French beaches going PG as women eschew topless tanning, report claims

Sun worshippers in France don’t dare to bare like they used to, according to one new study of 5,000 women. Topless sunbathing is increasingly out of vogue for French women, the report claims, with respondents citing skin cancer concerns and safety in a #MeToo world as their impetus for keeping their bikini tops tied.

The French Institute for Public Opinion's findings, released on July 24, reveal only 19 percent of women under age 50 polled said they regularly tan topless, The Local reported.

Vacationers crowd the beach at Cap d'Agde, France along the Mediterranean Sea.

Vacationers crowd the beach at Cap d'Agde, France along the Mediterranean Sea. (iStock)

The statistic marks a notable change compared numbers from only three years ago, when 29 percent of women polled in that demographic said they often tanned in public without a top on, according to the Local. That average, too, is a far cry away from times and trends of 1984, when 43 percent of women said they often sunbathed without a top.

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“You can say there’s a MeToo effect on the beach,” François Kraus, who directed the study, told The Telegraph. “A new factor is that among [those] under 25, there’s a fear of leering looks … and being assaulted.”

"Our study confirms that the practice of wearing a monokini (the bottom half of a bikini) has plummeted in France," he continued, as per the Local.

Topless sun bathing is increasingly out of vogue for French women, a new report claims, with respondents citing skin cancer concerns and safety in a #MeToo world as their impetus for keeping their bikini tops tied.

Topless sun bathing is increasingly out of vogue for French women, a new report claims, with respondents citing skin cancer concerns and safety in a #MeToo world as their impetus for keeping their bikini tops tied. (iStock)

In addition, respondents discussed a better understanding of the sun’s dangers on skin health as reason to cover up, Kraus said.

Further elaborating on the apparent phenomenon, researcher Janine Mossuz-Lavau also referenced shifting cultural attitudes about feminism in recent decades.

"For the women of the 60s and 70s going to the beach topless was a way to show that they were liberated from patriarchy, sexual restraint," Mossuz-Lavau told local media.

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"But for the current generation, women consider themselves sufficiently liberated to no longer have to prove it. It has become part of their daily life so they don't have to prove it,” she said.

Region and weather also played a role in ultimate results, with 36 percent of women in the southern Provence-Alpes Côte d'Azur area admitting they’d tan topless, while just 7 percent of respondents in the northern Hauts-de-France locale saying they’d strip down.

All estimates aside, pesky voyeurs are most definitely disturbing the peace in the nudist section of Bois de Vincennes, a Paris park. Naked parkgoers claim that “perverts hiding in bushes” have been recently ruining their fun in the great outdoors, The Guardian reports.

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