Saturday, July 25, 2009

Topless sunbathing has a long way to go for acceptance with some women

Tom showed me this article and asked me to write a comment. It is about a women who went to Florida to South Beach debating with herself as to whether to try topless sunbathing for the first time.

Here's her story:

"Off With Her Top — Or Not?

...I figured that an afternoon at South Beach would provide for some excellent people watching... when I stepped out onto the beach, armed with flip-flops, sunglasses, and SPF 500000, my eyes were met with a little more than I had counted on seeing: breasts. Tan boobs, small boobs, round boobs, wrinkly boobs – they were dotted along the beach on full display, perched atop happily sunbathing women whose relaxed posture seemed to suggest that topless sunbathing was the most natural thing in the world. For me, however, it required some further thought...

People do it here all the time.” And then, with a little smirk, “You could do it too.”

Could I? Of course I could, but another question loomed larger in my mind: Would I? And if not, why? I certainly don’t consider myself an adherent of extreme modesty, and my tiny blue bikini was evidence of my comfort with bearing skin to the world. Furthermore, it was hot, and the idea of exposing more skin to the cool ocean breeze seemed pretty tempting under the mid-July sun. But although my hand drifted up several times to the string around my neck, I never quite got up the nerve to untie the knot and bare my breasts to the beach.

Why? This question danced in my head as I lay (quite happily, I might add) on the warm sand and listened to the pounding of the waves. What is it about women’s breasts that elicits such intense emotional reactions in America? It seems that most women are unsatisfied with the pair they’ve got, and most men are satisfied to be within 20 ft of just about any pair at all. Men go topless all the time, displaying their chests (fit, flabby, and everything in between) without a second thought. But when women do the same, they risk ridicule and unwanted attention, and in many cases even arrest for “indecent exposure.” Indecent? Really? When did the upper ventral regions of our torsos, the combination of fat, tissue, and mammary gland, become so sexualized and scandalous that they were deemed indecent for public exposure?...

Even today, there is a sharp contrast in the way topless women are perceived in America versus in other parts of the world. When I brought this up the other day with a friend who recently moved here from France, she agreed that the French have a different attitude towards the whole business of bosoms. “For years, it’s just been more acceptable. [A topless women] is not something to stare at.”...

As for me, I guess I’d say that my beliefs are a work in progress. I know for sure that I would not feel comfortable going topless on my way to a college lecture, picking up groceries, or strolling around my neighborhood – even on a hot summer’s day. Like it or not, I am a product of my society, and I know that bearing my chest in such a public way would take me far outside my comfort zone, making me feel vulnerable and uneasy... The beach is different story, however, and I think that it could be the perfect environment for me to break free of everyday boundaries and conventions, and dare myself to bare. I’m going down to Florida again in a few weeks, and this time I just might give those bikini strings a tug..."

For the full, very interesting story click here

My first time trying topless sunbathing was on a nude beach in Jamaica I was in my early 20's. Just like the writer, I found the beach to be a perfect environment to try something new, daring, and exciting. Tom and I were very nervous. We wore bathing suits to get to the beach. Once there, just like the writer, we looked around. Everyone was in their birthday suit and perfectly happy. We spread our towels and off came my bikini. We've never regretted that decision.

It was completely natural and FUN!!! The new freedom made us feel like little kids again. I didn't have to worry about sand in my suit. We loved the freedom of being nude outside. And obviously I loved since years latter I started a nudist resort here in sunny Palm Springs!

I am a big proponent for women being able to be topless anywhere a man can be shirt free. However that will take a long time to achieve in the US, if ever. Like the woman, for me to be topless in public, I have to be in my comfort zone too. Which means I would not buy groceries naked unless everyone else is too. And actually above is a pic of me buying groceries at a nudist town in the South of France and yes, it is normally to go everywhere naked in that town. You can buy gas nude, go to the Post Office nude, police station nude, and naturally the beach nude.

There are many reasons why more women don't go topless sunbathing which is the easiest way to start. The writer touches on one of the major issues. She writes "It seems that most women are unsatisfied with the pair they’ve got." This is so true. But why?

In my opinion, women's magazines are a major culprit. They want us to feel insecure with our bodies so we will buy the bras, clothing, diets, plastic surgery, etc that their advertises push on us. Men aren't made to feel insecure. Instead they use photos of "sexy" women to sell them products.

Women would like their bodies more if it wasn't for the garbage that advertisers and women's magazines push down our throats in the guise of "self-improvement."

Breasts are sexualized because we make them that way in society. At the turn of the century, a woman's bare ankle was sexualized and only women of loose "moral" character would ever show a bare ankle. Now who in society gives naked ankles a second thought?

Here in Palm Springs, our local Indian tribe is the Agua Caliente Tribe. The women lived topless for thousands of years until the white missionaries "civilized" them in the 1800's. They never knew that bare breasts were sexual and a "sin" until they were taught that by the missionaries.

It is sad that the writer of the article couldn't work up the courage to try topless sunbathing. I would bet she would be like most women, once you try it, you never want to wear a top again on the beach. Since she is going to Florida again in a few weeks. I wish her good luck in trying topless sunbathing. Get out of your comfort zone. Have some fun. You'll love it!

Mary Clare
The Terra Cotta Inn clothing optional resort and spa, Palm Springs, California
The most mainstream clothing optional resort in the US

Thanks Tom for helping me with the mechanics of your blog. Happy anniversary (it was yesterday).

1 comment:

Ryan Fox said...

Always good to be topless in the sun!