Thursday, 5 June 2014

N is for Nipple Pride

Everybody knows that there are two kinds of nipple. 

The first kind of nipple looks like a nipple, or, perhaps, a kitten's nose. Gentle but perky, with a hint of moist juiciness, it is usually attached to what family newspaper editors* like David Dinsmore like to call hooters, funbagsor chumbawombas. It can also be seen on a daily basis through pretty much anything worn by Rihanna or Beyonce. 

The second kind of nipple, conversely, looks like something you might find stuck to your shoe i.e chewing gum. Often the result of extreme breastfeeding, which in the UK means breastfeeding for more than three days, it could also (apparently) be mistaken for an attack of ringworm, or a scary witch's teat, which is why you never see it featured in newspapers, magazines, campaign billboards, or on the catwalks at New York Fashion Show

Not so long ago, I was confronted by a nip of the second variety on Embarrassing Bodies, when a concerned mother of three made the mistake of showing her cherub-chafed titties to telly doctor, Dr Christian Jessen. Drawing back the curtains (of his hair) and looking slightly bewildered, Dr Christian reassured the mother that "for someone who had breastfed three children", her nipples were, er, "okay". (Rumour has it that he also said, "Frankly m'dear, your nipples look like you've been suckling Satan. And all of his goats. But as an older woman, that's the least of your fucking worries." Which they must have edited out … )

Examples of Dr Jessen's sensitive engagement with women's issues on Twitter 
Now whilst I don't approve of Dr Christian's dismissive attitude (and I'm sure the mother in question was very cross for forgetting to reassure Dr Christian that although he had really shit hair, he had an inimitable bedside manner), I can nevertheless see where he's coming from. Because unless you're in the habit of drawing attention-seeking circles around your nipples using rhinestones and body glue, like those rad 'feminists' over at Cosmopolitan suggest, or unless your nipples are angled up by exactly 20 degrees with a picture-perfect ratio of breast tissue above and below, as described in The Times, or unless you're Head Nipple-Flaunter Rihanna/Beyonce/Scout Willis, I don't quite understand why would you give a flying fuck if your jalobies are a tiny bit less perfect than they once were? Seriously. 

Unless of course, you live in a society that  bombards you with images of perfect norks - and nipples - each and everyday. Perish the thought. 
Image courtesy of Closer
* Just to clarify. When I say family newspaper editor, I mean prick. 


  1. Dr Christian indeed. Perhaps a suitable counter to his intense smugness would be to bombard him with pictures & concerns regarding our post-breastfeeding nipples. I'm thinking Reek from Game of Thrones levels of submission. Is that weird??

  2. What a brilliant thought. Or pics of extreme breastfeeders like Lysa from Game of Thrones, although those were falsies judging by their pristine condition. What a touching scene that was...

  3. Pretty appalled by the doctor's responses on twitter - you can't beat a nice dose of empathy..... but at least he 'reassured' that woman her nips were fine after all the breast feeding she'd done.... not like like those abnormal things the models wear and what all women's mammaries should aspire to. X

  4. Scout Willis has started a campaign called Free the Nipple, which is a protest against nipples censorship, and which basically means she gets to walk topless around New York showing off her perfect rich little white girl boobies, which I'm sure will totally subvert the status quo! NOT. Free the Real Nipple - that's what I say!