Tits up: Lucy & Yak’s new campaign urges you to bare all

In its latest collection, the Brighton-based brand stands up to breast censorship

Hero image in post
Hero image in post

In its latest collection, the Brighton-based brand stands up to breast censorship

By Darshita Goyal22 Jan 2024
4 mins read time
4 mins read time

If you walk by Piccadilly Circus, one of London’s most crowded, snatch-and-grab hot spots, you’d be greeted by a very tall, almost naked billboard of Jeremy Allen White for Calvin Klein. There’s also something you’re definitely not going to see; a similar Calvin Klein campaign of FKA twigs dressed in a denim shirt with half a buttcheek and half a boob out.

Turns out, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK banned twigs’ ad for apparently depicting the artist as a “stereotypical sexual object”. Pause for eye roll. If you identify as anything but a cis-het white man, this will ring familiar. For decades, government systems, organised workplaces, educational institutions and social media have policed some bodies more than others.

Think of all the times Instagram took down that beach holiday photo dump because of a rogue boob or when you got stared down for showing off some cleavage at a formal occasion. Now think of every time you were greeted by a man’s hyper masc shirtless thirst trap on socials. Yep, countless. The disparity and double standards while policing traditionally male and female bodies are shocking.

So in 2024, dopamine-dripped fashion brand Lucy & Yak have taken on the mantle to challenge this censorship. In their latest campaign, Baring All, the Brighton and Barnsley-based label have released clothing that features photography prints of big boobs, tiny boobs, post-op and pre-op trans boobs, boobs that feed, boobs that wrinkle and boobs that have survived cancer.

Through this collection, the brand hopes to spotlight bodies that are typically blocked and reported online, while urging people to question whose breasts are censored and why. But in true Meta style, Lucy & Yak’s Instagram post introducing the campaign was taken down by the platform for promoting “inappropriate content”. Luckily for them, this disservice only emboldened the brand. The campaign models – whose boobs are pictured on the clothing – dressed up in the new collection and protested in front of the Meta offices in London, demanding the freedom to bare all.

“We’ve come up against many barriers to showcase the campaign photography in public, from being refused billboards to the risk of shadow banning on social media,” founder Lucy Greenwood tells woo. “We like to think we’re in control of what content we’re seeing, but in reality algorithms hold much of the power. As it turns out, these AI systems are prone to mistakes and bias – mistakes that negatively impact and over-censor women, plus-size people, sex-positive accounts, non-binary and trans people on social media.”

Prior to the launch, Lucy & Yak hosted a study with 2,000 people across the UK and learnt that 50 per cent of the respondents want society to normalise a diversity of breasts and chests. Two in five people believe that online boob censorship reinforces views about some parts of the human body being inherently sexual or offensive. Just think about how vastly different the reaction can be when people with varied cup sizes wear bikini tops.

Naomi Native, a content creator who is featured in the campaign, has battled with this over-sexualisation for most of her adult life. “I have been censored by digital platforms and by other users via comments. The overwhelming feeling is of frustration, because I know that I wouldn’t get the same response if I existed in a smaller body with a smaller chest,” Native says. “It also angers me, because people feel entitled to comment on my body.”

But this discomfort isn’t limited to women alone. The Lucy & Yak campaign also includes photos of Oscar, who identifies as a trans man. Every time the artist posts a shirtless photo online, he’s forced to tense his chest in an attempt to flatten it so the algorithm doesn’t flag him. “No matter how hard I try, people will still point out everything I wish no one noticed. Behind closed doors, I have never viewed my chest in a hateful way, never not seen it as a man’s chest,” he says.

By bringing these stories front and centre on their social media, Lucy & Yak is creating a community that resists body shame and censorship. For every product that is purchased from the Baring All collection, the brand will donate £1.50 to breast cancer awareness charity Coppafeel, trans awareness organisation Not a Phase or non-profit People vs. Big Tech.

The clothing line includes a dress, a jacket, dungarees, shirts and trousers, tunics and a three-piece underwear set. Each piece is available in sizes UK 4 to UK 32 and the collection is priced between £16 and £72. So if you love bright colours, boobs and pissing off people with archaic views, this collection is for you <3

Shop Lucy & Yak’s Baring All collection online on their website.