The Naked Truth Behind the 'Free the Nipple' Movement


ET has a first look at the film Free the Nipple, which started a movement for social change and gender equality.

PICS: Idris Elba's Shirtless Workout

"The whole point of the movie was to really start a dialogue about equality, about censorship," said director Lina Esco.

The film, out Dec. 12, is based on the true story of a group of fearless women who smashed societal taboos while fighting for their right to go topless in public. The satirical movie follows these New York City activists as they take their crusade for gender equality from the streets to the courts.

"If I would have made a movie called Equality and no one was going topless, nobody would be talking about this!" said Esco.

The movie was given a $1 million budget with real actors who shot part of the film guerilla-style on the streets of NYC, including one scene in which a group of ladies run topless through Times Square.

"That scene was literally one take," said Esco. "We got there at like 6 a.m., we mapped out the entire Times Square, and we did it in one take. You can see at the end of that scene the cops are pulling up. They're real cops."

PIC: Madonna Goes Topless at 56

The Free the Nipple campaign is backed by an impressive list of celebrities, including Rumer Willis, Scout Willis, Miley Cyrus, Michelle Rodriguez, Live Tyler, Lena Dunham, Rihanna and Keira Knightley.

In October, comedienne Chelsea Handler spoofed an iconic photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin posing shirtless on top of a horse by Instagramming a picture of herself topless on a horse along with the caption: "Taking this down is sexist. I have every right to prove I have a better body than Putin."


Instagram took the photo down per their guidelines, prompting this response from Handler: "If a man posts a photo of his nipples, it's ok, but not a woman? Are we in 1825?"

Today, #FreeTheNipple has already impacted change. While Instagram still has a no nudity policy, Facebook now allows moms to post pictures of themselves breastfeeding.