Rachael Yaeger

Rachael Yaeger is the kind of woman who seems most comfortable in a beanie, jeans, and sneakers. But, don't let her tomboy sensibilities fool you: She has a whole other feminine side that she's showcasing in the most unexpected way. It's called Topless Blading, and it's exactly what it sounds like.
As the project's cofounder, Yaeger encourages women to bare their breasts — it’s legal in New York City — and embrace their bodies, while giving a little love to the old-school sport of rollerblading. When she's not cruising through NYC with her fellow body-loving bladers, she's showcasing the visionary work of female artists at Human NYC gallery. Yaeger's got a message to get out, and she’s not afraid to reveal all if that’s what it takes to spread the word.

Why I take my top off
"In Europe, there just isn’t this whole societal hang-up about being topless. Why should there be one here? I was photographed topless in McCarren Park, Brooklyn — I was sitting on a bench, leaning against a tree. People were running by. There was a woman with a stroller. No one blinked or really gave a fuck. It was probably the most empowering moment I’ve had. I felt bold, I felt daring, and I wanted to embrace that. I got a coffee afterward, and I was like, what the hell would’ve happened if I had ordered a coffee topless? I felt like I wanted to provoke the entire world and see what they thought of me."

Taking the message further
“To me, beauty is all about confidence and just owning what you’re doing and who you are. So, if that’s blading topless with my best friend, I’m not going to apologize for that. But, it’s not just about topless women on rollerblades. Hopefully, the idea of what we’re doing motivates women and men to do whatever it is they love and really accept who they are. We're all about empowering women and working with female artists at Human NYC — our first show was called the Babe Show. The people I’ve collaborated with have been so supportive with such a can-do attitude. If I can work with women like this for the rest of my life, I can do anything.”


On mixed messages
“At our Topless Show at the gallery, I noticed these two dudes waiting in line for the bathroom. I went up to them and was like, 'Hi guys, this is our space and our show. Is there anything I can help you with?’ They were like, ‘Well, how do I get into the topless show?' And, I was like, 'Dude, it’s not a peep show. That’s a bathroom. I don’t have a naked woman back there.' People think we’re using tits to make a splash, but, no, we are really feisty females here and proud of our bodies."

What I do to feel glamorous
“I got fake eyelashes for the first time a couple months ago, and that made me feel like a million bucks. I didn’t have to apply mascara. I didn’t really have to wear makeup, and that made me feel really confident. I’m a little scared of makeup, but I think I thrive when I’m out of my comfort zone. There’s no way I would’ve had the balls to do purple smoky eyes myself, but I think I look awesome. This is hair and makeup done in a really daring way, and I trust it with everything I have.”

Zara Jumpsuit; 
H&M Gold Bralette; 
Rila NYC Ring; 
Tibi Caspian Heels, $365, available at Tibi; 
Lyralovestar Gold Star Necklace.
Hair by Bethany Brill; makeup by Ashleigh Ciucci; styled by Laura Pritchard.

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