Is This Too Much? Willow Smith Wears Shirt Featuring Nude Breasts

January 23, 2015  |  

Source: Instagram

I hesitate to write about the Smith children, simply because they are indeed children. Yet, unfortunately in the media, they are bashed and dragged and even condemned in ways no one- man, woman, boy or girl- should experience.

And that’s unfortunate.

But today, I’m going to write about Willow Smith because I really am on the fence about a recent picture she posted on Instagram.

It’s not an actual posted picture, rather it’s an image she’s currently using as her profile. In it, Willow is wearing a long-sleeved very colorful shirt that just so happens to feature a pair of naked breasts on the front.

So, the question is, is this too much for a 14-year-old girl to be wearing.

A large part of me thinks no.

Breasts are not bad, or solely sexual. I know that’s what society has taught us. Breasts are only there to be sexy and to be used during sex. And of course they can be but then again, so can any other body part. People get off on a lot of things. Plus breasts actually do other things– you know, like fill out shapeless clothing and nourish children. So I think Willow wearing this shirt raises some questions about our society’s hypersexualization of breasts.

In an ideal world, people would be able to distinguish the image or appearance of breasts for sexual satisfaction and when breasts are just breasts. But that’s not the way it is around here, here being America. It’s the reason why all of the kids in your fourth grade class crowded around that one desk to point, gawk and giggle at the picture of a mother breastfeeding her child in the National Geographic. And it’s the reason why mothers who take pictures like this, are morally berated on the internet. Because we haven’t been able to tell when breasts are sexual and when they’re just doing what breasts do.

But there is also a part of me that understands this is the world in which we live. And since breasts are so undeniably sexualized in this country, is it really appropriate for a 14-year-old girl to invite this type of gaze, from people she does not know and cannot see, onto her body? There are some very sick people out here and that’s a scary thought. Even though these aren’t Willow’s breasts, they’re strategically placed right around where hers are–or would be. I don’t know. Whether she views it as sexually suggestive or not, a vast majority of people will. And while it’s a shame we have to live our lives, attempting to predict the thoughts of others, as women we often do that to prevent certain types of attention or even certain types of violation.

I’m not a mother yet but I wouldn’t want my daughter wearing a shirt like that to school or anywhere else. Because I know what type of attention it might attract. And frankly, it’s dangerous.

Then again, this is Willow Smith. She’s not a normal 14-year-old. She’s not in conventional school. And I don’t know her life, but I’d assume that she doesn’t go a whole lot of places without a bodyguard. So she can express herself in this way without fear that she’ll be physically harmed because of it. She might just stumble across a few more hurtful comments about her parents’ irresponsibility or worse, comments about her own morality as a young woman. Hopefully, Willow posted the picture and went about living her life and isn’t as worried about this as we all are.

What do you think about the shirt and posting the picture of herself in the shirt on Instagram?

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