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Topic: Can I go topless?

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: May 11, 2008 02:30PM

Breeze wrote:

Not that I would...

I had a bi-lateral mast (no recon) and was just wondering if it would be legal to go topless in public?

Ride 'em like you stole 'em Dx 4/27/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 11, 2008 03:05PM Skyrat wrote:

I don't know why it wouldn't be legal to go topless in public after a bilateral with no reconstruction - after all, we're no more 'sexual' than Barbie's Ken, eh?  LOL 

5-1-08, Stage IV mets to the spine, 19/21 nodes metastatic adenode carcinoma, abundant vascular involvement; skyratgina.vox.com/ Dx 4/12/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 19/21 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 11, 2008 03:10PM - edited May 11, 2008 03:11PM by otter

Breeze, that is a very funny and practical question!  I wonder what the law says, and how it would be interpreted.  Maybe there is someone on these boards who is or has been brave enough to try it!

I am thinking of all those very hot summer days when guys work outside in the yard or garden, mowing the lawn, etc., and women have to cover up to be legal.  Oh, and then there's the beach, and the swimming pool, etc., where guys would never even think of wearing a top (at least since the 1920's anyway).  What if a woman has nothing left to cover up???  :)

otter 

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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May 11, 2008 03:39PM HeatherBLocklear wrote:

I love this question! Of course if there's a problem, you can always move to France where women go to work topless if it's warm enough. I say we should all go topless at all times unless, of course, like Deb we live in Alaska.

Annie

Annie Camel Tail Dx 2/23/2008, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 11, 2008 03:47PM - edited Nov 8, 2012 01:53PM by Hanna

.

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May 11, 2008 04:37PM Binney4 wrote:

A couple of years ago we had a bilat woman on here who went out in her backyard and mowed the yard topless. Her (female) neighbor called the police. When a young (male) officer rang her doorbell she answered the door -- still topless. He took one look, turned a brilliant shade of red, and left without a word.

On the other hand, I seem to remember the knitted-prothesis site has an amusing story about a woman who removed her hand-knit prosthesis in public to show it proudly to friends. One, who was a police officer, laughingly told her she was violating the law by flaunting her boob in public.

So perhaps it's a more complicated question than it first appears!

Binney 

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May 11, 2008 05:05PM Sassa wrote:

LOL!!!

I never had the nerve to go topless before my bilateral mastectomies.  However, I now find I have a complete lack of embarrassment over exposing my chest as there is nothing there to expose.

I haven't gone topless outside yet as I do worry about sun exposure.  However, someday when I am in a situation where men are ogling the women sunbathing topless, I plan to pull off my shirt with great bravado and look the a#*holes straight in the eyes and dare them to make a comment or complaint.

Dx 11/6/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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May 12, 2008 09:32AM - edited May 13, 2008 01:24PM by otter

Well, I guess I won't be going flat and topless any time soon, at least not in public: 

http://www.nashvillescene.com/Stories/Columns

/Helter_Shelter/2007/01/18/Plastic_Fanny_tastic_/index.shtml

Oh, yeah.  I couldn't, anyway, 'cause I still have one breast left.  No, I mean it's the right one.  Or the good one, anyway.

I am still looking for the state law that regulates whether we can romp boob-less and uncovered on those gorgeous white-sand beaches a few hours south of me (a.k.a. the "Redneck Riviera").

otter 

[Note added in edit:  I "broke" the link so it wouldn't interfere with line lengths on this page. If you want to go to the web site I've cited, just paste it back together again with no space at the break.] 

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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May 12, 2008 06:11PM mthomp2020 wrote:

Hey Otter - maybe we can get someone to design an off-the-shoulder bathing suit for those of us with one boob left?  It would make quite the fashion statement, wouldn't it!

Marsha Dx 5/21/2007, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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May 12, 2008 06:12PM mke wrote:

I've had fantasies about whipping off my shirt and going into a topless bar, or applying for a job as a topless dancer, or going to our local nude beach.  I won't, but I have fun thinking about it.

