Moira Johnston: East Village topless woman identified (UPDATED)

Spotted outside Whole Foods in Union Square.

UPDATE: Ah-HA! Our suspicion that the breast-baring woman wandering around the East Village is doing so in order to make a political statement is confirmed! The blog Racked caught up with topless lady Moira Johnston, who says she is ditching her shirt to raise awareness about women’s legal right to be topless in NYC. So what kind of woman adopts such a bold sense of style?

“I would say I’m kind of artsy and, um, apparently my outfit today also has roots in social activism,” she told the blog.

And how does she feel about the, uh, you know… staring?

“I get a lot of support,” Johnston told the blog. “Well, there’s mixed reactions, because people aren’t used to seeing it in our culture yet.”

Metro’s original story is below….

Somewhere in the East Village, a woman is walking around with her breasts exposed.

According to local blog EV Grieve, New Yorkers have been asking each other if they’ve caught a glimpse of this bold exhibitionist in the East Village over the past two weeks. Turns out, the urban legend of the topless woman is no legend at all, as proven by photos posted on the blog, sent in by a reader. She was spotted on Second Avenue and later outside Whole Foods in Union Square (NSFW version here).

The young lady seems perfectly comfortable and unfazed by gawking pedestrians as she moves through the streets sans shirt or bra — perhaps because it is her legal right. Women have been free to bare their breasts in public since a 1992 court ruling where arrested topless women Ramona Santorelli and Mary Lou Schloss argued that a law against it was “discriminatory on its face since it defines ‘private or intimate parts’ of a woman’s but not a man’s body as including a specific part of the breast.”

Is this topless New Yorker simply out to prove a political point? Commenters on the blog say they, too, have seen a topless woman walking around with a mustache drawn on her face, though it is unclear whether or not it is the same woman. Is a topless revolution brewing in the East Village, along with a mustache revolution? Which would be more interesting?

More on public nudity:



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