Yesterday was Go Topless Day, an organized demonstration staged in dozens of cities across the US and Canada to protest for a woman’s right to expose her breasts if she chooses. Using the slogan “Free your breasts! Free your mind!” the Go Topless organization promotes women’s right to expose their bare chest to the same extent as men. (Although the event was organized by the Raelians, participation does not imply adherence to the organization or its ideals, though it may “expose” you to proselytizing.) Women who want to participate in the event may want to consider participating in Toronto next Sunday. The issue of what is sometimes described as topfreedom has long been embraced by feminists because, they say the underlying logic implies that women’s bodies are more indecent than men’s. This moral differential gives men the power to control women’s bodies, a less extreme example than the burqa but nonetheless equally powerful, because it is the differential of who has the power to reveal that establishes the power relationship, not the degree or extent of concealment. As a result of this differential, a woman’s body becomes something that men have the power to conceal and reveal according to their own purposes and uses, but women themselves do not have control over. The concealment of women’s chests has a number of social effects that can be oppressive. First, it promotes the ideal that women’s breasts are inherently erotic, something used only for sexual play. This obscures that part of the purpose of breasts is breastfeeding, and perpetuates restrictions on breastfeeding that can make it difficult, if not impossible, for women to breastfeed in public. Second, it ensures that the only images women see of breasts are either the eroticized version or the corporate-controlled, selected, posed, and airbrushed to give the impression of perfection. Concealment of women’s breasts prevents women from seeing natural, normal breasts, which can make women feel that their natural, normal breasts are actually in some way inadequate or misshapen. In recent years, protests against top inequality have made significant gains, and now it is legal for women to go topless in 11 states and the District of Columbia, including neighboring New York and Ohio. However, even in states where women are technically allowed to be topless, many cities have passed local ordinances designed to keep women’s chests covered. Pennsylvania does not currently allow women to be topless in public, and Philadelphia was not among the cities that participated in yesterday’s demonstrations. Women’s commitment to this cause shows how important breasts are as a sign of femininity and women’s identity. If you are uncomfortable with the size, shape, or appearance of your breasts it can significantly impact your self-image. If you have these feelings, you should first honestly assess your breasts in comparison to other natural breasts to be sure that you have a genuine sense of how your breasts compare to those of other women. Then, if you still feel a desire to change your breasts, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon about breast surgery, such as breast augmentation or a breast lift, to improve the appearance of your breasts. In Philadelphia, Dr. David Bottger invites you to learn more about breast surgery that can improve the appearance of your breasts and your self-image. Please contact him today to schedule your personal consultation.