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The real reason French women have stopped sunbathing topless

中国日报网 2014-08-12 10:16





Is topless sunbathing over? It certainly is in France, according to French Elle, if the coverline on its new summer issue is to be believed: "La Fin Du Topless Sur La Plage?" – which translates, verbatim, to "Is this the end of toplessness on the beach?"

According to the magazine the answer is "yes", and the reasons are threefold. 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 Femen, who use their naked breasts as a means of attracting attention to various causes, and Free the Nipple, a recent campaign that encourages women to go topless to end the stigma surrounding female bodies. "Topless sunbathing was seen by women as a new freedom in St Tropez in the 1960s," says Elle. And now that they're covering up? It's a "worrying sign of a regression in the place of women".

Ever since Brigitte Bardot took off her top on the French Riviera in the 1960s, the correlation between topless sunbathing and women's liberation has been entrenched in French culture as a sign of true equality. Many others followed suit and the breast and beach were reclaimed. News that so few women are now going topless (just 2% of women under 35 said they did) seems extraordinary – and depressing.

But, according to two French women, it's more than a fear of skin cancer and political activism that has kept them covered up.

Alice Pfeiffer, a 29-year-old Anglo-French journalist (who, incidentallydoes sunbathe topless in Biarritz, Guéthary, Monaco and surfing resort Hossegor), thinks the decline is inextricably linked to social media: "Young women in their 20s do it less because they are aware that ... you can end up topless on your own Facebook wall."

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.

"Globalisation and Americanisation of women's portrayal and sexiness in France has pushed away gentle (and generally harmless) French eroticism towards porno, frontal, hyper-sexualised consciousness," she says. "Nudist, beach-like freedom is not what it used to be ... breasts no longer feel innocent or temporarily asexual."

Though probably universal, this attitude towards topless sunbathing has had the biggest impact in France. It is still the norm in Germany, according to one recent survey, which suggests almost a third of Germans and Austrians sunbathe naked. 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. "I just want an all-over tan."

Valeria Costa-Kostritsky, a Paris-based writer, is 32 and sunbathes (not topless) in Britanny and Côte d'Azur. She says the change hasn't happened overnight: "I've never seen young women doing it loads. But some women over 50 do."

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." But she maintains that "French women of most ages have, as far as I can remember, sunbathed topless."

What of the links between breasts and activism? 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.

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. But add sun damage to gravity and the fear is you won't have pretty breasts."

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 both agree that the issue is not one of self-consciousness. "[French women] feel comfortable doing it!" says Pfeiffer. The real reason French women cover up, says Costa-Kostritsky, is because "it makes uncovering them for a lover more interesting".


祼露上身晒日光浴的时代终结了吗?据时尚杂志Elle法语版报道:日光浴在法国的确是结束了。当然这要在其夏季新发行的刊物的封面内容属实的情况下成立。“La Fin Du Topless Sur La Plage?”——完全按字面翻译是“这会是沙滩祼露上身晒日光浴的终结吗?”

该杂志的答案是“肯定”的,而原因有三:第一,对健康和皮肤癌危险的日益担忧;第二,赤祼上身女性的“色情化”成份(实际上Elle解读单件比基尼的消亡——即游泳裤——是与一种观念相关联的:赤祼上身的女性被视作是“淫荡的”);第三、赤裸上身活动激进主义——主要是女权团体的兴起。在应对各类事态时,她们用裸露上身的方式吸引注意力。还有近来升温的“解放乳头”(Free the Nipple)运动,即鼓励女性祼露上身来终节有关女性身体的耻辱。“20世纪60年代,女性将祼露上身晒日光浴在圣特罗佩兹(St Tropez)视做一种全新的自由。”Elle写道。而现在它们要遮掩起来了吗?“这种迹象表明女性地位的倒退,令人担忧。”

自从20世纪60年代碧姬•芭铎(Brigitte Bardot)在法国里维埃拉(Riviera)脱去上衣以来,祼露上身晒日光浴与女性解放间的关联就深植于法国文化中,成为一种真正平等的标志。其他人也纷纷效仿,胸部和海滩得到了解放。有消息称,现在极少的女性会赤裸上身(只有约2%的35岁以下女性自称会这样做),这看起来蹊跷,也令人沮丧。


一名29岁的英裔法籍记者爱丽丝· 法伊弗曾在比亚里茨(Biarritz)、盖塔你(Guéthary)、摩纳哥和冲浪胜地奥瑟戈尔(Hossegor)享受过祼露上身日光浴,她认为祼露上身晒日光浴人数的减少与社交媒体有着不可分割的关系:“年轻女性在她们20岁左右的时候很少袒胸日光浴,因为她们意识到……最终你会在自己的Facebook留言板上看到自己的赤裸上身照。”

法伊弗指责转变袒露上身观念的“流行的色情文化——即富有挑逗性的年轻女性裸照,如麦莉•赛勒斯(Miley Cyrus)为“美国服饰”(American Apparel)公司拍的代言照”。



32岁的巴黎作家瓦莱里娅·考斯塔-科斯特丽奇斯基(Valeria Costa-Kostritsky)常在布列塔尼和蔚蓝海岸(Cote d'Azur)的沙滩边日光浴(不会赤裸上身)。她表示,这种变化不是在一夜间发生的。“我从未见年轻的女性那样做。却见过一些50多岁的人那样。”






(译者 xiongxiong1314 编辑 丹妮)


法国女性为什么不再祼露上身晒日光浴? 法国女性为什么不再祼露上身晒日光浴?



















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