Archives for category: media coverage

IMG_0373Shape.com, the website of Shape Magazine, just ran a lovely article about us. You can see it here.

They interviewed two of our members who spoke eloquently about their experiences with the group and why we do what we do. Strangely, though, they didn’t include images of either of those members in the article. Nor did they show any photos of, you know, bare breasts.

We’re happy to rectify that oversight.

IMG_7462And we welcome any Shape.com readers who found their way here through that site. If you’re a body-positive woman in the New York area and you’d like to take part in one of our events — or even if you’re just curious — we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com.

IMG_2650Going topless is healthy; going topless is liberating; and in New York, going topless is legal. Won’t you join us?

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IMG_9878A week ago, we were told that the mini-documentary about us that was filmed back in June by the folks at 60-Second Docs wouldn’t actually air until November — the day after Thanksgiving, to be specific. Well, our holidays came early: we got word that the documentary is actually going live online today!

You can watch it here.

IMG_9870We’re pleased with how it came out, and we’re hopeful that it might inspire women not just in New York but all over world, either to take advantage of their equal rights if the law is already egalitarian where they live (as it is here in New York) or else to mobilize to change the law, if it unfairly prohibits female toplessness but allows men to bare their chests.

IMG_9802If you are here in New York, you don’t have to wait for next summer to go topless outdoors — it was in the 80s last week and is supposed to be in the high 70s again this week. Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and we’ll let you know when we’re holding our next event.

For example: We took advantage of the recent warm weather by visiting the northern end of Central Park, where we climbed rocks–

IMG_8466IMG_8492Arm-wrestled–

IMG_8330fIMG_8339fRelaxed in the shade of a parasol–

IMG_8215fIMG_8189fIMG_8130fAnd napped in the sun.

IMG_8232Wouldn’t you enjoy celebrating this rare temperate October bare-breasted in nature along with us?

IMG_8158Come — before it’s winter and we’re all wearing down parkas. Toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com.

Because every woman deserves to feel the sun on her nipples.

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IMG_7805Back in June, we visited Madison Square Park together with a videographer from an outfit called 60-Second Docs, an organization that makes minute-long documentaries about people and groups they find interesting.

IMG_9878They found us interesting, apparently, and shot a bunch of footage of us hanging out and talking about what we do.

IMG_0011You’d think a minute-long documentary wouldn’t take very long to cut together, but…with one thing and another, it has, and they’re now telling us it’ll finally run on November 24. That’s right — the day after Thanksgiving. Well, it’s something to look forward to, anyway. Even if, at that time of year, no one who sees it and gets inspired is likely to rush outside shirtless. Unless we have a much warmer November than we’re used to.

120312-dBut it’ll come when it comes. In the meantime, getting word of the release date for the video inspired us to take another visit to Madison Square Park ourselves while it’s still warm enough to do so.

IMG_7701Flowers were still in full bloom, along with art projects such as this set of signs expounding on the subject of love.

IMG_7615IMG_7603(Interestingly a park ranger came over to us and we thought, “Oh, here we go again,” but he only wanted to know who put the signs in the ground. We told him we had no idea — they weren’t ours. So he called it in: unauthorized art activity on park grounds! But topless women on the grass? No problem.)

IMG_7675We brought our favorite mini-eclairs and other pastries from the eponymous Eclair bakery. (How’s that for an SAT word? Eponymous. Scrabble champs, we.)

IMG_7654We also brought books, such as this one and this one and this one.

IMG_7683What else did we bring? A keen awareness that the summer’s gone, its last remnants fleeting. We won’t have too many more park days this year, not with October muscling its way into the room tomorrow.

IMG_7780So we drank deep of September and toasted her imminent passing. We received a visit from a squirrel who industriously buried a nut under the wheel of one member’s chair and then hightailed it away. You don’t get  more autumnal than that.

IMG_7713IMG_7715We also received visits from two parents of breastfeeding children, who looked on the profusion of nipples like an autumn cornucopia. (Or an all-you-can-eat buffet?)

IMG_7733IMG_7761And we spent some time brainstorming intriguing indoor activities for when the cold weather comes. We came up with some good ones, too! But you’ll just have to wait and see to find out what they were.

Or…

If you’re a curious, brave, body-positive woman and would like to find out before the fact rather than after — if you’d like to take part in the fun — you can. Just drop us a note at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. The warm weather may be almost gone, but the fun will go on.

IMG_7817IMG_7821IMG_7828Even the day after Thanksgiving.

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IMG_7059Back in May — four months ago now — one of our favorite websites, Jezebel, came to an event we held in Central Park, to film a video piece about our group and the 25th anniversary of the legal decision that established that women in New York have the same right to go topless in public places that men do.

IMG_6608IMG_6612IMG_6553A few days later, they joined us a second time, to film some more footage, this time of one of our members stopping random strangers in Central Park and talking with them about toplessness and equal rights.

IMG_7103IMG_7111IMG_7126IMG_7120Our hope was to see the video run sometime around the anniversary, which was in July.

