Flip flops aren’t ‘thongs’. Topless sunbathing on European beaches is the worst sign that you’re an Australian. Even as sweeps Australia and America, when you compare us to Greece, France, and much of Europe, we are very uncomfortable in our own skin. We are taught to hate nudity.
The second reason is that we have been pepper-sprayed with beauty standards that are only possible to reach within a narrow age (and size) range. “I know that religion doesn’t stop Germans from getting their kit on or not caring about being naked. And that how a country treats the human body is instilled in their larger socio-cultural relationship to sex (and that’s one the most flawed and damaged relationships we have).
“And I do know Australians could borrow a little of the European attitude to bodies; it’s just a body.” France, one of the most famous countries for its liberal beaches attitudes, reports that topless sunbathing has declined.
“Nothing happened. There was no shame-thunder. The water didn’t react in horror or rush to cover me. No one pointed, no one looked meaningfully at my ‘problem areas’, no one made any comments about bikini bodies or being bikini ready. In fact, nobody even looked at me. The old French nude man was too busy living his life with his wife. The merrily nude gay couple in front of me were looking for stones large enough to weight down their towels. Those who walked by occasionally just kept walking by.” (Daily Life).
Whether it’s Mykonos or Ibiza, experiences like these are seeing some Australian tourists start hitching their swimmers to the nudism bandwagon. This week, news broke that a petition was being circulated for a petition (presumably not because of lockdown-inspired madness). And – as we in 2019 – there are various other basic freedoms Europeans are afforded that we are missing out on too. It’s fine to be free to do what you want.
With Australia’s borders rumoured to open (so some countries) as early as November/December, the time to get over your Hollywood brainwashing could be now…