The Daily Beast reports on a change in policy in France, where the topless beaches made legendary there are about to be the sign of a bygone era, due to a shift in women’s swimsuit fashions back to covering up the upper body.
The most telling quote in the entire article is:
“Nothing is more ringard (tacky, or out of date) in 2009 than strolling around on the beach without a bathing-suit top.”
My reaction to this is somewhat mixed. I am of the impression that France is somewhat the exception to the rule, that there are few, if any, other places in the world that allow(ed) topless women on the beach.
Nevertheless, it’s kind of hard for me to not see the sexism in a policy requiring full-body swimwear for women and only for women, while at the same time making it appear rather, shall we say, hors de l’ordinare (unusual, or out of the ordinary) for men to show up in swimwear covering anything above the waist.
As a more voluminous male, I personally would feel more comfortable in something that would, in the US, be considered on the verge of gender inappropriate. Of course, maybe it shouldn’t be. I’ll probably draw my share of criticism for asserting that; rarely is a truly enlightening opinion met with open arms.