A 19-year-old Swedish high-school student has added to the debate about the sexualisation of the female body by posing topless for her class photo.
Hanna Bolander, from Vaxjo, southern Sweden, said she took part in the stunt in order to make a point about equality because if male students can pose topless, so should women.
The teenager said it was the entire class’ idea that one woman and one man should pose topless to highlight the issue, and she volunteered.
Speaking to Swedish media, Ms Bolander said that while staff at the school were ‘not thrilled’ at the stunt but allowed it because they respected her rights.
‘Our class came up with the idea that one of the girls should bare her breasts, so I volunteered,’ She told Expressen.
‘My classmates are politically active. We just thought somebody should take a stand and show her breasts and it just felt natural.
‘I don’t regret it at all. I just thought “why shouldn’t I be able to do that if guys can take their tops off?”
‘I have met men with bigger breasts than mine and they never felt the need to keep them under wraps.
‘As a feminist I should be free to reveal as much flesh as the opposite sex. I think it’s a social construct that we should think of breasts as such a big deal.’
Hanna – who posed alongside a bare-chested male classmate for the photo – said she was ‘surprised but pleased’ that her school had gone ahead and published the yearbook despite their reservations.
The theatre and aesthetics student added: ‘My principal and the photo company weren’t thrilled but they respected it and said they just wanted to inform me of the risks.
‘However my equally topless male friend was not given any such information.’
Reactions to the photo had been ‘mixed’ but her family given her their full backing despite being ‘a bit scared’, she said.
She added: ‘My favourite reaction came from a Norwegian man in his 70s who told me if he had a granddaughter who’d done this he would have been so proud.
‘I will continue to fight for equal rights, but I don’t see the need to show my breasts all the time.’
This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.