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The Community Chest


The Community Chest


Naturists understand that there is no big deal about exposing the human chest. That the male and female nipple should be treated with total equality. No naturist would act like the breast needs covering, is taboo or shocking, or that seeing it is titillating. Sadly though much of society does not view the human body with such a healthy and relaxed attitude.


This article intends to help find a sensible attitude towards the human nipple and through the companion project encourage naturist and non-naturist women and men from all over the world to share images of their natural chests to help normalise and demystify the attitude towards this part of the body. Find out how you can get involved at the end of this article.


Part 1 – The Male and Female Chest


Breasts are big business.


Sex sells. Women’s breasts are seen everywhere. On television, at the movies, in magazines, on billboards. Breasts are a sexualised commodity, and companies use them in their search for profit. Breasts are used to entice people into bars and clubs, to draw people onto websites, to up magazine sales, film and TV ratings and to sell virtually any product on the market – and not just bras.


Although the bra industry itself is roughly estimated at around $25 billion worldwide. Bras are often used to attract attention to the breast but also keep the female nipple under wraps. Enhancing and shaming in equal measures. Creating a passion to view them with exposure bringing a big profit to many varied industries. The female chest has no equality in general society and places women in the unhealthy situation of being seen as sex objects. Not just offensive but also dangerous. The purposefully driven obsession for the female breast doesn't just demean women but also entices weaker members of society to attack, abuse and rape women.


One of the greatest hurdles we face as naturists is overcoming the attitudes created by this obsession. The inability for some to consider the female form as anything but sexual and the concern of women that even in a naturist environment they will be seen that way. While the female chest is given so much importance, it is hard to imagine how it can ever be viewed with equality, and many women sadly encourage that attitude. It is not just the male of the species who are obsessed by the breast. Many women see their breasts as a symbol of their own attractiveness and sexuality; like men they judge themselves through the size and look of their breasts and this can make some women feel lacking for not measuring up. This can result in depression, lack of confidence, self abuse and opting for cosmetic augmentation.


Somewhere society has lost all proportion when it comes to the breast. Social media offers distorted ideals of a 'normal' body image that results in a self-imposed pressure to conform. Emotionally and literally we are guilty of making mountains out of molehills.


Some basic facts about the breast.


Breast size is hereditary. There is an equal chance of inheriting chest size from either parent. So sisters can have very different breasts.


Breast asymmetry, or uneven breasts, can be very common. One breast (generally the left) is usually about one fifth larger than the other. Breasts can vary in size or shape for several reasons—genetics, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and certain medical conditions. Some studies suggest that uneven breasts might raise the risk of breast cancer. It is wise to talk to your doctor if you ever notice any unexpected changes in your breasts.


The average breast size is getting larger. The average breast weighs between one and two pounds or about 0.75 of a kilogram. The woman with the largest natural breasts carries 100 pounds (45 kilos) on her chest.

Breasts change size due to body weight, pregnancy, breast-feeding, menopause and birth control pills. Breasts can also grow during the menstrual cycle and are at their smallest in the days following the period.


Breasts have a complex system of glands and ducts, which also includes the nipple. And underneath each breast is muscle, as well as fibrous tissue that separates it from your ribs. As we age our breasts do turn mostly into fat.


Unless you have corrective surgery, getting older means your breasts will sag over time. Smoking has been found to also encourage sagging and sleeping on your stomach.

About 6% of the population has a third (or more) nipple with extra breast tissue. These extra breasts can also lactate.


The first breast augmentation surgery took place in 1962.

We are the only primates with permanent breasts, other primates' breasts grow only when they're breast feeding.


Nipples and areola


We all have them, regardless of gender, however, with breasts having been sexualised in women long ago, females nipples are given more attention. There are four types of nipples: protruding, flat, puffy, and inverted and they are all normal.


The areola, the dark-coloured skin on the breast that surrounds the nipple, can vary in size from one person to the next. Some people are simply born with big areolae, while others have smaller ones.


Areolae can also change in size as you age, gain or lose weight, or experience hormonal changes: puberty, pregnancy, breast-feeding, periods, menopause. The average female areola size: 67.1 millimetres, or just over 2.5 inches in diameter. The average male areola size: 26.6 millimetres, or roughly 1 inch in diameter. Larger areolae may be somewhat less sensitive to touch.


