There are lots of boobies at Burning Man.
Even if you don’t make the trip to the Playa -you’ve certainly heard about it with articles like Man Grabs Over 100 Boobs at Burning Man.
It can appear as if Burning Man is just another Vegas-style vacation, complete with free-running alcohol and drugs and topless dance parties where the only purpose of a tit is to be grabbed.
And, from recent articles-it seems those parties are required to be filled with women who’s entire reason for being there is to provide men with a more exciting Facebook and/or Twitter feed by providing tit pics.
I challenge this.
Burning Man is a place for Boobies to feel free!
How do I know this?
Two years ago, my friend Darcy and I embarked upon a Pastie Project.
Inspired by the story of a friend’s mom who had a mastectomy (and who wanted to attend the Burn and go topless) AND disappointed by the lack of imagination and style of those girls using duct tape to cover their nips with an X-we spent months creating gorgeous pasties.
We spent months sniffing glue, applying Swarovski crystals, sewing leather fringe and imagining who the lucky beneficiaries of our Pasties would be on the Playa.
(oh, and we also wrote limericks- blame the glue sniffing)
71 days and what do I see?
Something pretty in the form of a pastie
Sparkly and fluffy and Marilyn-like
Guaranteed to stay in place while riding your bike
Where do I find such a Beauty you ask?
Just show up on the Playa and put US to task!
For Darcy and Autumn are glue-gunning like mad
To ensure no pictures surface that are embarrassing to Dad
So, while you are out now drinking and frolicking and things
We are hard at work affixing your BLING!!!
Thanks to another friend, we had a decorative suitcase in which to store our bling-so we set out on the Playa to inspire, motivate and empower.
It was even better than we thought. As two heterosexual girls with no obvious agenda-we were able to approach and meet amazing woman (and men!) by offering a gift of our pasties.
What we found were amazing women who were a little shy about baring their breasts. No surprise-
In many states-toplessness is demonized or even banned.
In Canada, women won the right to go topless in 1996 but, while NY Supreme Court ruled in favor of gender topless equality in 1992-a woman was arrested in 2005 for going topless in a NY public park. She served a 16 day jail sentence for refusing to pay her fines.
Three states still have a COMPLETE ban on toplessness- Utah, Indiana and Tennessee and many cities circumvent more liberal state laws with local ordinances that make the baring of female breasts in public punishable by fines or imprisonment.
No wonder women flee to places like Burning Man where they can breastfeed in public, ride their bikes topless or maybe even wear decorative pasties as a celebration of their boobies!!
In this spirit Darcy and I offered our Pastie Gifts to women who seemed a little shy and hesitant and gave them the option of
1) refusing the Pasties overall
2) pinning the Pasties on their shirts with a safety pin
3) putting the Pasties right on their bare boobies
We only took photos if given consent- we let the women (and men) put the pasties on themselves if they felt more comfortable that way and we gracefully took No for an answer if it wasn’t a gift they wanted.
It was amazing to see how THRILLED women felt to wear the pasties.
Some pasties Marilyn Monroe influenced, some Jack-O-Lantern design, even a pair with a Janky Owl (glue sniffing inspired) and of course Mustache-styled ones!
One girl in a wheelchair picked out our Nurse pasties which matched her outfit PERFECTLY-she was so happy her boyfriend chased us afterwards to thank us for ‘making her Burn’.
Before our project-I thought the reaction to creepy guys taking boob shots was to cover up, move away and feel embarrassed for having the nerve to go topless.
Now, I realize that it’s even MORE important for women to take control back over our bodies-to go topless when we want and to demystify bare breasts.
This year-I wore a pair of our sheer, jeweled pasties and spun fire topless-something I’d been to shy to do before.
So, while there are lots of creepers ‘grabbing boobies’ and sneaky tit photo journalists-I believe there is space on the Playa for women to proudly bare their breasts and take a little power back (with or sans Pasties!)
Bobbies are beautiful– titties are enticing-mammaries are magnificient and so are (most) of those who admire them.
Maybe on the Playa next year we can Burn our Bras to celebrate bare boobies-after all, bras are flammable for a reason, aren’t they?