Topless in Central Park: A New Yorker Puts the Law to the Test

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Inspired by the mysterious Topless Bowery Lady who recently set the Internet aflame, and the publicly acknowledged legality of being topless in the city, our pal Jamie Peck took it upon herself to take off her own shirt in the outside air recently and see what happened. At the beginning of her adventure, which she chronicled for The Gloss, she found that she was initially nervous -- Could she do this? What would happen? -- but went through with it anyway in the good fight against social conventions. She headed to Central Park on a Sunday afternoon, took off her shirt -- "it turned out to be like ripping off a band-aid; once I'd done it without anything bad happening, I relaxed," she writes.

And then she did all the regular things a person does while lying in a park on a summer day; resting, chilling, reading, chatting. Did anyone even notice?

At one point I thought a guy was giving me the thumbs up, but it turned out it was directed at a baby. The sun and air felt nice on my skin. I would tentatively say from this experience that it's possible to toplessly sunbathe in the park without causing a commotion.

Testing things further, she got up and walked around, putting on a hat and sunglasses, and buying a bottle of water and a popsicle. "The concession stand guy didn't bat an eyelash at me. He's probably seen weirder," she writes. She continued through the park, taking photos with tourists, petting dogs, and getting compliments, until a park employee intervened and said it wasn't appropriate. Still, since the park employee had trouble actually making eye contact, this interaction seems to have been mostly just awkward.

About an hour into the park walk, Peck was stopped by a cop, who admitted that he knew the law...but that there were kids around and toplessness was not appropriate -- and also, that she was just doing it for attention. Peck refrained from comment, walked away, and eventually put her top back on.

She told us, "I wanted to argue with the cop more and really expose his presumptive asshole line of reasoning, but I know too many people who've ended up getting arrested for absolutely nothing after mouthing off to a cop, and I didn't want to spend the rest of my weekend topless and in jail."

Her end take:

I don't think it's yet possible for a woman to walk around topless without having people assume she's pulling some sort of stunt, which is a shame. Granted, I was doing a social experiment of sorts, but it would be nice to be able to do it just because it feels good. (Also granted, many people ignored me. Kudos to them, for they are the future.)

As for the present, it seems like lying on a blanket in Central Park topless is cool, walking around topless is sort of okay, maybe, and confronting a cop or park employee while doing so is moderately unpleasant, as those things go. Peck also reveals what may be the key issue with bare boobs in public: Underboob sweat. So, now you know. Do with that what you will.

Related: This is shaping up to be quite the summer.

Ever Wanted To Go Topless In Public? We Did. (NSFW) [The Gloss]

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

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62 comments
penisbombs
penisbombs

This later was later raped and murdered for some reason. 

catshitmania
catshitmania

I'd lift the book up and say, "Oops.  Oh, I just want to read that page there!"

bookfiend
bookfiend

Wow. Great, big book. I'd like to think DFW would have approved.

 

jeeeeez
jeeeeez

Breasts aren't inappropriate... take your top off while sunbathing, what's the big deal? When did people become so uptight?  As for kids, my two kids run around naked as much as i will let them, they wouldn't think twice about seeing some-ones boobs.

scoobster79
scoobster79

Women going topless is not a way to make us more equal.  It's only gonna put tittie bars outta business.  Face, wrong or right, a woman's breasts are a sexual turn on for men.  Jut read the comments from some men.  "nice rack" etc.  I rest my case....  : (

Sardent
Sardent

Well, there's a presumptive asshole in the story alright, but it ain't the cop.

tarzan322
tarzan322

She said it's apparent that women can't bare chested because everyone assumes your pulling some kind of stunt. Isn't that that exactly what she was doing? We have laws against worn being topless because it's a social norm, not an individualistic one. If you want an individualistic one, go back to Africa and live the jungle. We have long since evolved out of individualistic norms when we started forming social structures, so either get on board with society, or get out the way. Your only a  few hundred thousand years behind the power curve.

