Students at Bard College have started a blog called Boobs@Bard, which (you guessed it) hosts pictures of topless co-eds. Harvard now has their own spin-off. Is this a symptom of our hypersexual culture, or a brave step towards body acceptance?
Full disclosure: I am former Bard student (class of 2009) and as such, I am no stranger to the type of mentality that spawned Boobs@Bard (NSFW, obviously). Bard is located in an isolated town in the Hudson Valley, so it's not uncommon to see bare-breasted women sunning themselves by the library, or walking around the meditation garden. Local lore says the campus is "clothing optional," but there are plenty of places where nudity is not tolerated. Despite the college's reputation for being a freewheeling bastion of liberal politics and hippy ideals (although at this point, hipster might be the better word for subculture of choice), some taboos remain. While no one will stop you from going for a topless stroll by the river, security may ask you to put some clothes on if you try to order your omelet in the buff.
As I've admitted before, my personal proclivities place me closer to never-nude than nudist, but I've always admired those who see nakedness as No Big Deal. Fortunately, for many students, it really is nothing remarkable. In a small, enclosed community like Bard, there is a certain freedom to go nude without encountering the same level of harassment and mockery one would garner in the "real world." Interestingly, Boobs@Bard throws off the safety net created by a wooded campus, policed only by famously lax Bard security, and puts it out there where anyone can see it. Although I can guess what might lead a group of Bard kids to want to show their tits on the internet, we decided to contact the creators of Boobs@Bard — and their brother site, CocksOnCampus — via email to find out what lead to the creation of the original tumblr, and how the two websites differ. The editor of Boobs wanted to remain anonymous, but they were willing to talk about the site and their involvement. Excerpts below: