Nip Talk: A Body Talk Story From The UK
We started talking about body and appearance myths starting from ourselves. It’s really important to talk and understand about where do our insecurities come from.
Today we bring you a talk with Amelia, who is an exchange student in Vilnius Academy of Arts. From time to time Amelia puts on Free The Nipple brooch and inspires some awkward conversations. We were curious to know more about her background and experiences in awkward conversations.
Where are you from?
I am from South London.
How old are you?
Does ‘body talk’ exist in your family (body talk, sex, menstruation, etc.)?
Yes, definitely. We are really open about it. And also my dad doesn’t live with us, so we are a house of girls, there are no filters about anything.
When have your mum started talking to you about those things? What age was you?
Hmm, 10 maybe? Maybe even before. I remember once, I was probably 8, my mom went to the toilet and there was blood and I was like, Mum are you dying?? And she explained that to me. And then we had to explain it to my sister because she didn’t know either what a period was.
Was it an open topic among your friends?
Yeah, pretty much. I went to a girl school as well, so maybe it’s easier. But I would talk about it in front of the guys as well. Most of the guys I know are comfortable to talk about it.
Do you face sexism in your daily life or anytime?
Yes, but I don’t feel like a victim of it, there are other people who have way worse experiences, I don’t put myself into the role of having a struggle and everybody is against me. I feel like in a creative field most people are equal. The place that I took my foundation course in London, we had a wood workshop, I was making a lot of furniture and when you go in there as a girl you feel really intimidated and all the technicians are guys, like old guys, and at first they are so suspicious “can you even cut wood and use a drill?” and once you earn their respect they kind of treat you better than other guys.
Instagram is banning all the girl's nipples. When there’s a discussion, is it appropriate or is it not? Where would you stand in the point of this?
It’s funny for our generation because we are all more open to this kind of ideas, but at the same time, we didn’t see that much media with nipples, so it can be shocking sometimes. So it’s the problem of people who watch the pictures? Idk, a lot of people who post pages of women’s nipples are kind of creative - photographers, or it is some kind of editorials, it’s not just like people are horny and taking pictures of themselves and putting it out there. It’s tried to be done in a tasteful, interesting way and it’s funny because I don’t know who reports it, people, who are not interested in that kind of media or open to that stuff?
Would you wear Free The Nipple shirt? And if you would, where it would be okay to wear it for you and where it wouldn’t?
Because it’s a nice shirt, I wouldn’t wear it to a studio where it could get dirty, but I wouldn’t be afraid to wear it around my friends and stuff. If I was feeling kind of brave, I could wear it to a Christmas or something (laughing) with my family, because to me, it’s like if I wear a shirt that’s kind of formal, with the collar and buttons, I think that’s okay and also with my family it would be okay. I think maybe it would inspire a discussion.
Would you feel self-aware wearing the shirt?
Yes, 100%. And also when I was wearing the brooch, on my scarf, people would come and touch it and you can still feel it like your nipple, so it’s kinda a strange thing.
And how do you react when people do that?
I just laugh. Depends on who does it, usually, it would be a friend, so it’s okay.
Do you remember in school teachers saying how girls and boys should act? Like, girls don’t sit like that, girls don’t swear etc, any specific moment and how you reacted?
I don’t know if I can think of a specific moment. The thing in my primary school was that thing “running like a boy” or “running like a girl” and I don’t know how kids are trained to think like that, I don’t think it’s always their parents who are telling them how people should act, it’s almost instinctive, maybe they see it on a TV show or in the books they read or something.
Our head teachers in the secondary school (girls school) were always like “You girls can do this, you are strong” etc, like constantly boost our confidence and we were pretty lucky to have that, but at the same time, it felt really fake and almost commercial. So many girls from my year became engineers and went to do engineering & the teachers were SO proud of it, like “Oh it’s female engineers”, and like if you do something “girly” it’s like OMG.
Do you try to create statements/undercover messages with the way you dress?
I don’t have anything with writing or patterns (until recently, now I’m getting INTO patterns slightly). I try to stay quite neutral, I am one of those people who still kind of wear black all the time. I just don’t think about what I’m wearing, it’s always the same colour palette. Like I don’t want to blend it but at the same time, I start to appreciate it, because before I kinda eliminated it, so it was easier to dress. Black is flattering, it always makes you feel good, you can be formal or informal.
And what is your favourite colour?(not to wear, in general).
Orange and also navy blue. I own a lot of orange items, but I never wear it, actually going to vintage thrift shops made me buy and wear more colours, I had those red trousers and they’ve become my favourite, they are so bright, like crazy bright, when the sun is shining they are so reflective.
Greatest Thank Yous to Amelia for being our first guest. We have more conversations coming for you and are looking for more and more experiences for you to read, so if you want to be our guest or you know a person whose story you would like to hear hit us up here!