stylesavvynyc
stylesavvynyc

Just because you can Does NOT mean you should, Laws are on the books to keep the Lawless people in check & those without moral compass or common decency, it doesnt take a law to tell a woman not to go in public exposing her nipples to the world and making people uncomfortable and exposing children to things other wise left to porn channels and adult magazines. Common sense... duh!

bobby
bobby

It probably helps to have a rather nice rack, like this girl obviously does.

bill
bill

go to Miami beach. it's typical down there, kids and all, and not seen as a spectacle by most.

sister_moe
sister_moe

Nervous? That tattoo-ed dyke looks like she would do anything for attention. Thank God the squirrels were spared the sight of her furry hole. 

Cassidy
Cassidy

Surely those are implants, right?

 

Just curious.

Markquinn
Markquinn

I'm with the cop on this one, dont know why he's being called an asshole

Cheap London escorts
Cheap London escorts

I read about that news and i am very shocked to read it. The photo is very nice of that topless girl. Wish i press her blond boobs and suck it.

gotopless.org
gotopless.org

Gotopless.org wishes to congratulate Jamie Peck for her courage to exercise her duly constitutional right to go topless in public in NYC.  This constitutional right isn't honored in most of America and that is why Gotopless.org is having a National Gotopless Day on Aug 21:  to claim the constitutional right of women to be topless in public.  Please join us that day across america!  sign our petition:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com...

jonny
jonny

I don't know if there should be anything wrong with that, if you look at a lot of tribes in hotter climates, there ain't no tops and there's a bunch of children around. It's just a comfortable thing. I also don't recall any morbidly obese topless people in tribes so they got that going for them. But I think it's something natural, unlike going bottomless...now those are weirdos.

jor
jor

Jen Doll, Rosie Gray, and Michael Musto should totally pull this stunt.

thissalantine
thissalantine

 @scoobster79 Putting the titty bars out of business is hardly a bad thing. But then again, men don't go to titty bars to look. They go to hire hookers and buy drugs..  Thinking that all that goes on there is dancing is just naive. 

mommadillo
mommadillo

 @Sardent I've never met a cop who wasn't an asshole.  It's not the sort of job that attracts nice people.

aidenlambert
aidenlambert

 @tarzan322 If you call making a point pulling a stunt then yes, exactly. And what is wrong with pulling a stunt? No laws against it, as far as I know.  I'd go so far as to say it was a cunning stunt but you might make something of that, too.

mattpanek
mattpanek

 @tarzan322 am i the only one that finds irony in Tarzan322 telling people to put their shirts on or go back to the jungle?

yesterdayswine
yesterdayswine

 @tarzan322 Uhhh Tarzan... it's legal for PEOPLE t be topless in New York. We, meaning New Yorkers don't have your troglodyte laws... pay attention to the facts, dummy.

goldenfalcon
goldenfalcon

 @stylesavvynyc What porn are you watching? Children have been exposed to naked breasts since.. I don't know.. the day they were born. Why do you see breasts as a porn and not as a normal body function, like a bare chested male?

stylesavvynyc
stylesavvynyc

 @sister_moe I dont condone calling names but the second half of your comment really made me laugh.

emoscreamo
emoscreamo

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dont be so quick to judge old lady by the way why were u even reading this did god say u could huh were is your scientific proof hes real im non religious by the way

Cassidy
Cassidy

Um, using your police powers to enforce your own worldviews is what assholes do.

Cassidy
Cassidy

Not enough derriere, unfortunately.  What's with you whitegirls??

AbbyRoad
AbbyRoad

Tribes? Think about that. Cultures are incredibly different and unfortunately  just because this is "natural" does not mean it's fully acceptable in parts of the world like America.

Cassidy
Cassidy

Nudity is okay, man, especially if it's girls who are nude!

imanyer
imanyer

Ok we all know it is legal, but is it reasonably the right(safe) thing to do? When some criminal, which so many idiots forgets that NY still has roaming its streets, gropes her, or, gorforbid, rapes her, then she will be begging for that cops help. Attntion whore

Jac
Jac

gawd, its people like you that are the reason this should never be accepted. fucking perverts. this world is filthy.

