If you don't remember the King Arthur film (up there with Braveheart for accuracy and attention to myth) you might recall the posters featuring the famously slight Knightley as Guinevere with a rather heaving bosom. Perhaps they swelled with woad but Knightley was happy to publicly note that a little photoshopping might have happened in the chesticular area. Like all actors today Knightley is no stranger to the digital touch up.
Commenting on women's bodies and the photography of them to the Times Knightley said: "I think women's bodies are a battleground and photography is partly to blame...It;s much easier to take a picture of somebody without a shape; it simply is.
"Whereas actually you need tremendous skill to be able get a woman's shape and make it look like it does in life, which is always beautiful. But our society is so photographic now, it becomes more difficult to see all of those different varieties of shape."
It's hard to know whether Knightley has heard the lines of photographers and picture editors et al so many times that she sincerely thinks it is easier to photograph one body type than the other (it is of course easier to photograph a photogenic person, but whether their size influences this? I don't know)
Knightley physically adheres to our idea of the current shape-du-jour that this is the topless 'protest' we can talk about.
However perhaps because, though what we might call flat chested, Knightley physically adheres to our idea of the current shape-du-jour that this is the topless 'protest' we can talk about. Look I really don't care whether or not women decide to show their breasts, because it is their choice to show their breasts. I care that they get to choose how they are presented and 'read' though.
Knightley's sentiments are right but also she's lucky to have been asked. The stand up comedian Tig Notaro has always been public about her breast cancer and double mastectomy. She recently chose to perform part of her set topless, revealing her 'unreconstructed' breasts to the audience. It might help a lot of people for this story to be covered (ha-ha) more.
A new white mother posted a photo of her breastfeeding her baby whilst still in her graduation robes, which in turn reminded many and returned to circulation an image of a woman of colour also breastfeeding whilst wearing her graduation gown. This time to a more positive reception.
We have a lot of breasts to talk about. And it seems putting them away is the worst thing we can do.