I might work in the garden or swim in lake at the cottage.

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May 12, 2008 06:33PM joykeeperorg wrote:

I have a friend who was at the beach in NC. She was topless (bi lat mast) an the life guard called the police on her cause he said it was indicent exporsure well when the police arrived he went up to her gave her a huge hug an said that he is honored to be in her presence. His wife fought bc at stage 4 for about 20 yrs she was dx at age 20! So he didnt think it was a problem an the other people on the beach said how proud they was of her! So I dunno if its legal but she didnt get in any trouble that day!

Work at your own Salvations with fear and trembling Phil. 2:12 an Please visit www.joykeepers.org! Dx 8/2/2007, 5cm, Stage IIIA, 4/34 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 12, 2008 09:09PM Breeze wrote:

These are great stories!  Until now the only thing I could fine in reference to topless and BC was people not wearing a wig!

Ride 'em like you stole 'em Dx 4/27/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 13, 2008 09:48AM burquie wrote:

Just wanted to add that here in NYS it is legal for woman to go topless......even if they still have their breasts. It goes back to a case from my good old hometown of Rochester from 1992.

I found this little artical online just to help answer the question:

Is it true that it's legal for women to go topless in New York? I heard there was a legal battle a long time ago, and the courts decided that if men could be topless, when could be too. If so, where are all the topless women?

ANSWER PERSON RESPONDS: They legally can, if they avoid lewd behavior and it's not for commercial purposes. (The intent might be a little fuzzy in many cases.) I suspect that most women are uncomfortable going topless in public, hence the reason you don't see many.

This goes back to a New York Court of Appeals opinion of July 7, 1992:

80 N.Y.2d 875 or 600 N.E.2d 232

The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, v. Ramona SANTORELLI and Mary Lou Schloss, Appellants, et al., Defendants.

The majority opinion and concurrence can be found at Cornell's FindLaw site:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/nyctap/I92_0160.htm

A summary from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle on March 22, 2006:

"In June 1986, seven women at Cobbs Hill Park [in Rochester] removed their shirts to protest a state law prohibiting public breast-baring. They were arrested for indecent exposure. City Court Judge Herman J. Walz dismissed the charges six months later, ruling that the protesters were exercising their right to freedom of speech. But he didn't concede their main argument - that the breast-baring law was unconstitutional.

"Topfree 7 leaders Mary Lou Schloss and Ramona Santorelli waged a six-year court battle that ended with victory in 1992. The Court of Appeals gave women the right to appear topless in public if they avoided lewd behavior or exposure for commercial purposes."

If you look at the opinion, it refers to the legal statute below, saying its context was to prohibit such behavior for commercial purposes, and is therefore not applicable in cases such as mentioned above. Also, the opinion touches on the issue of treating women and men differently.

NY Penal Laws
? 245.01. Exposure of a person

"A person is guilty of exposure if he appears in a public place in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed. For purposes of this section, the private or intimate parts of a female person shall include that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola. This section shall not apply to the breastfeeding of infants or to any person entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment."

So, come to New York ladies.......and take it off!!

Bonnie Dx 3/3/2007, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/23 nodes, ER+ Surgery 5/1/2007 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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May 13, 2008 01:28PM otter wrote:

"...the private or intimate parts of a female person shall include that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola."

Whoopee!  So, if your areolas are in a jar of formalin in a path lab somewhere, and the police can't find them, the issue becomes moot!  Hey, this makes it sound like our sisters on the "recon" board could go topless, too, as long as they haven't had their nipples reconstructed.

otter 

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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May 13, 2008 02:08PM AnnNYC wrote:

So should I call off my nipple reconstruction on Thursday??!!

Or maybe just forgo the later tattoo, so I won't have an areola?!

Or just stay put in New York?!

Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 15, 2008 12:41PM pip57 wrote:

Oh this is funny. I was just telling a friend that I have to remember not to walk around without a top on now that I have no breasts. We were clothes shopping and I almost opened the door to the changeroom to go and look for another size.