Estrogen controls the growth of the ducts, which is why the areolae and nipples tend to get firmer and the ducts more prominent during the middle stages of the menstrual cycle when estrogen levels are at their highest.


Progesterone controls the growth of the areola, which is why they grow during pregnancy when progesterone levels increase.


In males, areola sizes can change due to drops in the male hormone: testosterone.


Men and women both have nipples and there is no good reason why equality should not exist.


Males and females are built with the same genetic blueprint. Our embryos start off the same and begin to differentiate during the initial weeks, by which time the nipples already exist.


Embryos are the same until week six or seven, when the sex genes—called the X and Y chromosomes—dictate whether the baby will be born female or male. Both sexes have one X chromosome. A second X chromosome defines a female and an additional Y chromosome defines a male.


The Y chromosome leads to the development of the testes in males. Female embryos undergo changes in the mammary cells, starting with the development of a pit at the centre of each nipple. This will gradually form a depression that connects to a lactiferous (milk-producing) duct. This happens to some degree in males, but it is far less profound and developed.


The nipples of men and women contain a dense supply of nerves and are virtually indistinguishable until puberty, when they go through distinctive changes. Male nipples tend to end up being smaller than female nipples. There is less variation among male nipples than female nipples. The nipples of both sexes also function as an important erogenous zone.


Men do not usually produce milk but the male breast can lactate if under the influence of the hormone prolactin.


Gynecomastia is the enlargement of male breasts that can occur in older men as testosterone levels drop. Gynecomastia can trigger the enlargement of the nipples and areolae. It is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in men. Gynecomastia can also affect adolescent boys undergoing puberty, the condition is temporary. Male breast reduction or gynecomastia surgery is a procedure used to treat men with enlarged breasts.


Male chest reduction is one of the most frequently requested male cosmetic surgery procedures. Which is just one example of how the male and female chest are actually given similar emotional consideration.



Breast Augmentation


In 2019 there was around 450 000 breast augmentation and breast lift procedures in the USA. The USA has around 456 cosmetic procedures per 100 000. Brazil has the highest ratio with 715 per 100 000 and the UK a mere 40 per 100 000. Reports seem to suggest that breast enlargement is actually becoming less popular, but like their male counterparts more women are seeking breast reductions than previously. Though facial cosmetic surgery is now leading the way in popularity growth, some believe this is due to the increase of people working from home and having video conferences.



Nipple Piercing


Cosmetic surgery is not the only way men and women change the appearance of their chest. Nipple piercings have become increasing common in recent years. Despite the fact that nipple piercings are seen as one of the more painful piercing options in existence. However, the pain is said to ends once the piercing is done—assuming your piercer is a pro. A proper nipple piercing is done at the base of the nipple, and not through the areola. The healing time is lengthy, up to 4-6 months on average, though some can take a year or more. During this time you are advised to administer a sterile saline regimen 2-3 times daily.


Sexual arousal created by stimulation of the areola and nipple is reported to be enhanced by piercing and many claim an increase in sensitivity and arousal after having their nipples pierced. The piercing makes nipples more sensitive and erect and draws attention to them. This has been cited to be one of the main factors that has lead to an increase of men and women requesting this procedure.


It is the concern that nipple piercing is not just decorative but also sexual that has seen some naturists and naturist clubs argue against nipple piercings. They also claim that it draws unnecessary attention to the breasts which naturists shouldn't be attempting to do. Whether these views are right or wrong seems immaterial as the popularity of nipple piercing has ultimately made it widely accepted.


The most popular view about body choices in naturism (tattoos, piercings, cosmetic surgery, shaving) is very much live and let live. An admirable trait.



Breast Cancer


Not all surgery on breasts are completed for cosmetic reasons. More than 100 000 U.S. women undergo some form of mastectomy each year. Typically performed to treat breast cancer and in some cases, to prevent the risk of breast cancer.


Breast cancer in men is not unheard of it; it grows in the small amount of breast tissue men have behind their nipples usually in men over 60, but primarily it effects women.


It is the most common type of cancer for women in the UK. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50. About 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Thankfully, there's a good chance of recovery if it's detected at an early stage. For this reason, it's vital that women check their breasts regularly for any changes and always have any changes examined by a GP. Taking part in mammographic screenings is the most commonly available way of finding a change in your breast tissue (lesion) at an early stage.


