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I was topless in NYC?

Yes. I said it. I was in New York City without a shirt on. Now that you know that my title isn't clickbait, let me tell you how this happened!

Amongst the one hundred things that I did in my short 1 1/2 day trip to New York City, I was topless for about 5 hours of that time. I will say that I throughly enjoyed my experience. It's not too often that you get the chance to walk outside of your living spaces partially naked. Here is where the story begins: After walking around Chelsea Market, which was in my previous blog post: "What I did in NYC for a day and a half", I started walking towards an area called Pier 57. While heading for what I thought would be my next adventure, I walked past a local park called 14th Street Park located right outside of Chelsea Market. Now, here is where things get AMAZING. As I walk past the park, I see a group of women sitting in a circle, reading books and chatting it up. Oh yea, did I mention these women were also sunbathing without shirts on? All I saw were breast glistening in the sun and I knew I had to be apart of this!

The first question that popped into my head was "Is this allowed? How is this legal?". After doing research I discovered that it is 10000% legal. Here is a quick history lesson: In the 1992 case People vs. Ramona Santorelli and Mary Lou Schloss, Santorelli and Schloss challenged New York state penal law section 245.01. The two women wanted to challenge the Penal law, which involves public indecency and exposure. They questioned why it was okay for men to be topless but for women to repremaded for the same behavior. They wanted to prove that it went against the 14th Amendment which claims equal protection. Of course these strong women won and the State of New York passed a law ruling that it is legal for women to be topless in public. What many people don't know is that Toplessness is legal in 30 out of the 50 states!

BACK TO THE STORY: As I finish doing my research, I walk up to this group and respectfully ask if I could join! They gladly invite me in and give me the spill about who they are and what they do. This group called "Topless Pulp", pushes equality and inspires women to be comfortable with themselves even with the sexual stigmas that surround the female body. On their website they state: "We’re a group of friends, and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends, and complete strangers, who love good books and sunny days and enjoying both as nearly in the altogether as the law allows. Happily, in New York City, the law allows toplessness by both men and women. So that’s the way we do our al fresco reading.".

After sitting in 14th street park for a little, they showed me the NYC High Line. While I wasn't too comfortable walking around with my boobs out, they surely were. The cool thing about being with these women was that they inspired me to channel my inner bad bitch. They are such courageous, confident women and I aspire to be as badass as they are. 27 years later, women and men are still defying societal norms. The idea that people should be uncomfortable with the natural anatomy of the human body is absolutely ridiculous. Women are sexually objectified on the daily and that idea SHOULD be confronted.

Now, some of you may ask, "Paige what did this accomplish for you? You were topless in NYC...So?". As a woman, it feels amazing to claim my comfortability. Women have been so sexualized that we have become conditioned to think that our body parts are to be hidden or else we are being "too loud" or "flashy". Our natural anatomy is nothing to be afraid of. Historically speaking, Black Women were always referred to as "Jezebels" giving us the stereotype that we are hypersexual and promiscuous. To walk around with my breast out was not a call for attention rather a statement that I am a woman and I demand respect. Often times, we sexualize ourselves by hiding parts that are natural. Now, I'm not saying that we don't live in a world with creeps who don't know how to control themselves. I understand why we stress women to cover up, but it shouldn't be so taboo for women to live just as freely as men. In a perfect world, we could all coexist without having sexual stereotypes bound to us.

If you're ever in NYC and want to meet up with Topless Pulp, reach out to them on their social media!Instagram: @ToplessPulpTwitter: @ToplessPulpWebsite:

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