Bare-chestedness vs. toplessness

Green Mountains, Vermont, Summer 2015 Hiking the Long Trail
Green Mountains, Vermont, Summer 2015
Hiking the Long Trail

Around here, we have stopped using the term topless and instead use the term bare-chested.

Toplessness implies that a woman’s normal state of being is with a covered chest, and that if that covering is missing, something is lacking, or less.

Also, topless is almost exclusively reserved for females — sunbathers, go-go dancers, etc.

Bare-chested is a gender-neutral term and states one’s appearance in a more matter-of-fact and accepting manner, in my opinion.

We also use the more formal terms associated with the legal conversations about exposure quite often, namely, exposed female breast, exposed breast, bare chest or simply, breast.

Words like boobies, titties, ta-tas etc feel immature and reductive to my ear now.  I’m not offended when someone yells, “Titties!” from a car window, (true story,) but when I hear or read those terms, I find myself thinking that the user of that term lacks sophistication.  Breasts are healthy, beautiful and important parts of a woman’s body.

The words we use to describe them are important too.

Try this experiment (but only after you have read all my blog posts first!)  Google image the word topless, then Google image, bare-chested, remembering that Google does not invent the search terms, it simply reflects how people label the photos they post.


6 thoughts on “Bare-chestedness vs. toplessness

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