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Topless-Rights Event Last Night Featured Rumer Willis (NSFW)

Rumer Willis last nightEXPAND
Rumer Willis last night
Chelsea Lauren for WireImage

Is the right to show your nipples a civil rights issue?

So claims a movement called #FreeTheNipple, championed by Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's daughter Rumer Willis. Last night  she attended a rally at Skybar - atop the Mondrian Hotel Los Angeles - in support of women having just as much right to go topless as men. 

Still of Lina Esco's Free the NippleEXPAND
Still of Lina Esco's Free the Nipple
Photo by Artemis Thomas-Hansard

The event was hosted by Russell Simmons, and showcased the work of actress and director Lina Esco, who's behind the #FreeTheNipple hashtag. Her 2012 film Free The Nipple ignited the movement that has since gained support from a range of celebrities, including Adrian Granier, Shepard Fairey, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and Lena Dunham. 

Willis sang at the event; one song, Cher's 1966 single "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)." She did well, though the night's musical performers - which also included alternative pop group Among Savages - felt like more of an afterthought. 

The main focus was on the campaign's PSA, "Everybody's Gotta Eat," which features Willis, along with actors Soko, Tyler Jacob Moore, and Kim Allen.


Directed by Sophie Tabet, the commercial addresses the stigmatization of breastfeeding publicly. Why should an infant have to wait to eat just because their mother is out in public? Why should a woman fear being sexualized for breastfeeding her child, or - in the case of the five states in which breastfeeding is illegal - being arrested?

Topless-Rights Event Last Night Featured Rumer Willis (NSFW)EXPAND
Chelsea Lauren for WireImage

Following "Everybody's Gotta Eat" was a trailer for Esco's Free The Nipple. It followed a pack of women as they toplessly wander New York City, wearing pink ski masks. New York is one of 15 states in the U.S. where female toplessness is legal, yet each year women continue to be arrested. (California also permits public female toplessness, except at most beaches.)

What's worse, the film asks: the violence that happens every day in NYC, or nipples?

Topless-Rights Event Last Night Featured Rumer Willis (NSFW)EXPAND
Chelsea Lauren for WireImage

There has been some progress on the issue, Esco noted: Facebook now allows pictures of women breastfeeding.

Free the Nipple director Lina Esco, second from left.EXPAND
Free the Nipple director Lina Esco, second from left.
Chelsea Lauren for WireImage

In any case, while the support shown last night was encouraging, the event itself was somewhat underwhelming. For one thing, everyone in attendance was fully clothed. How backwards. 

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