Its the same thing at home. I don't think my sons would appreciated that. If they ever wanted to see I would show them, but I think it would just freak them out right now.

As comfortable as I am with my new look, I don't think I would have the nerve to go topless in public. But kudos to those who would!

PIP - multi focal, FEC100/Tax, rads, dble mast with no recon, ooph/hyst, arimidex Dx 2/1/2007, DCIS/IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 9/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 15, 2008 12:58PM BoobsinaBox wrote:

About 8 months before my diagnosis of bc and subsequent bilat, I read about a woman who had a bilat.  She was an avid surfer and wanted most of all to get back on the surf board as quickly as possible.  She didn't waste any time.  She had a daughter who drew a picture of her surfing, I think, and she had that picture tattooed on her chest and "wore" the tattoo and her bikini bottom to surf.  I was so impressed with her courage in the face of cancer and convention!  Even though I lost the magazine, I have carried her story in my mind, and she has given me a lot of courage and confidence.  I don't want a tattoo and I only show my chest to my husband and to women who are facing bc for the first time and want to know what a mast can look like.  Still, this woman gave me the courage to go breast-free whenever I want to, and to wear little foam forms when I want to be less concave!  The article was in Spirituality and Health magazine, in August 2005, I think.

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Jun 2, 2008 01:52PM BMac wrote:

This is absolutely hilarious!  I can't believe anyone would call the police on a woman with no breasts but I love the officer's response. 

Barbara Dx 10/23/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 12, 2008 06:56AM roseanne wrote:

In this very hot weather we have been having in NY, I am reminded of how much I hate the prosthesis in the summer. Sometimes (forgive me) I wish I had a bilateral mastectomy as I am small and thin, yet do have that small breast on the right side. I whip the bra off as soon as I get home from work, and my grown sons, and now my grandson just accept how I look. I wear those tanks with a liner, and keep a foam boob nearby in case a neighbor pops in. I think I am brave sleeping topless but would feel like I would make everyone else uncomfortable with just one breast. I would stand and applaud any woman who bares it all!

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Jun 12, 2008 07:26AM wishiwere wrote:

Last fall after my mast, I went out on the deck to get some fresh air on day 3 after the surgery.  IT was so warm and sunny and I did just that.  Opened the shirt and bared my chest to the sun.  Felt so good.  the same thoughts went through my mind. IF I HAD the other removed later down the road, could I?  Would I?  Just mow without a shirt, or garden or whatever?  I mean, how different is that than the neighbor guy doing it?  Not sure I could, but it would be nice to know I wouldn't be arrested for it if I did!  I'm sure the old prude (who's my age) would be calling the police though.  That and grounding her dh to the opposide of the house!  What a nut case that one is!  And a woman no less!  UGH!

wishiwere~ Path read stage 1C- 1st Primary was IDC w/DCIS 1.4 cm, ER/PR+ & HER2- Dx 9/21/2007, ILC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 25, 2008 09:12AM TammyLou wrote:

In the front yard, yup.

I didn't in "public"...largely because it was inappropriate.  (I wouldn't customarily go to Walmart with no shirt.)

IMO, there's nothing wrong with it.  Of course, IMO, there's nothing wrong with the boobed skipping the shirt once in a while either.

We are living in a certain society.

Tammy Lou

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Sep 25, 2008 10:05AM irishdreama wrote:

These stories were great!! Nopw, I have to wonder, what if you had a bilateral mast and have the nipples tattooed??? Because they're "tattoo's" is it ok to show them?

Chemotherapy 1/26/2007 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/24/2007 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 9/3/2007 Dx 12/22/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/31/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 2/29/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 7/22/2012 Lymph nodes Radiation Therapy
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Sep 25, 2008 11:18AM lv2cmp wrote:

Ok I can admit to going topless at home and outside.  I have cut grass topless and done various jobs topless in my own yard.  Granted I live on 10 acres and I cant be seen from the road but it was freedom.  Would I head out to Walmart topless?  Nope sure wouldnt but I wouldnt want my son to do it either.  I must say that I do not go topless with my son around but he wouldnt be surprised at all if I did.  I am in Alabama and its hot so why not? 

