A Six Year Old Boy Investigates Tumblr's "Topless Tuesdays"


Today I wanted to go on Neopets but my big brother Simon was on the computer. I told Mummy and she made him let me have a go. He stormed right off so that the chair fell over and left his internet window up and I saw some boobies.

I have seen boobies before, because my baby sister has to drink out of my Mummy’s. I think this is gross but my Mummy says it is beautiful and natural (even though my baby sister looks like a wrinkly pink poo). She says we all did it, and Simon did it for the longest. Poor Simon! I thought he was shopping for new boobies to drink from.

I went on Neopets but the thought of poor Simon going thirsty and confused worried me too much so I went to talk to him. “Are you shopping for new boobies for your milk?” I asked him, because if you make small talk with Simon he gets distracted.

“Wot?” he asked, so I repeated my question more louder, and made the sign for boobies in the air as I said the word ‘boobies’.

He called me a ‘fucking weirdo’ then a ‘fucking midget pervert’. (I know what fucking is, it is a man and a woman in a bush together naked but the context made no sense.) Then he said, “It’s called Topless Tuesday on Tumblr. Those girls are too young to make milk come out anyway.”

I am always open to new experiences and learning through discussion (Mrs Monday wrote that on my report card), so I asked Simon to discussion me what Topless Tuesdays on Tumblr are. First I had to know what a Tumblr are.

“It’s sort of like a blog, but with pictures and gifs that you like. You can upload your own photos, or drag and drop ones you’ve seen on other tumblrs, and you can write in it too.”

I did not understand all these words, but I understood the meaning. It is like my scrapbook, except I did not put boobies in my scrapbook. I put some dried flowers from our garden and a duck bumbum feather and a Batman card. Batman never takes off his top, but Poison Ivy wears clothes where she is almost topless. I thought maybe to ask about this but Simon was telling me about why Topless Tuesday doesn’t mean you are looking for milk.

“The girls love putting up pictures of their titties,” he said. (Titties are another word for boobies.) “They expect lots of anons to come forward and talk about how sexy they are. Like, they see all the girls in lad’s mags and in porn getting all the attention, and they want it too. Sometimes they’re just sluts though. Some of them are fugly and it’s really hilarious to mock them. It’s just for fun.”

I did not understand all these words either, so I thought I would look at the tumblr scrapbooks of some of the booby girls. Lots of them had pictures of other booby girls! I told Simon they just liked boobies but he said liking pictures of booby girls and being a ‘lezzer’ (someone who loves booby girls very much, I think) are different, but he did not discussion me why. I think he doesn’t know himself.

Some tumblrs had writing on, some of the writing was funny and some of it was sad. One girl said she always felt ugly and it made her feel better, another one said that she did it because she was proud of her body and wanted others to enjoy it, and one of them said she did it as a special treat for her boyfriend. Some other ones said they wanted to celebrate the human body but they had no cake. One booby girl kept on talking about ‘blowjobs’ though so I think there might have been a balloon party.

They all had different reasons and none of them mentioned other girls in the places Simon said, in magazines and in prawns. I decided to email a grown-up for help. First I emailed Nina Power, she works for a university and wrote a book about ladies doing maths. “Why do girls put their boobies on the Internet?” I asked her.

“The all-pervasive peepshow segmentarity of contemporary culture demands that women treat their breasts as wholly separate entities, with little or no connection to themselves, their personality, or even the rest of their body. All autonomous, organic agency of moral, rational or egoic nature is dissolved into auto-objectivization,” said her email and more longer words besides. I wrote back to tell her I was 6 years old.

Her next email was very nice, with no scary words. “It is extremely complicated, but I will take a very small part of a very big question and try to answer it for you. Boobies, or ‘breasts’, which is their real, grown-up name, are treated by some people as the most important part of a woman. They act as if a breast is like a shiny bag or special hat, and not just a body part. So women start to think, if my breasts are getting so important to everyone, I should draw as much attention to them as possible. That way, even if I am not important, at least I am attached to something important. This is especially terrible, because it makes them view their bodies as public property. When they start doing that, it puts them at risk of living their lives as if they were an advert for themselves, with no private thoughts in their own heads! Imagine that!”

This was terrible! I was very worried for the booby, sorry, breasty girls. But if they had pictures of other breasty girls on their tumblrs, didn’t that mean they were just as bad as the people who treated their breasts like hats? I emailed another grown-up, her name is Ariel Levy and she wrote a book about pigs. I told her I was 6 years old straight away though, so her reply said:

“The breasty girls think that men will think they are boring if they don’t treat all breasts like special hats. No one wants to be boring! So they become very interested in other breasty girls, but only to look at, because that way they are doing what they believe the men are doing, and feel like they are equals. It is like when someone picks on you at school. If you have curly hair and people laugh at your curly hair, you feel bad and want to cry. But if you say, ‘Look at my stupid curly hair!’ first, then you feel like people are laughing with you. Some of the breasty girls may truly feel confident and happy, but many are really very shy. But they are afraid this shyness will get them bullied, so they almost bully themselves. P.S. remember if you are being bullied at school to tell a teacher.”

This was so much information! I did not know how to feel. I sat in my special corner with my blanky and thought it over and over. Eventually, I came up with two supergood plans. First, I would grow up a lot bigger, then I would be interested in something other than girls breasts, so that they would only put up their pictures if they were sure it would be fun. Second, I was going to spit in Simon’s dinner.