Breast cancer can have several symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by a doctor.


You should also see a GP if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts

  • discharge from either nipple which may be streaked with blood

  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits

  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts

  • a rash on or around your nipple

  • a change in the appearance of your nipple


Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

There are certain factors known to increase the risk of breast cancer.


These include:

  • age– the risk increases as you get older

  • a family history of breast cancer

  • a previous diagnosis of breast cancer

  • a previous non-cancerous (benign) breast lump

  • being tall, overweight or obese

  • smoking – it is worth noting that smokers who suffer from breast cancer are also less likely to recover

  • drinking alcohol


Breast Cancer Awareness Month


The fact that breast cancer is so common has inevitably led to it receiving a lot of attention. October has become known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. BCAM was founded in 1985. A major aim of the BCAM has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer. Major charities work at increasing awareness of breast cancer and raising money for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.


BCAM has been criticised for; avoiding discussion of the causes and prevention of breast cancer, pinkwashing (describing the actions of companies that manufacture and use chemicals that show a link with breast cancer and at the same time publicly support charities focused on curing the disease), and the marketing of "pink products" and tie-ins some state that that more money is spent marketing these campaigns than is donated to the cause, some companies cap the amount that the purchase of these products can raise for the charities and others simply do not donate at all. If you wish to donate it is simply best to go direct to the charity rather than through buying third party products.


The third week of October is "Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week". Reminding people that “Men Get Breast Cancer Too!”



No Bra Day


This falls on October 13 in the middle of BCAM. Women are encouraged to go braless as a means to encourage breast cancer awareness. No Bra Day was initially on July 9, 2011, and moved to the October 13th in 2014. It has also been used to encourage gender equality. Some women embrace No Bra Day as a political statement others simply prefer the comfort of discarding a restrictive and uncomfortable garment. A joy totally understood by naturists. An increasing number of women, especially younger women, have expressed a dislike of bras and are giving up wearing them. The removal of the bra is also seen by some as an escape from bondage.


The day does not come without its critics. Some believe it is misused and actually sexualises and exploits women's bodies. And others remind us that wearing bras has not be proved to cause breast cancer and so the removal of them may simply belittle the cause and distract us from the more serious issues involved.


It seems that society likes to create a controversy about the female chest. For many the best response is to fight for equality.



The Fight for Topless Equality


Topfreedom is one such movement seeking a change in laws to allow women to be bare-chested in public places where men are already permitted to do the same. Fighting for equality and the right for mothers to openly breastfeed in public.


Societies often consider women who expose their nipples and areolae as immodest and Topfreedom seeks to change community attitudes to breasts as sex objects or indecent.


Several countries in Europe have decriminalised non-sexual toplessness. Many countries have no specific law prohibiting nudity at all in public places and others only have laws restricting exposure of the genitals. Topless swimming and sunbathing on beaches has become acceptable in many parts of Europe, though the practice still remains controversial and wearing tops is still more common. Privately owned public swimming pools have the right to set their own dress code and that may include insisting on breasts being covered.


Go Topless Day during the last week of August each year also looks at this inequality. An annual event to support the right of women to go topless on grounds of gender equality.

Gender Recognition

The whole concept of drawing lines between men and women is becoming more and more blurred. The world simply can not say that there is a clear divide between the sexes. The idea therefore of differentiating between the male and the female chest is not just pointless and unfair but also increasingly impossible. 

Society and the media will have to properly acknowledge this at some point. This may result in all chests being given equal status. Will this result in a blanket ban of all nipples or a complete acceptance towards the uncovered chest?   





One of the strongest arguments for topless gender equality and a greater acceptance of society towards the female breast has to be in its support of breastfeeding.


In many countries around the world, breast feeding in public is not unusual. In recent years the majority of U.S states have passed laws explicitly permitting “nursing” in public. The United States federal government enacted a law in 1999 which provides that "a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a Federal building or on Federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location.” However, these laws generally do not apply to rules imposed by private organizations or on private property, such as restaurants, airlines, or shopping malls.


We must not forget that the reason there are differences in chests between the genders is the fact that the female breasts is designed to supply nutrients to our babies.


The World Health Organisation states that: Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. However, they also point out that nearly 2 out of 3 infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended 6 months—a rate that has not improved in 2 decades.


