A new poll has revealed that French woman are refusing to go topless at the beach because of France’s free falling economy.
The poll conducted by the French edition of Elle magazine this summer told that just two per cent of women surveyed are now happy to shed their bikini tops when sunbathing.
According to one sociologist, Jean-Clade Kauffman, a general air of low confidence in the country thanks to its consistently poor economic performance could be behind the cultural shift.
Kauffman, the author of a book on female nudity, said the French are newly averse to ‘risk and revolution‘ thanks to austerity measures causing unrest in the country.
She said: ‘France has also been hard hit by austerity since the start of the financial crisis.
‘If breast-baring is a sign of risk and revolution, covering up is a sign of safety. In uncertain times, you always dress more conservatively.’
The study would also tell where once authorities defended toplessness, there’s now an official push to restrict it.
The survey shows a dramatic change of attitude in France, which used to be a haven of toplessness, even when it was taboo across most of the world in the 1960s.
Told one Parisian woman, Muriel Trazie, 60, who is privy to topless sunbathing: ‘It’s seen as vulgar. People are more prudish these days.’
Whilst Sandra Riahi, at only 22 an age that one would expect women to be more open to baring their breasts at the beach, told: ‘I’ve never done it. I’d be too embarrassed.’
Kaufmann also suggested the decline was because today’s women have forgotten the freedoms won by feminists in decades past.
She said: ‘French young women today are more conformist. They’ve already attained freedom … So they’ve gotten lazy and taken it for granted.’
The study also leaves open the theory that fear of skin cancer of skin cancer might be the reason why a once permissive society has refrained from topless sunbathing. But there might be more going on too….
In one Parisian park, local authorities have gone so far to erect signs reminding women in the area to remember their bikini tops.
Social media has also been mooted as a culprit. Nathan Assouline, a 22-year-old beach monitor at Paris Plages, an artificial beach in the capital, said some sunbathers could be discouraged by the rise of phone cameras. Could that perhaps then be the real reason why fewer women are daring to go topless?
Offered Assouline: ‘I see lots of old men loitering around here,’
‘I have to stop them from taking photos on their phones. It happens all the time.’