Many others followed suit and the breast and beach were reclaimed. It is still the norm in Germany, according to one recent survey, which suggests almost a third of Germans and Austrians sunbathe naked.
Nudity as a political statement is no new thing — indeed, proverbially speaking, the personal has always been political — but, thanks to the internet, it has become a mainstay in the world of political activism: in France "showing your breasts wisely a dodgy street will always be a dodgy street, so you have to act responsibly can be a political statement," says Pfeiffer.
According to French Elle, women have stopped sunbathing topless in France.
The real reason french women have stopped sunbathing topless
Mon 28 Jul Reuse this content. Pfeiffer agrees: "The ones who do it all look the same — slim and small breasts, which contributes to keeping a social order and aesthetic norm in place.
But add sun damage to gravity and the fear is you won't have pretty breasts. It's a "worrying of a regression in the place of women".
Model bridget malcolm opens up about being told to get naked during a photo shoot
Though probably universal, this attitude towards topless sunbathing has had the biggest impact in France. And now that they're covering up? First, an increased concern over health and the dangers of skin cancer; second, the "pornified" perception of topless women indeed Elle suggests the death of the monokini — ie swimming briefs — was linked to the idea that topless women are seen as "loose" ; and third, the rise of breast-affiliated activism — chiefly Femenwho use their naked breasts as a means of attracting attention to various causes, and Free the Nipplea recent campaign that encourages women to go topless to end the stigma surrounding female bodies.
Is topless sunbathing over? Ever since Brigitte Bardot took off her top on the French Riviera in the s, the correlation between topless sunbathing and women's liberation has been entrenched in French culture as a of true equality. But both agree that the issue is not one of self-consciousness.
According to the magazine the answer is "yes", and the reasons are threefold. Pfeiffer blames "pop-porn culture — Miley Cyrus to American Apparel, ie aggressive naked imagery of young girls" — for the shift in perception of going topless. A straw poll in the UK also suggests it's equally de rigueur: one in six women we asked said they have or would sunbathe topless: "I don't think about skin cancer or being photographed or activism when I go topless," says Jess, 32 of north-west London.
Pyyntöäsi ei voi käsitellä
Brigitte Bardot sunbathing on the beach in s. What of the links between breasts and activism? Fashion blog Fashion. Morwenna Ferrier. The real reason French women cover up, says Costa-Kostritsky, is because "it makes uncovering them for a lover more interesting".
But some women over 50 do. Costa-Kostritsky thinks the decline could be linked to health concerns, but these are less about skin damage and more about vanity: "Women of my generation have always been told that the sun was bad for our skin. The real reason French women have stopped sunbathing topless.
Two French women reveal why they do, and don't, and how little it has to do with health scares. Pfeiffer agrees that the shift has been generational: "Family albums here can be a strange thing, as you flip through three generations of bourgeois bra-less women.
She says the change hasn't happened overnight: "I've never seen young women doing it lo. But, according to two French women, it's more than a fear of skin cancer and political activism that has kept them covered up.