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