As female celebrities (and women in general) continue to be publicly shamed for posting topless photos, this year's GoTopless Day feels especially important. The event, which aims to normalize and legalize public toplessness for women, took place yesterday, and it inspired women from New York City to Los Angeles to march for their right to bare their breasts. And, true to their mission, they marched topless.
But as much as GoTopless Day is about raising awareness to legalize female toplessness nationwide, the goal isn't to sensationalize breasts or women's bodies. "It's...to show people that it can be normal, that it's really not a big deal, and it's not about getting attention or protesting," Kia Sinclair, the event coordinator for a march in New Hampshire, told the Associated Press.
As of now, the legality of toplessness varies by state, and in some cases the language around public indecency is so ambiguous it's difficult to determine. So even if toplessness isn't expressly illegal, women still may not be protected by the law to go topless when they choose. GoTopless president Nadine Gray connected the organization's cause to the fight for women's suffrage: "This push for women to go topless in the 21st century is as strong as women wanting to vote in the 20th century," Gray said, adding that women baring their breasts "may be sensual, but it's not illegal to be sensual."
In other words, women shouldn't be penalized for the way other people sexualize their bodies. Click ahead to see photos from yesterday's marches. (Oh, and if you missed GoTopless Day yesterday but are still interested in celebrating, here are four more reasons to try going sans shirt — not that you really need a reason.)