France used to be cool. City officials across the country used to turn a blind eye when it came to going topless … though I think a few of them were probably peeking. Now, they’re making people cover up and even throwing in some fine. Going bare from the waist up will set you back €38, money you could have used to buy a t-shirt to accomplish the same result.
Perpignan is the latest city to get on board with this trend, which started in resort towns like Cannes and St Tropez before working its way inward. “Hygiene,” “standing” and “public decency” are cited as the reasons.
“We’re not saying there’s been a general moral decline, but some people have complained,” Perpignan’s local security chief, Pierre Parrat, told Midi Libre. The law calls for “human dignity, decency, morality and protection of the young”.
Now, you’ve probably been thinking this rule has been limited to the ladies, but it’s equal-opportunity. Even men have to cover up:
Mr [Pierre] Parrat [local security chief] said the citizens of Perpignan found it shocking to see the naked chests of some men, in particular a group of English rugby supporters who stripped off while in the city for a recent match.
In fact, Parisians have taken the fight against public nudity to the counterintuitive extreme. According to a waiter in the Pigalle neighborhood, “A girl in a bikini in the centre of town is lovely, but children should not have to see hairy chests.”
[photo by adactio via Flickr]