Toplessness refers to the state in which a female's torso is exposed above her waist or hips, or with at least her breasts, areola, and nipples being exposed, especially in a public place or in a visual medium.In the past, some cultures' social conventions have required females to cover their torso, especially the breasts, midriff and navel. While exposed breasts were and are normal in many indigenous societies, most First World cultures today have formal or informal dress codes, legal statutes, or religious teachings that require females to cover their breasts in public from adolescence onward. Contemporary Western cultures permit displays of cleavage in appropriate social contexts, but exposing the areola and nipples is usually regarded as immodest and is sometimes prosecuted as indecent exposure, lewd, or even disorderly conduct. The topfreedom movement challenges laws that forbid females to go topless in places where males are permitted to be barechested, arguing that such restrictions amount to gender discrimination.Toplessness is less controversial in the fields of entertainment, fashion, and the arts than it is in society as a whole, especially when it is perceived to have artistic merit. From early prehistoric art to the present day, women have been depicted topless in visual media from painting and sculpture to film and photography. In contemporary mainstream cinema, Academy Award–winning actresses such as Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, and Nicole Kidman have appeared topless in their films. Cabaret and burlesque shows, as well as haute couture fashion shows and pictorials, frequently include toplessness or see-through clothing.Societies tend to react more harshly when women expose their breasts in public if the intent is sexual arousal. Toplessness in adult entertainment, such as in strip clubs or in softcore pornography, is regarded by some as indecent and is subject to more stringent government regulation or prohibitions.Public toplessness may occasionally be considered acceptable, depending on location and context. Many jurisdictions legally protect women's right to breastfeed in public or exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws. In many parts of Europe and Australia, as well as at many resort destinations around the world, it has become culturally and often legally acceptable for women to sunbathe topless on beaches. Topless sunbathing may also be permitted in non-beach areas, such as some European parks and lakes, designated areas on some cruise ships, and swimming pools at some hotels.