DOZENS danced and cheered half-naked amid blustery weather on Hove this afternoon for the "free the nipple" protest.

Campaigners aiming to "challenge the dictatorship of the male gaze" met at Hove Lawns Peace Statue at noon.

Free nipple painting was provided as the semi-naked protesters danced to music and cheered "free the nipple" at those passing by on the promenade.

Organiser Bee Nicholls, from Brighton, said: "It's important to acknowledge and challenge double standards in society.

"People love it, people are really supportive and the events really change people's lives.

"People feel very empowered and happy and it's open to all ages and genders."

Previous years would have seen the protesters march around the city.

However, this year's event - the first after last year's enforced hiatus - was static so people could maintain social distancing if they wished.

Those gathered aimed to reclaim ownership of their bodies and voices "in the face of oppressive double standards in society".

Co-organiser Mickey said: "Free the nipple is basically a protest against the sexualisation of female and trans bodies.

The Argus: Co-organiser MickeyCo-organiser Mickey

"I think it draws attention to the problems within the female and trans communities and it gets people talking.

"It's quite shocking thing to thing to see - most people aren't used to seeing people with their nipples out who are not cis men.

"It gets the conversation started."

Campaigners say there are "oppressive double standards" within society, which the protest aims to challenge.

At about 1pm, the about 40 people in attendance held a silent protest against violence against women.

Holiday-makers Zelah Riley and Morz Marlow joined in after passing the protest on the seafront.

The Argus: Holiday-makers Zelah Riley and Morz Marlow joined in the protest after a spot of skinny dippingHoliday-makers Zelah Riley and Morz Marlow joined in the protest after a spot of skinny dipping

Zelah said: "We've come down from Norfolk for a couple of days and we just spotted it.

"We had just been skinny-dipping - we're very much into naturism.

"We don't understand why men can sit around topless and women can't.

"We strip off all the time, politically, and I think there's still a lot of misogyny in the world."

If you would like to know more about the protest, head to the organisation's website at