How much breast is too much breast? A couple of years ago that was the question facing Glasgow Sheriff Court when it was asked to decide whether a flyer for a strip club banned by the licensing board was obscene.
Glasgow City Council’s licensing board presumably didn’t mean to criticise the flyer for strip club, showing a dancer wearing a pair of yellow pants and just an arm covering her breasts, as depicting the woman as “unsuitably clothed” because that could only mean she was wearing too much. What else would would be suitable clothes for a stripper except a birthday suit? But that comment by the board meant a trip to the sheriff court to work out how much – or how little – was too little clothes for a flyer for a strip club.
This led to an interesting discussion as Sheriff Taylor said: “Only a very small part of the side of her breast is depicted in the photograph. There is certainly more breast exposed in certain daily tabloid newspapers.”
And, he added: “If one looks at adverts for perfumes and the like in magazines normally read by women, one sees more breasts exposed than in the flyer.”
In short, he said: “I can see nothing wrong in the degree of breast exposed”
And he was really looking.
I remember this debate when I was thinking about how we take stripping in public as natural. Go to any transition and you’ll see a bunch of athletes pulling off wetsuits, bearing their chests and, generally, mooning friends and family watching on from the side.
It’s like Stringfellows but with less fake tan and gold jewellery (and that was just Peter Stringfellow).
I swear one time I was in transition a man tried to stick a tenner in my pants!
Yet, we accept this as normal. Even though it’s not. And it’s Scotland and we look like we’re starring a XXX version of Avatar as the blue people strip in the open air.
But then again. Maybe it is normal. Maybe the strange thing is to feel self-conscious about it all. Why not strip in the open air? Why not let it swing free and stand there bold and proud with nothing to protect you but a well positioned bike stem? We shouldn’t be ashamed! We should be free! There’s nothing wrong with letting it all hang out!
And hopefully, the Sheriff Court will agree with me after the police arrest me…