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Topless sunbathing goes out of style

The Local · 2 May 2011, 13:51

Published: 02 May 2011 13:51 GMT+02:00

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Bare breasts are going out of style at German pools and beaches, according to a survey by pharmacy magazine Apotheken Umschau, with only one in eight women (12.6 percent) saying they felt comfortable swimming or sunbathing topless in public.

The cause of the change in attitude, it seems, is overly curious men. One in three women surveyed said they felt uneasy being topless around men with wandering eyes, preferring instead the comfort of a full bikini or swimsuit.

The magazine said the survey could signal a paradigm shift in German prudishness.

In the 1970s and 80s, topless bathing was a popular trend, and young women of that generation – now in their 40s – maintain a relatively high rate of stripping off their tops, with 22 percent saying they still go oben ohne on the beach or by the pool.

Story continues below…

But despite the willingness of the middle-aged, the poll indicates that younger women overwhelmingly prefer to avoid the unwanted ogling their breasts received.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:10 May 2, 2011 by tallady
Men were not ogling at women's breast in the 70s and 80s or women were ok with it then and are not now ?
15:41 May 2, 2011 by philster61
Welcome to feminism on steroids..... Germany now is following Sweden down the road of over empowering women.....I really miss the 80s....
17:01 May 2, 2011 by SockRayBlue
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:08 May 2, 2011 by Al uk
What a great picture to go with this article. Well done!
17:23 May 2, 2011 by StoutViking
What's topless sunbathing to do with femmenism? Call me naive, but I thought it's to do with unwanted tan-lines and cultural norms in which breasts are simply milk-glands not to goo all "goo-goo-gah-gah" about.

So a girl's tanning topless, so what? Big deal. I guess it's because unlike in the 70's and 80's, women started recieving different kind of attention to their... Assets. If back then blokes would either ignore or quietly enjoy the view, I can only presume that these days some guys got the wrong idea, and seeing a woman with no top made them think she's "open for suggestions", and perhaps harrass topless women. You have them to thank for spoiling your fun.

In my neck of the woods we used to have topless tourists tanning. They'd get harrassed by local men, so they started going to "Gay beaches". The lusty straight males followed them there too, so now they stopped coming altogether. Chavs are a factor when it comes damaging the tourism industry.
19:10 May 2, 2011 by vonkoenigsberg
Why would women of any age or ethnic group feel comfortable being naked around men in public? It's like stripping without getting paid. The stereotype of "nudist beaches" has men getting the wrong idea. But of course if a woman is topless a man is going to look! what are these women thinking?
19:10 May 2, 2011 by raandy
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:34 May 2, 2011 by FredFinger
What's the big deal about nude sunbathing? Some of us aren't as lucky as you to be getting it on a regular basis. :-)
21:01 May 2, 2011 by _scythe_
Nearly a 100% of today's youth have profiles in popular social networks, probably with hundreds of 'friends'. Taking a picture with a phone, uploading it and tagging it, takes less than 2 minutes (There are 'app' for everything).

I do not believe that young people don't want to sunbath topless (especially in a climate where a full day of sunshine is a miracle), it's just a practical approach to avoid embarrassment and future grim prospects of employment.
21:38 May 2, 2011 by whpmgr
OK, so now we must all mourn the death of the 1 piece Bikini sales (Bottoms only). I got into trouble looking at my mother-in-law's perfect assets once. She loved me looking, her daughter did not.

Why would a woman bathe often in public "Ohne" if she did not want soemone looking at her. Do we all not want to be appreciated -at least from afar?

I do believe feminism -with all of its foibles, has brought this on. They make women go in-doors and on to social websites to do far worse on those sites, instead of playig out the voyeur/spied on realtionship that many people have in their deepest fantasy.

Funny, they wont dress/undress at a pool, but they will sext, send naed fotos, be more open to bi-sexual experiments...they are less equal today than they were 20 years ago in many ways.

Yes there are apps for everthing, I have a droid X and am amazed at how many free apps there are. And adult play around on yor spouse sites, and so much more, Are we freer today with all of this naughtiness, or becoming mor etrapped by the freedom we take without caring about the consequences?

Am I rambling stupidly or what?
22:54 May 2, 2011 by StoutViking
I don't think it's the looking, it's not a crime to look, tho it is rude to stare, and rudeness, last time I checked, wasn't a criminal offence. Men were looking at them in the 70's and 80's too. Something must have changed since then.
23:34 May 2, 2011 by taiwanluthiers
I find younger Europeans today (20-30's) are rather closed minded than the older ones (over 40) for some reason. They often do not interact much with strangers, have little patience (especially when you don't speak German) compared with older people. I suppose its no surprise that they are less open to being topless as well.
01:27 May 3, 2011 by zeddriver
I think _scythe_ is on the right track.

In the 70's-80's it would have been difficult to whip out a 35MM nikon SLR with a zoom lens, Focus. And not get caught. Even if you did manage to get a photo. It would most likely find a home in the bottom drawer of your dresser. The internet? What's that? It was the 70's-80's

Today. The camera's are so small, Have auto focus. Or one may deploy a lipstick camera. The photo would end up on the net. as opposed to ones bottom drawer.

I don't think it's that they don't want to be topless. They just don't want the whole world to know about it before they get home from the beach.
20:29 May 3, 2011 by FredFinger
Most women look better covered up anyway. A fact that they already know which is why going without a top never caught on.
10:25 May 4, 2011 by Bregan8r
This article is nonsense. There is still plenty of nude bathing going around in Germany. Well, in the areas in and around Berlin, anyway.

And as far as I can tell, its not really rude to stare!
17:20 May 4, 2011 by bugger
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
11:17 May 5, 2011 by Angry Ami
Well they can't be talking about Berlin, every summer the chicks across the way bare all for all to see, nothing more than an A cup, but what the hell it's free to look at :-P
11:26 May 6, 2011 by skibum57
All I can say is that it's sad to see such a wonderful practice starting to die.
16:23 May 6, 2011 by cheerfulmadness
This is strange... I live in a little town north of Berlin: there are many lakes in the area and there is a culture of people bathing in the nude, not just topless. It feels completely normal as well, people simply don't care. I never felt being looked at in any 'inappropriate' way either.
17:57 May 6, 2011 by radonrain
Many of these comments don't make sense. Just because a woman wants to sunbathe topless doesn't give any man the right to rudely ogle. That kind of man needs to grow up, they're JUST breasts. We have a right to enjoy ourselves, toplessness doesn't make bad manners acceptable.
21:29 May 6, 2011 by Wise Up!
This practice should be limitied to those with breasts that are a C-cup or more. Anything less would be...... inappropriate.....!
18:28 May 10, 2011 by strahlungsamt
A few years ago, I was in Berlin and I decided to check out the Teufelssee FKK strand. Back in the 80s it was quite normal for everyone, male, female, young, old, pensioners, schoolkids bathing naked and nobody minded. The only people who reacted with shock were Americans and Brits.

Today, all I saw were lots of men, a few grannies and one or two pretty girls there. And those girls were the outgoing types who were there with their boyfriends. It was really gross.

What really struck me was the number of older men who "just happened to be walking by" all the time. Really a big turnoff for many young girls. I packed up and left and never went back again.
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