Chiefslapahoe
Chiefslapahoe

@Cassidy No he calmly asked her to stop as there were kids around. That just seems like common decency on both sides...

ramblingpariah
ramblingpariah

 @AbbyRoad It's only unacceptable because we've made it so - there's nothing magical or terrifying about women's breasts, nothing naturally immoral or indecent.

Life liver
Life liver

imanyer  is it reasonable for a person to live their entire life in fear of something that could happen? Do you lock yourself inside because there could be a drive by? Do you refrain from driving a car because another driver could be drunk? Do you hide out in the woods because their could be another terrorist attack in the city? Do you keep your pockets empty because you could be mugged? Do you own no earthly possessions because they could be stolen? Do you not own a house because it could burn down?

People have choices. When someone else starts stripping away those choices or forces others to act in a certain way or do certain things they are in fact hindering personal freedom. And what is rape at it's core? A violent forced action or the violent removal of choice.

So long as she isn't harming another living being she has a right to choose what she does with her life and her body. That choice belongs to her and her alone. Suggesting otherwise is idiotic. Removing the choice is criminal.

Skippo
Skippo

If being topless causes rape then how come Psychology Today magazine says nudity does not increase rape?

soulsaje
soulsaje

As opposed to the world that thought slavery was all right?

Cassidy
Cassidy

What's perverted about admiring beauty??

 

The filth is in your own mind.

gene_carman
gene_carman

So you would not admire the chiseled chest of some topless guy?

thissalantine
thissalantine

 @Sardent  But if they truly believed that we'd never know, because they'd be minding their own freakin business." I'm sort of lost about the meaning of this sentence. Can you clarify?

 

IF being topless in NYC is now legal, and from this story I am, assuming such to be the case, then it is safe to assume that while adhering to the law, if a cop comes up and tries tot ell you that it's inappropriate to OBEY THE LAW while children are around is equal to him 1. Interpreting the law (which is the duty of the judicial branch of government) and 2. enforcing his PERSONAL beliefs on the writer while in uniform and acting as a representative of government. 

 

 

I see wrong on a few levels here, and at the risk of pandering, I'll explain just for those who con't get it (which I am sure you do). 

 

The law is the law, and it's his job to enforce the law. If the law stipulates 'not while kids are around' or 'not within a certain distance of churches or schools' then k-great-perfect-yippy ding, he can ask her to put the sisters away.  As it is, he's expressing his own values and judgments on the sisters' freedom. That's not his job, and arguably a violation of the Constitution. Tsk.

 

Representatives of government are entitled to their own opinions while off duty and not while wearing the garb that identifies them as a representative of the government. Off duty, it's perfectly okay for Officer Friendly to go tell that girl what he REALLY thinks of her boobs being taken for a stroll in the park. And he'd probably draw a crowd of onlookers if he was funny enough while doing so. But while wearing that uniform, he represents enforcement of the LAW, and it can be said in our culture that the mere sight of the uniform draws certain expectations and behaviors from people confronted by it. Like intimidation, like it or not. People will do what authority tells them to do whether it is right or wrong (as proven by the Milgram experiment) pretty much without question. That means special care MUST be given to following the law while in the uniform. Officer Friendly didn't adhere to the law. Shame on him for abusing his power.

 

Have a lovely day.  (By the way, before you insult me too, I'm a conservative talk show host.)

The_Yeti_Knows
The_Yeti_Knows

Dude named Morbid at Dreaming Demon has blue ribbon man-boobs if you're into the moley hair vein variety. .. ..@ramblingpariah @Sardent @mommadillo

Sardent
Sardent

 @ramblingpariah  @mommadillo Yet here you are commenting on what we've said.  I love liberals who think everyone should mind their own business.  But if they truly believed that we'd never know, because they'd be minding their own freakin business.

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