Is Topless Tanning a Thing of the Past?
While the concept of topless sunbathing is foreign to most Americans, it’s totally normal in many European countries, particularly France. What began as a way to get even color quickly became a cultural symbol for women’s rights, especially after Brigitte Bardot went topless in the ’60s. Topless tanning has since represented freedom, liberation, and equality—all good things. But a recent article in French Elle says the status quo is shifting. Only 2 percent of women under 35 claim to sunbathe topless, and their reasons might surprise you: For starters, there’s increased skin cancer awareness, which is a no-brainer. But going topless has also been “pornified” as of late, with pop stars and controversial stores like American Apparel pushing an aggressive image of female nudity.
The most intriguing reason women are keeping their tops on? Social media. “You can end up topless on your own Facebook wall,” Alice Pfeiffer, an Anglo-French journalist, told The Guardian. (Not to mention that Instagram most definitely fears the nipple and posting a selfie could endanger your account.) Pfeiffer also noted a vanity issue: “The ones who [sunbathe topless] all look the same—slim and small breasts, which contributes to keeping a social order and aesthetic norm in place.” But no matter your bust or bottom size, we fully support rocking out with your top out—so long as you do it slathered in sunscreen and with plenty of confidence.
Photo: CR Fashion Book