Nipples: they won’t actually poke your eye out, you know.

Anne Hathaway is lovely

You look Marvelous.

The first hint I had that nipples were on the menu at the Oscars was a tweet that mentioned Anne Hathaway on the red carpet. And when I took a look at mentions of her nipples all over twitter, there was horror and ick! and giggling and jokes about the nipples getting to the red carpet before she did. And the comments were mainly from women – women who are smart and funny and together.

It was confusing because I think nipples are awesome. They can help out with weather forecasts. They are sexy. They are troopers if you choose to breastfeed. And most of all, they are a part of the human (and mammalian) body. Unless you’re Barbie – then they are too raunchy and must be removed and smoothed over.

I am sympathetic to nipple-phobia. When I was teaching high school, I always wore a heavily padded bra despite not needing support for my barely A’s.  The one reason I wore lots of boob padding was to cover up my nipples. Because really, high school students don’t need more distractions – and yes: nipples are distracting. But on the red carpet? With plunging necklines and side-boob and sheer all over and lots of leg? Who cares about pointy, dart-lined nipples? Who cares that the person attached to those nipples had her evening of triumph (she won, right?) overshadowed by silliness about co-presenters getting poked in the eye by her nipples. (It could happen. More than one baby has been poked in the eye by a nipple. I read it on the Internet.)

Shortly after the Nipple Emergency on the Oscars red carpet, there was the Boobs song to open the show. This brought on angry tweets and blog posts about the sexism and poor taste in singing about women’s boobs. It was similar to the outrage when there was live mention of Michael Fassbender’s penis to Michael Fassbender’s face last year during a similar awards show. Oh wait. That wasn’t outrage; it was giggling. But penises are different, right? And also giggling about a member of the US Rowing Team is different. Because they are men and penises are symbols of power. So making jokes and pointing and laughing at a penis is okay. Who cares that there is a person attached to that symbol of power?

Hmmmm. I see her nipples! versus I saw your boobs! versus OMG! He sure looks excited to win!

All I’m hoping for is a little leeway for nipples, especially the erect ones. Basically, if people – real people – can be hurt and offended and scarred and made to feel “less than” (going back to graduate school with that one) by how we talk about their bodies, shouldn’t that apply to everyone? I don’t know – kind of a “lead by example” sort of thing? I guess I’m just a humorless, albeit perky, bundle of objections lately. And I really hate wearing a bra.

Need some low-key reading and relaxation this weekend? Head on over to the yeah write moonshine grid. It’s all good.

About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
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37 Responses to Nipples: they won’t actually poke your eye out, you know.

  1. Great post!
    I did notice Ann’s nipples when I watched part of the Oscars, but my reaction was more like “I wonder if she’s wearing a bra. Sigh, I bet she’s not because her boobs are all perky. I wish I would not have to wear a bra. Sigh.” or something like that…

    • I didn’t watch the red carpet at all – and only about two minutes of the Oscars before switching over to The Walking Dead. So my take was the reactions first. Then I was disappointed that the photos of the Nipples were hardly shocking. And yes, having the option to not wear a bra is lovely. The only downside is that they aren’t big enough to disguise the belly. Which clearly Anne Hathaway doesn’t need, but I wouldn’t mind it. 🙂

  2. I am with you on that no-bra thing. Pro-nipple, all the way.

  3. TriGirl says:

    I didn’t see the Oscars but I guess people don’t like nipples unless they are in very specific context…like the guys during weigh in on The Biggest Loser.

    • That’s probably true. But when Janet’s nipple was exposed (with cool jewelry!) people rushed to defend her exposure. Rightly so, I say! So it’s kind of funny to hear satin (silk? something shiny?) covered nipples being referred to as “icky” or whatever. (How many times can I get “nipple” into this comment?)

  4. Robbie says:

    I didn’t watch the Oscars and I haven’t heard about nipple drama yet.

  5. You know, the thing is that in a weird way, that Red Carpet Walk (the Tom and Lorenzo site, which if you don’t know you should) calls it “poledancing” is all about airbrushed celebs showing sanitized, waxed, botoxed, and bronzer-ed body parts in carefully calibrated “peekaboos.” So Anne’s faux-nipples or her nipple darts or whatever seem “shocking” in part bc it seemed unscripted. Yes, of course, one would hope that women would rise above finger-wagging at nipples (a weird image) but there is also the whole Anne Hathaway backlash, so perhaps they were finger-wagging at HER and her nips just were a convenient excuse. Regardless, your post hits the nail (the nip?) right on the head, as it were.

    • Marking “Tom and Lorenzo site” in my memory banks. That’s true. I’m so not into celebrity stuff (just their nipples, apparently) that I didn’t even know that Anne Hathaway had backlash. I’ve loved her in so many films (and even chatted about her with Dame Julie Andrews!) that I was oblivious. And she’s from New Jersey. So there’s that.

      And I think it would be flicked the nip on the head, not hit.

      Going to visit T&L now.

  6. I don’t have a television so of course I didn’t watch the Oscars, and even I heard about the nipples. I wonder if she suffered middle-school agony over it, or felt like Mabel in Virginia Woolf’s story “The New Dress”? Or just thought, “Screw you all. I won.”

  7. I, like you, tuned into Walking Dead instead. You know Ann went to Millburn HS, where my son now goes. The announcement board in front of the school congratulates her for her win with no mention of nipples!

  8. Bee says:

    My only problem with her dress is the color. It doesn’t flatter her skin tone.

  9. Emma says:

    All Anne did for me was WISH I had nipples that still stuck straight out like guns. Instead, I’m stuck with the ones I have which can only point towards China.

  10. Too funny. I didn’t watch the Oscars because we were away at a quick weekend at Disney World. Which makes me wonder, does Minnie Mouse have nipples? Of course she must. She probably has six or eight. Most likely an even number though.

  11. Meg says:

    It seemed to me her dress was merely well contructed to give the effect…with those darts anyone would look perky. I didnt understand the fuss at all. I hated the boob song too…gosh most actresses have done a nude scene, I’m sure that’s what they want to be hailed for at the oscars

    • I don’t know if I’d call it well-constructed – although Prada might disagree. I think this is exactly what the Academy producers wanted – a bunch of silliness being talked about and written about blah blah blah. I thought the boob song was juvenile, kind of like Seth MacFarlane (I’ve only ever seen him host the Comedy Central Roasts, so the Academy Awards were pretty tame comparatively). But since I didn’t watch the Oscars, I only watched the video after seeing the backlash, so I expected a lot worse. It’s so damn catchy.

  12. Alison says:

    So people aren’t over nipples and boobs yet? Bah. 🙂

  13. Jen says:

    I didn’t care about the nipples, but I thought it was a really weird spot to put darts in a satin dress. Very jarring, but maybe that was the designer’s point? I don’t understand dress design!

  14. Mercy says:

    I didn’t even notice her nipples until the media made a big deal out of it.

  15. This is pretty much the greatest thing I’ve read all weekend. You’ve got mad skills, girl.

  16. My bafflement with that dress, which was not a primary concern since I was too busy juggling diapers and snot to watch the tv, was why none of the gazillion people surrounding her 24 hours a day failed to point (ha ha) the problem out to her.

  17. Mical Moser says:

    I loved this blog post, by the way. Can’t we all stop acting like 10 year olds?

  18. You know, there’s a product on the market to “cover up” the whole problem — see #3 in my list of favorite products (

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