Breast-milk is the ideal food for infants. It is safe, clean and contains antibodies which help protect against many common childhood illnesses. Breast-milk provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one third during the second year of life. It is not only available on tap, at any time without the need of sterilising bottles and it is also served at a perfect temperature.


It is reported that breastfed children perform better on intelligence tests, are less likely to be overweight or obese and less prone to diabetes later in life. Women who breastfeed also have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers.


Sadly, inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes continues to undermine efforts to improve breastfeeding rates and duration around the world.


Breastfeeding is a skill that takes time to get the hang of, but once mastered, it is the easiest and most satisfying way to feed a baby.


Breast milk is tailor-made for human babies, it contains vitamins and minerals and is always available. It offers protection from certain infections and helps improve a child's long-term health. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), childhood diabetes and leukaemia.


Many laws protect breastfeeding mothers. Most countries legally allow women to breastfeed in public. In the UK that might be a café, shop, library or on public transport - any business that provides a service to the public. The Equality Act 2010 states that it is sex discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably if she is breastfeeding. The Scottish Parliament passed legislation safeguarding the freedom of women to breastfeed in public in 2005. The legislation allows for fines of up to £2,500 for preventing breastfeeding of a child up to the age of two years in public places


It is estimated that around 63% of mothers across the world have publicly breast-fed. A 2004 UK Department of Health survey found that 84% (about five out of six people) find breastfeeding in public acceptable if done discreetly; however, 67% (two out of three) of mothers were worried about general opinion being against public breastfeeding.


Sadly some mothers simply feel awkward about breastfeeding due to body image issues, fear, lack of confidence and modesty. Some mothers feel uncomfortable about exposing their breasts to nurses and health workers, others have a lack of support from older generations who feel there is a stigma attached to breast-feeding. Society's obsession with the female breast inevitably has effects on how comfortable some women feel about breastfeeding. Some people see breasts as sexual objects and are unable to move past that idea.


However, the majority of people don't mind a woman breastfeeding her child and simply don't notice. Breastfeeding mothers who feel a little self conscious should remember that the more it is done, the more normal it will become.



Striving for Normality, Equality and Acceptance


We have created this article and project because like breastfeeding we believe the more we see breasts the more “normalised” they become. The idea of giving the female nipple an equality with the male nipple does not just support the ideas of naturism, but it also encourages gender equality, promotes complete acceptance of breastfeeding, confronts body issues and confidence.


By taking the taboo away from the female nipple we can remove the sexualisation of the breast and help take away the mystery of what natural breasts actually look like. By becoming aware of the huge spectrum of shape and size we can help women and men find comfort in what they natural have and not feel lacking, ashamed or the need to look for augmentation based purely on cosmetic reasons.


The human chest comes in so many natural varieties and they are all valid, acceptable and suitable. We need to create a balance and combat the idea that the female nipple is any more shocking than the male nipple.


Part Two


The Community Chest Project


First we would like to clarify that, although the idea of being relaxed, comfortable and at ease with your bare chest, with the want to encourage all to be more body conscious and aware is in line with naturist ideals, the premise of sharing an image of just your chest is not what naturism is about. Naturist images like naturism itself should ordinarily put the emphasis on the face and not be concerned if the breasts or other parts of the body are exposed. Naturist images are not so much about showing that you are naked but more about not being concerned about the fact you are naked. Bringing unnecessary attention to the chest in imagery can be just as harmful to naturism as insisting that nipples are covered.


So this project is not specifically naturist but in the want to combat fears and attitudes towards nudity and the body it carries certain naturist beliefs and may also help some people consider naturism.


