From Digital Journal.com
The beaches of St Tropez and other French resorts are witnessing the decline of what was once a common sight – ladies in topless swimsuits.
Topless swimsuits and bathing made their first appearance on French beaches in 1964 near St Tropez on the Riviera, and they have been there ever since, as well as on all the other beaches in France, on which topless attire is permitted. But the halcyon days of topless culture may well be threatened.
In a sure sign that the winds of change are beginning to blow, Eres, a top French name in chic and trendy swimsuits, has announced that they are selling more one-piece full swimsuits than topless versions for the first time.
A survey asked women why they now prefer to cover up.
Psychologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann carried out a study on the reasons why women liked going topless back in the mid-90’s, a time when the practice was extremely popular.
He looks back today on that period and comments the changes in attitudes that have been revealed by an updated survey carried out by independent French online news site RUE89. He sums up those changes by saying that “Cultural reference points have completely changed in the last fifteen years. What was once fashionable has now become old-fashioned, and young women in particular no longer think twice about stigmatizing in a very emphatic manner the “old women of 50” who dare to take off their bikini tops.”
So, in a country where seventies cliché styles such as bell-bottomed trousers and mustaches are making a comeback, why are women saying no to nipples on beaches?
Here are the 10 most quoted reasons that the survey found.
One. “Because I don’t see any benefit to be gained from having suntanned breasts.”
Among the reasons given for that opinion were an amusing “Because I don’t want my breasts to look like crumpled brown toilet gloves” as well as a more down-to-earth “I need to look after them if I want them to remain firm as long as possible.”
Kaufmann found in 1995 however that white breasts on a suntanned body were not even considered to be a fashionable, never mind desirable, asset.
Two. “In order not to show everything at once. I prefer to be coaxed into that.”
One 29-year-old who prefers not to go topless explained why. “Understatement is much better. I prefer to sharpen appetites rather than deliver everything on a plate. It may seem ridiculous, but I prefer to respect myself and my body. That’s who I am.”
For Sandrine Renault-Pannetier, who works for a well-known French fashion consulting firm, “We are now living in a game of peek-a-boo. The seduction game has become more subtle, more elaborate.”