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Keira Knightley's Topless Picture Is Not Empowering or Feminist, As Proven by the Sun's Page 3

02/09/2014 16:57 BST | Updated 02/11/2014 10:59 GMT

Back when I was a spotty teenager I was very unhappy at being at the back of the queue when boobs were handed out.

Convinced that the only way boys were going to notice me was if I had a big chest (before I realised they were idiots) and haunted by my mother's 'ironing-board-would-be-jealous joke', I would probably have loved to see a flat-chested model or actress proudly baring their gooseberries with an air of utter confidence.

But the sad fact is that it doesn't really matter if a woman is confident about posing topless - as the beautiful Keira Knightley absolutely does in her pictures taken by Patrick Demarchelier for Interview magazine.

keira

The bottom line is that however fierce and independent she looks, when used in the wrong context - and by that I mean for titillation nothing else - it doesn't make her photos art or a strong statement.

Put bluntly: it's a photo of a woman with her boobs out being objectified by men.

I'm talking about opening up a weekend copy of the Sun and finding Keira's topless photo splashed all over page 3.

I was shocked, revolted and to be honest - felt a bit sorry for her.

It was evident that this photo was meant to be art (whatever that means). And the fact that it was shot by one of the world's leading photographers is meant to reinforce that claim.

But while it is a powerful and strong image, it also shows that this image isn't 'feminist' as Claire Cohen, writing for the Telegraph, says, or a 'victory for small breasted women'.

This is a very uncomfortable reminder that we do live in a man's world.

A reminder that a male editor of a newspaper can take such a beautiful image, slap it on his hallowed page for men to perve over, and completely override and destroy any of the strength it once contained.

So what does this mean?

Does it mean we have to Taliban-ise ourselves and only publish pictures where women are covered up in a high-necked collar? Of course not.

We should be thankful to campaigns like #FreeTheNipple for pushing for equality when it comes to body image and nudity, protesting against unfair laws that require women to be prosecuted for going topless when men aren't.

However let's not go overboard and claim that this image of Knightley is a coup for female strength - it isn't.

Especially not when it is being appropriated by all the very people feminism is trying to fight against.