"If I had taken the photo down it would have gone against everything I believe in," the 19-year-old tells PEOPLE
A Belmont University student and sorority member is standing up for the nipple.
Lauren Forsythe voluntarily resigned from Phi Mu in Nashville, Tennessee, after she was asked to take down a picture of herself in the TaTa Top, a skin colored bikini with nipples printed on it.
“If I had taken the photo down it would have gone against everything I believe in,” the 19-year-old tells PEOPLE. “I believe every man and women should have the choice to be shirtless.”
After she refused to remove the photo from her private Instagram account, the Greek organization’s executive board gave Forsythe the choice of resigning or facing a disciplinary hearing.
The California native says she is a full supporter of the #FreetheNipple campaign that aims to desexualize the female nipple and has won the support of stars like Miley Cyrus, Chrissy Teigen and Chelsea Handler.
One of the reasons she purchased the suit is because the company behind it donates $5 from every $28 top sold to various charities benefitting women’s health issues.
Phi Mu’s national headquarters issued a statement to Cosmopolitan after hearing of Forsythe’s resignation.
“Lauren was held to the same expectations of all collegiate members in representing their chapter and the organization, including, from the Phi Mu Fraternity Policy on Human Dignity/Noble Womanhood: ‘Members should emulate the highest standards of conduct at all times,’ ” reads the statement.
Though the sophomore says she will “miss my sorority and the opportunities that awaited me,” she has no regrets about her decision to leave.
“I would rather sacrifice my sorority than sacrifice my values.”