Mademamoiselles say no to topless bathing

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:16 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 14, 2010, 9:42 AM ]

I was five when I went on my first overseas holiday. For reasons only known to them, my parents chose the swanky southern French resort of St.Tropez. Most of my memories of that holiday are lost in the mists of time, but one happy image remains as clear as a sunny Mediterranean day. The sight of my first topless sunbathing woman.Banning the boobs

It was with dismay then that I read this week that this French tradition, first popular during the feminist 70s, is becoming increasingly unpopular. Sales of the monokini (the single piece beachwear) are dropping, and the mayor of St. Tropez recently said that less and less women are baring their assets on the swanky Cote d’Azur beaches. In Paris, topless sunbathing has actually been banned from at Paris Plages, the city’s urban beach.

Topless is tops

A recent survey found that 24% of French women are annoyed by bare breasts. Apparently, the sexualization of nudity is to blame for this increasingly popular attitude. There is also of course their valid concern about skin cancer. I can understand these points of view, but I still can’t help but feel a little saddened by the return to the puritan bikini. The beach has for so long been the only place where people can promenade almost as nature intended.

Fortunately, while the French are keeping covered, topless bathing is as popular as ever in many other destinations around the world.Those helpful people at Forbes magazine even put together a list of the world’s best topless beaches