One day ago, during the evening news on WJLA - Washington DC, a beautiful young woman bared her breasts. No, not in a Girls Gone Wild or Opie and Anthony WOW attempt; she bared her breasts to model the proper way to conduct a breast self-exam. (She herself had caught her breast cancer early via self-exam.) Was it tasteful? Yes. Was it informative? Yes. Did it piss some people off? What do you think?
If you've read anything I've written (or heard me speak), you know what my response is already. Get the F over it. Seriously. They are breasts. Knowing how to do self-exams saves lives. And more importantly, they are breasts. They are a part of our bodies. Why do we get so damn hung up on them?
This morning on a Good Morning America man-on-the-street interview, a woman was asked, "Is TV going too far?" Her response, "Yes. I have small children at home. Who knows who may be watching the television at that time." Really? Cue the sarcasm. Because small children have never seen breasts? Because small children have never been nursed - by the breast - before? Because teen girls and boys have never seen breasts before? This is ridiculous.
Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America (which should really be named Women Who are Only Concerned With Having a Conservative and Restrictive America) suggested that this was not only going too far, but it was strictly for ratings. You know what? I don't care if it was for ratings. Showing people how to do their own breast exams serves a purpose and more importantly, initiates a larger dialogue about our inability to be healthy when we as a society have such hang-ups about the human body.
Let me take this one step further. There is nothing wrong with nudity. These are our bodies, given to us by whatever deity we believe in. When we censor the human form or encourage our children to feel shame about what lies beneath their clothes, that's when problems start. Let's not kid ourselves. The more taboo nudity becomes, the more everyone wants to run out and see some.
Yeah, and if you're asking me if I walk around naked, I do. My kids aren't afraid of breasts or vulvas, penises or testicles. They are body parts. And if and when they decide that they would rather me get dressed when they weren't hanging out in my bedroom, so be it.
But I will not give them a complex about their own bodies.