Boots has been forced to apologise after staff in one of its branches refused to print photos from a Free The Nipple march.
The store in Tunbridge Wells reportedly refused to print photos taken by a protester at the Brighton Free The Nipple event, which took place last weekend.
The march saw more than 200 people take to the streets, many without bras or shirts, in order to protest for gender equality.
According to the organisers, the purpose of the march was to draw attention to the double standard that says that men may bare their chests where women may not, despite the prevalent sexualised images of women’s bodies everywhere in our media, in advertising and online.
On Thursday, the Free The Nipple Brighton Facebook page shared an image of a photo kiosk receipt from Boots, claiming that the unnamed protester was charged the full price for photo printing, despite the company refusing to print some of her images.
“Boots is refusing to develop certain photos of our march, not cool!” the accompanying status said.
“One of our participants took a couple of snaps at the weekend and when she got them developed Boots omitted the ones showing women’s nipples on the grounds of nudity - charging full price regardless...Boots UK time to change your policy?”
In a statement given to HuffPost UK, Boots said it “does not have a policy in place concerning nudity in photos”.
“We would not print any images that contravene any obscenity laws,” a spokesperson said.
“Clearly, that wasn’t the case in this instance and we are sorry that the photos weren’t developed in full and for any offence caused to this customer.
“We will investigate further to ensure that all customers receive the service they expect from Boots UK.”
Speaking about the significance of the Free The Nipple march, event organiser Bee said women have to “risk so much to take part in activism”.
“We live in a world where taking off our clothes to simply be the same as men exposes us to shame, ridicule, danger and hate,” she said.
“Topless equality might seem like an odd thing to protest about to some, but when we talk about Free The Nipple really we are talking about desexualising the female body.
“To have a neutral body is to be safer and empowered - that is all we are asking for - and events like this one help to challenge perceptions and keep the debate alive.”