'Life isn't about how to survive the storm, But how to dance in the rain.' Dx 2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 1/11 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 25, 2008 11:20AM - edited Sep 25, 2008 11:21AM by Hanaki

Hi! Here is a link that I found about tattooed breasts. I think having the tattooed nipple is beautiful. Did you have that done? Here is a link that shows tattoo breasts, if you scroll to the bottom of the page there is a pic of a woman with her breasts tattooed. I think that is beautiful.

www.luckyfish.com/pages/blarne... 

"Mommy, when people die and go to heaven is that when we see shooting stars?" asked by my daughter Kayla, age 7
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Sep 25, 2008 01:26PM lilith wrote:

WOW, hanaki... it is truly beautiful. Thank you for posting. I wish I was that brave.

Bilat MX, recon, Arimidex, 3 yrs 6 mths NED and counting! Dx 7/4/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Sep 25, 2008 04:06PM irishdreama wrote:

Hi Hanaki

I am going to have the tattoo's. I'm just waiting to heal from the exchange surgery-can't wait, because I want this done!!!

Chemotherapy 1/26/2007 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/24/2007 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 9/3/2007 Dx 12/22/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/31/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 2/29/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 7/22/2012 Lymph nodes Radiation Therapy
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Sep 25, 2008 04:47PM HKitty71 wrote:

Pat Fish is an artist

Dx 4/3/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 25, 2008 05:28PM kerry_lamb wrote:

Hey girls..I'm a visual person and this is conjuring up all kinds of hilarious scenarios. For one thing we would get WAY more attention than the 20-somethings with perfect bare breasts. Not saying it would be all admiration......Embarassed

This reminds me of a conversation I had after Mass a few years ago. There was an event advertised: "Miss Nude Tasmania". (NOT at the church! In the newspaper!) Anyway, a couple of very elderly women were expressing their disgust and were devastated that they did not have enough time to organise a picket-line outside that bar. 

I pointed out to them that there was a much more confronting protest they could make: the ad welcomed local participants, and we should all go in it. That would GUARANTEE an exodus and a rethink of another event. The old dears just about peed their pants laughing at the thought. And yes, a couple of them had once had to make a falsie out of a stocking and a packet of birdseed!Laughing 

Go hard or go home :) Dx 2/15/2008, IDC, 3cm, 2/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 25, 2008 05:45PM 1Cathi wrote:

Oh my gosh Breeze I asked my surgeon that exact question On Tuesday when I scheduled my bilat and no recon for 10/17 - she actually laughed. I live here on the Gulf Of Mexico -  I would never do it either but kinda funny to think about taking the dare, my husband said go for it - and if we get stopped by the police put up a real stink as I won't even have nipples  - and men do. My husband the rebel. Cool
Cancer may cause my death. But it WILL NOT take my life. **** Bilat Mastectomy 10/17/08 No Recon Dx 6/25/2006, ILC
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Sep 25, 2008 11:19PM TammyLou wrote:

Wink

Reminds me of "Bob Goes to Jamaica"...

You know how people always say that what REALLY attracts men are CONFIDENT women?

Just imagine going topless at a nude beach...any chick "brave" enough to do that boobless would take ALL of the men!

(Tee Hee!)

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Sep 24, 2018 10:25AM yellowb wrote:

My understanding is that if you have no nipples, it is not illegal to go topless. But it's almost certainly a state law issue, so you'd need to check on the state you are in to be sure. (And even if it's universally okay, not every officer is going to know the exact law -- they can certainly ticket you and make you clear it up with the courts later, which is a pain in the arse.)

Yeah, yeah, I'm a lawyer, so I can't possibly give a simple answer!

Dx 6/14/2018, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/27/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy

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