An orange daisy covers a hairy male nipple

Sensationalize the Male Nipple!

Why are men allowed to have pointy nipples but ladies can’t? Well, not so much can’t, but we’ve been brought up to feel embarrassed about an apparent nipple poke. I hadn’t lent it much thought until recently. Renee Zellweger, portraying a woman overwhelmed in a chilly house, took a moment of peace in the bathroom. In the mirror she noticed, to her horror, that her nipples were poking through her blouse. She blows down her shirt in an effort to soften them, and then yells for someone to bring her a jacket so she needn’t feel embarrassed. While I had a chuckle, so relatable, I also thought, I bet men never worry about the state of their nipples. Why do women?

I polled male friends on Facebook if they ever worried about their nipples being hard. And besides a few commenting on not liking the feeling, none of them worried about it. I asked women and had a very different response: embarrassment, shame, hiding behind padded bras or pasties(stickers that keep the poking down), crossing arms over the chest, pulling at clothes. In general, we’ve been taught that it’s unladylike to allow the nipples to do what they naturally do. We’re a bit chilly, but someone might get the impression that we’re aroused.

I recall moments as a young teenager of people pointing out my pointiness. I became very self-conscious in the freezer aisle on a summer’s day or even a sudden cool wind. A guy friend once joked, “Someone get this girl a sweater or she’ll poke someone’s eye out!”  I mean, they’re nipples, not swords.

Their function is breast feeding, and both men and women have them because we all follow the same blueprint in utero for a while. I wonder why female nipples became so special? Why are we the ones trying to pretend we don’t have them? A swimsuit can be deemed appropriate as long as the nipples aren’t showing, all other parts of the breast can have a peek-a-boo, but not the nipples. Men’s swimwear: just bottoms. Isn’t it interesting that it isn’t the other way around?

In the beginning of our creation in the womb, the powers that be recognized that it might be female, and could therefore require nipples, so every creation got them, just in case. Further down the creating line, things swing in a different direction, and it’s decided that this creation shall receive a penis, rendering the nipples simply decorative versus functional. Why then aren’t male nipples sensationalized? Doesn’t that make more sense? How many parts do we have just for show and without a purpose? The appendix? But even that had a use, we’ve just outgrown its usefulness.

I think it’s high time that fashion removed the weight from women on this. Perhaps we should throw some sequins and tassels on the male nipple. Or bare everything else except the nips, drawing attention to the forbidden/enticing zone. Let’s turn the tables!  (in the textile world)

I just want to add that I think all swimsuits are silly. If it’s warm enough to swim, we likely don’t need a thin absorbent cloth sticking to us. Also, I’m certainly not suggesting that women’s purpose is making babies and breastfeeding. It’s just a miraculous function most been gifted with if we choose to do so. I’m a woman without children, so I figured I should mention that. My nipples are decorative at this point as well… but with hidden powers!

5 thoughts on “Sensationalize the Male Nipple!”

  1. I have always wondered about this issue. So I am very glad that you wrote about it
    When asked females about it many of them did not have a reasonable answer.
    So it is very obvious that neither females nor males have a firm explanation.
    This leads us to a bigger question why we just follow blindly in the absence of logic

    1. Yes, as I got writing I realized there’s obviously so much more at play here. I’m sure there will be more on this topic.

      1. Agree, a lot to discuss .
        First , the concept of SHAME ?
        Shame on something which no woman even feels it or have a control over it ( Nipples)
        Unlike men who can feel and control erection.
        While it is accepted to show whatever there is a control over ( rest of the whole breast) as the article mentioned .
        Second, The concept of staring . While it is not important for many that others do stair on a part of the body which women have no control over and even be critical it is important that a woman should cover this tiny part .
        The victim becomes guilty .

  2. So true! Why should it be any different? Unfortunately, society has created this. The breast have been sexualized by men and the media, I think. I’m not on Facebook much so I could not answer your poll. As a man though, I can tell you that I have at times felt a bit self-conscious about my nipples poking while wearing a T-shirt. Then I just say, the heck with it and carry on. I realize it’s harder for women to take this position, when disrespecting
    men are gawking at a woman’s chest and anything they can or can not see from them. I don’t recommend this but if you walk right up to them and yell, “can I help you” it may throw some of them off as they won’t expect it. Otherwise, be free to wear or not what you want. 🙂 By the way Nikki, great blog!!

    1. Thanks Diego,
      I appreciate your sharing about how you’ve felt about a nipple poke. I may ask ‘can I help you?’ if it feels right to try it out. 🙂

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