How This Swim Shop Helps Breast Cancer Survivors By Supporting Free The Nipple

Calling all supporters of Free the Nipple and cancer survivors: the TaTa Top’s got your back. Well, technically, the swim shop with a cause (actually, more like three causes), has got your front, with ridiculously cool bikini tops with images of male nipples printed on them. The object of this design is to protest ridiculous standards on social media and embedded in patriarchal cultural norms that stigmatize female toplessness but condone, and even glorify, male toplessness.

Further, the brand supports body positivity by being available in a variety of skin tones and sizes, so everyone can free the nipple. It also supports body positivity by partnering with the 4th Trimester Bodies Project, a photography project that celebrates pregnant women’s bodies before and after giving birth.

The TaTa Top’s feminist founders, Michelle and Robyn Lytle, told DNA Info the business has contributed more than $3o,000 to women’s health organizations supporting breast cancer survivors and and aim to see that number rise to $50,000 in the near future.

The business has partnered with the Pink Ink Fund, which funds “reconstructive tattoos” for women who have had mastectomies.

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CREDIT: thetatatop.com

In their conversation with DNA Info which you really should check out for yourself, the Lytles dropped the feminist truth a number of times. Exhibit A:

“We’ve found that a lot of the people who argue against women being topless, put female nipples in the exact same [category] as sexual organs. No joke. We did have a customer who wore it to a private pool and they made her wear a white T-shirt over it … in the pool. Hopefully everyone reading this picks up on what an epic fail that became,” Michelle said.

I’ve spent years wracking my brain for the perfect label to stick society’s sexual double standards and hypersexualization of the female body with. “Misogyny” and “patriarchal bullshit” both came to mind, but sure, “epic fail” works great, too.

On a serious note, think about it: It’s pretty disgusting how we’ve been conditioned to view female nipples as sex objects meant for pornography or the bedroom that we should feel uncomfortable seeing in public, but to not even blink at the sight of male nipples in public.”It’s only when the nipple is on a woman that it becomes obscene,” Michelle said.

“It’s just been really touching to hear our customers’ personal stories about overcoming body discrimination and gender discrimination,” Lytle continued. “We also have close ties with many breast cancer survivors and women who have battled cancer, had double mastectomies, and survived to tell their stories and inspire others.”

Frankly, it’s sad how refreshing it is to hear about female nipples from a context that isn’t grossly sexualized. Let’s not forget how a recent self-examination video was carried out on a male body because of sexist censorship.

Ultimately, Free the Nipple is all about empowering women with the same determinism men have to choose what they want to do with their bodies and how they want to present themselves, and to protest the idea that one set of nipples is natural, while the other ought to beg harassment and even arrest.  And, hey, kneeing gender inequality in the balls aside, I’d say helping breast cancer survivors out is pretty important to.

It’s nice to see how many people, from “cancer survivors,” “breastfeeding advocates,” and yes, even moms, to feminist boyfriends and all “people challenging traditional notions of gender,” are getting on board with this agenda by supporting the TaTa Top.

They’ve sold 8,000 tops in every state in the U.S., and DNA Info reports they’ve shipped tops to at least 50 other countries around the world, too. Oh, and watch out for them at Chicago’s Gay Pride parade next month, too. The business celebrated with a “huge float” last year, and the Lytles claim this is a tradition they plan on continuing.

So, there you have it, the TaTa Top supports gender equality, body positivity, breast cancer, and LGBT rights, which brings up the total to four birds with one stone. Nice.