About the Image


The idea is that the project shares an equal number of images of natural male and female chests without adornment or augmentation. The exception being those women who have had mastectomies, as this procedure has been completed as part of their life survival journey and the results should be viewed as their new natural and others should be comfortable with that. The decision is not to in anyway suggesting that people who have piercings or cosmetic enhancements are wrong to do so, or in naturist terms are unwelcome (as everyone's choice in this respect should be welcome in naturism), but this project is about showing the spectrum of real chests out there to educate people about the natural spectrum of shapes and sizes created by nature to help everyone understand what is normal and that what they have is also normal. To allow others to possibly find peace with themselves, although ultimately they may decide to have breast enlargements or reductions, they can understand that they are doing so for their own personal reasons and not because they need to to fit the needs of society. We wish to encourage people who would never normally expose their breasts for fear that they do not meet media driven expectations to take part in this project. The inclusion of enhanced chests would therefore create a conflict to the results of the project. We ask that piercing are removed to complete the more natural look and to not work as a distraction, as well as not create an idea of personalisation. The purpose is that it is the chest alone that counts in this project and for people to view them purely as male or female chests and to consider how totally average and unusual they appear in all natural forms the inclusion of individual tastes and decorations are distracting and confusing and remove the anonymous nature that the images should have. Similarly with tattoos. These personalise your chest and alter their appearance. If you have a small percentage of tattooing in the area then they could be removed with subtle photo shop technology.

The idea in principal is a little like taking a frill free passport photograph of your chest. Face forward, arms to the side, remove accessories and distractions. You can smile - it won't be seen!


It is partly the distancing of the “personal touch” that we wish to only share the chest region in the photographs. The idea is that the image is shared anonymously and connecting any image to any individual should be difficult even for those that know you well. By not linking the image to a face or the rest of the body no other conclusions can be drawn and to also show that the human breast by itself is actually rather devoid of sexual titillation and just a part of the human anatomy. Although we are taught that the female breast is taboo and thrilling, that is more about conceptions than reality. Looked at out of this context the male and the female chest have much in common, and neither are shocking or worthy of censorship.

Naturism is suitable for all regardless of age. This project is not primarily about naturism or accepting social nudity. It is about the way society views, understands and accepts the human chest. We  do ask that participants are over 18. Partly to remove any issues regarding minors and nudity (a debate for another day) but also because this project is about representing the natural adult chest and raising questions about how they are viewed and whether we need to differentiate between the censorship of some and not others. This is the larger question. The equality and censorship issues are just as valid for children and when changes are made for adults it will have a knock on effect on how we view the chests of everyone of all ages.


Taking part is simple.


Take a clear photograph of you chest (capturing the area shown in the examples below) holding a piece of paper/card saying “C.C. 2023” then send it attached to The Community Chest Project Form completing the few short questions. Being Gender at Birth, Current Age in Years, Country of Birth, Whether you are a Naturist/Nudist, Whether you are comfortable baring your chest on suitable occasions and for female participants questions on Breastfeeding and Bras. Then Accepting the terms of sharing the image and information.


The Terms are: You give ANW (anaturistworld) permission to use, crop/alter, if necessary the image you have provided for the Community Chest Project. ANW will only use and store the information shared in the form. Answers and other information shared on this form will be deleted once the image and information is transferred from the form to the Community Chest Project. You will remain completely anonymous. ANW can not be held responsible if people recognise you from the image of your chest and due to the many ways people can copy images, ANW can not be held responsible if the image is copied and used elsewhere by way of screenshots etc, which is why ANW have made the Community Chest Project as impersonal as possible. ANW will endeavour to use all images for the project, but should the image not be suitable due to insufficient quality of image pixels or not meeting requirements, the image may be rejected. ANW wish to share an equal quantity of male and female chests, therefore there may be a delay in your image being shared when there is an imbalance of images from one gender to another. We thank you for taking part in the Community Chest Project. Your support is greatly appreciated.




This Project will be shared on the landing page of ANW so those that are not naturists and/or are not members of ANW can get involved and consider the nature of finding a balanced attitude towards the human chest and hopefully consider the foolish and unhealthy attitudes towards this part of our body from the school playground, across all forms of media and in many aspects of everyday life.

As mentioned above imagery  concentrating on specific body parts is not a part of naturism and is likewise not part of the communication and activity of ANW.  This imagery is used here for the purpose of exploring the attitude society has towards the human chest.

ANW genuine respectful and suitable for naturist ideals and is passionate about helping the whole of society to better appreciate the incredibly inspiring and instinctively natural lifestyle that we know as naturism. If you appreciate the principals of naturism then we look forward to you joining ANW and helping us promote the positives of simply being without clothes.

ANW welcomes all who are respectful and interested in naturism and invite all genuine naturist organisations, clubs, events, venues and other opportunities to be part of the ANW community and work with us to encourage the growth and acceptance of naturism around the world. If you have any questions email Anna and Steve at [email protected]

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