#FreeTheNipple: A Case Study

Protesters being interviewed by a couple Activated Nuts… inspired by this. By Alexandra Duggan

So why should we study #FreeTheNipple?  What makes it a successful campaign?

lena-dunham-01Lena Dunham bares all, by Elena Duggan.

Some main points to consider…

Its message is clear.  This is a fight for gender equality.

Its name is catchy, short, easy to remember, and honest.  This is a fight against the idea of the sexualisation and criminalisation of the female body.

The use of all forms of media in spreading their message has allowed it to get mass exposure through the light-touches people make on their own social media channels.  Whether or not your remember the post, you’ve definitely seen #FreeTheNipple all over the place.  Celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Lena Dunham, Willow Smith, Miley Cyrus, Scout Willis, and countless others have joined the movement.  They’ve posted photos of themselves freeing their own nipples, they’ve hashtagged, they’ve even worn the merchandise.


Miley Cyrus joins the movement, by Elena Duggan.

But not only has this movement gained notoriety through social media, the women responsible for its kickoff created a film that aimed to document their lives in combat with the systemic gender inequalities.

The act of going topless in America as a female is something you can be arrested for, yet we watch countless people dying at our own hands on the news each night.  What we are allowed to be exposed to says a lot about what legislation does to those disenfranchised by it.

willow-smith-01Willow Smith’s conversation-starting post, by Elena Duggan.

What started as an attempt to raise awareness of this particularly ridiculous notion, has now seen its hashtag #FreeTheNipple stand for the widespread issues women face when they come in contact with the many systemic inequalities against us.  If you follow their Instagram you’ll see conversations about consent and rape culture, feminism, female reproductive rights, body confidence, sexuality, art…

Take aways here are:

  1. Think through your ideas and find the core message
  2. Make sure its something that will incite passionate response
  3. Use all the skills you have to create your content: video, photo and animation production, clothing design, drawing, digital art creation… the list goes on
  4. Know your demographic, and target them with your message on ALL their platforms
  5. TALK, TALK, TALK to those who agree with you, and then COLLABORATE.

Join the movement by signing the petition here.

Or more actively engage by following the simple steps listed on their site:

1. Get together with your friends and meet at a public location that gets a lot of traction.

2. If it’s illegal to be topless wear X pasties on the nipples and write FREE THE NIPPLE on your chest.

3. Send us pictures of your gathering to info@freethenipple.com and we will also post to continue the conversation in all our media outlets…

4. Someone like you needs to be the leader in your community and make sure we are at least getting more and more people to join you on your next topless hang out day… Depending on how big we can also reach out to media and press to come and cover it.

-By Alexandra Duggan
kendall-jenner-01Kendall Jenner tackles the issue, by Elena Duggan.

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