers and the hashtag #freethenipple seeing on average a tweet a minute.
Wilis says what began as a challenge to Instagram and its prejudiced community guidelines has opened up a much needed discussion about gendered body politics.
“Matters like the taboo of the nipple in the 21st century, public breastfeeding, slut shaming, fat shaming, breast cancer awareness, body positivity, gender inequality, and censorship have found their way into mainstream discussion.”
From the beginning of the campaign, Willis framed the issue as a feminist body politics one.
“This is about helping women feel empowered to make personal choices about their bodies not dictated by what society says is decent,”
Willis, who is 22, also hit back at criticism she had launched the campaign for attention.
“I understand that people don’t want to take me seriously. Or would rather just write me off as an attention-seeking, over-privileged, ignorant, white girl.
Despite the extensive international media coverage and social media activity, Willis is philosophic about the impact of her campaign.
“I never claimed to believe that my actions of the past 48 hours would solve anything - far from it. But what they did achieve was to provoke conversations about gender equality and body positivity that are both necessary and sorely lacking,” Willis wrote, adding people who don’t support the movement should simply unfollow her online.