One of my early blog articles touched on the importance of knowing why it is meaningful to you to be bare-chested before doing so.
This is vital because it increases the probability that you will actually enjoy the experience no matter what types of reactions you receive. The majority of people who see me bare-chested in public have either neutral or positive reactions, but there are some who react negatively.
This does not hurt my feelings. I know something I suspect these folks don’t know, namely the strength of self-love and peace.
I go bare-chested because I enjoy the sensation of freedom. My secondary though still very important motivation is to normalize the sight of female breasts so other women can have the same opportunity, and to feel the increased confidence, body pride and liberation that comes from overcoming body shame.
So if I believe in this so much, why don’t I go around asking other women to join me?
Because I don’t want them to go bare-chested for any other reasons than their own. I channel my passion into going out and creating the space for other women to appear bare-chested if they wish to. I walk. I speak to police. I let people get over their shock by looking at me and having whatever reactions they are going to have. And I share my thoughts and experiences here, for other women to read.
But the decision to actually go bare-chested has to be up to them. I’ve never said a woman should go out walking bare-chested. I simply and strongly affirm that she should be allowed to. That first walk can be transformative. It is powerful stuff. As such it should arrive when and only when a woman is ready for it.
But when she is ready, she should be allowed to, legally and socially.
With that said, the idea of another woman joining me of her own volition has always been the holy grail. It’s been close at least a half-dozen times. I could watch the calculations tumbling around…thinking it would be awesome, but what would my mother, husband, kids think, but I want to do it, but people will freak out, I should, but I can’t, not today. I’ll do it someday.
I’ve never once even prodded, because I truly believe she will join me… someday, when the time is right for her.
So when Raven e-mailed me to tell me she was ready, I was elated. Finally, after all these years! And the experience surpassed my hopes. It was a brilliant and life-affirming day. You can read her words here.
The other super-duper holy grail is to be out on a bare-chested walk and encounter another bare-chested woman who has nothing to do with me. That would, no, that will be a beautiful moment.