The occasionally clothing-averse Miley Cyrus lifted her shirt for Twitter over the weekend to advocate a woman’s right to bare her breasts, in support of a forthcoming feature film titled Free the Nipple. On Saturday, she tweeted an almost topless selfie featuring two strategically placed hearts that read “Merry Christmas.”
“THANK YOU NY for being one of the few states to @freethenipple,” she wrote, tweeting later, “It’s not about getting your titties out. It’s about equality.”
Cyrus mentioned New York because the state’s Court of Appeals ruled in 1992 (incidentally the year Cyrus was born) that it is legal for women to go topless anywhere a man can do so. Although police have arrested women for going topless in New York City as recently as October, some women have cited the ruling to avoid arrest; one, Jill Coccaro, successfully sued the city in 2005 and received a $29,000 settlement for her arrest. Currently, 17 U.S. states either have ambiguous laws about topless equality or ban it outright, according to GoTopless.org. The website says that in Cyrus’s home state of Tennessee, the “mere showing of the female breast in public is illegal according to state law.”
The movie that Cyrus tweeted at, Free the Nipple, asks questions like “What is more obscene, violence or a nipple?” and “How do we change the censorship laws in America?” in its uncensored trailer. The preview bears the tagline “Join the evolution” and shows women running through New York City to a cover of the Beach Boys‘ “Good Vibrations.” The film’s director is Lina Esco, who acted in the 2012 movie LOL alongside Cyrus.
2013 has been the year that Cyrus has revealed herself as “pop’s wildest child,” as Rolling Stone’s cover described her, thanks to an eye-popping performance at the VMAs, a smoke break at the EMAs and, of course, her “Wrecking Ball” clip (which Betty White even parodied). She’s now planning to take her Bangerz tour on the road in 2014. Until then, she’s making appearances in Nick Cave’s dreams.