IMG_7183If you don’t remember ever seeing that video, it’s not your memory that’s at fault. June came and went; the anniversary came and went; August came and went; and now it’s mid-September, and still no video. It’s also not the fault of the excellent videographer who shot and edited the piece, Phoebe Bradford — but for some reason the piece just hasn’t run. Why? We don’t know.

IMG_6513Is it because they didn’t get any footage worth running? Probably not; as recently as August 9, Phoebe wrote, “Excited for the piece to come out!” The only explanation she mentioned for the continuing delay was some concern on the part of Jezebel’s lawyers about not having written releases from every single person they’d filmed. Of course, we wouldn’t have given the interviews in the first place if we didn’t want them used — it’s not like we didn’t know we had a camera pointed at us. (Plus, we were out in a public place! The middle of Central Park!) And we were never asked to sign releases when the New York Times produced a video about us, or either of the times that Salon did. In principle we’d be willing to sign releases this time, but they didn’t ask us to back in May, and by now some of the people they filmed back in May are unreachable — they’re traveling, have gone back to school, have moved or changed email addresses, etc. Some we can contact, some we can’t. But everyone who stood up in front of a camera and spoke for sure intended for the interview to be used. Thinking otherwise is simply bizarre.

IMG_7090So we remain hopeful that Jezebel will eventually let you watch the piece Phoebe shot and edited, and that we gladly participated in. If they don’t want to run it themselves, we hope they’ll share the footage with us so that, if nothing else, we can run it here, on our own site. But until they do one or the other — and there’s no guarantee they’ll do either — we thought we’d at least finally show you some photos we took at these events, and give you a taste of the video that might have been.

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There were not only interviews with us and ones conducted by us, but also a game of topless frisbee!

IMG_7153IMG_7155IMG_7165Now, what sort of cold-hearted villain could possibly capture that on film and not release it…?

Lawyers. That’s who.

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IMG_6346Last summer, we produced an all-female, all-nude staging of Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest, outdoors in Central Park, and it was a huge success: hundreds of people came to see the play in person, and millions more — literally — read or heard about it in media coverage ranging from NBC News and Salon to every major newspaper in the U.K. (They love it when Americans experiment with Shakespeare, apparently.)

img_3506One recurring theme in the comment section of online coverage, however, went like this: “They could only do this because it was women — try it with naked men and they’d get arrested!” Well, we all know a challenge when we hear one. So our Tempest directors sat down to plan an all-nude, all-male production of Hamlet. 

IMG_6354That production was staged this summer, first in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and then, just this past week, in Central Park, at the foot of the beautifully appropriate King Jagiello statue. Again hundreds of people came, and — lo and behold, no arrests. Just a marvelous production of a great play.

IMG_6343Audience members ranged from 6 to 66, roughly speaking, and at neither end was offense taken, though the youngest viewers seem to have found the iambic pentameter somewhat hard to follow.

IMG_6326Will there be another production next summer, and if so, with what genders performing? Still to be decided. We like to come up with different things to do each year. But we’re thrilled to have helped establish a new tradition: nude Shakespeare in the park. Enjoyed by all, of harm to none, bringing a fresh view to 400-year-old plays and a glimpse of freedom to the public spaces of New York City. The sight of a bared breast doesn’t cause society’s foundations to crack, nor does the sight of a vulva, nor of a penis.

IMG_6325The beauty of the world, Shakespeare wrote, the paragon of animals…in form and moving, how express and admirable; in action, how like an angel, in apprehension, how like a god! And: There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

We are animals all — and angels all. Our naked bodies are no more than we were born with, the common currency of all humanity, and to hate another’s is to hate yourself.

Or as a playwright once put it, we hold the mirror up to nature. What you see in it is yours to grapple with.

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IMG_5038After all the media coverage our production of The Tempest received — newspaper after newspaper, website after website — we didn’t think it could get any better. But we were wrong.

Salon just ran a gorgeous, thoughtful video piece about us, filmed by Janet Upadhye and Peter Cooper, titled This NSFW nude production of “The Tempest” is the most brave and beautiful thing you will see today. In it, you can see some really stunning footage from the performance along with interviews with two of the actors in the show as well as one of the show’s directors.

IMG_4862Not to be outdone, NBC News ran a video story of their own — Female Cast Performs Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ in Central Park — in the Nude, filmed by Jennifer Weiss  — featuring interviews with audience members, and with another of our actors.

IMG_4809The combination of these two pieces really goes a long way toward illuminating our motives for putting on this play and demonstrating that we were able to get our message across. It is honestly one of the most gratifying experiences any of us have ever had, and the fact that it has now reached not just hundreds of people in the park but millions around the world makes us so very proud.

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IMG_7358Over several months last year, the tireless and wonderful Deborah Acosta — crack reporter for the New York Times — met with us, interviewed us, interviewed other people about us, and generally dug into the story of gender equality, attempts to regulate female bodies, and the Freeing of the Nipple. The result is today’s wonderful video essay on the topic, which you can see here.

We salute the Times for covering the story at all, and for doing so bravely: unlike most media outlets that have reported on us, they didn’t blur our breasts or edit around them or otherwise censor us. They simply presented us as we are. Hats off to them — and shirts too. 🙂