Could We Please Allow The Former Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge To Sunbathe Topless In Peace?

A French magazine owned by Silvio Berlusconi has published grainy photos of the former Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, sunbathing topless in a thong bikini while on holiday in Provence, prompting a lawsuit. Various websites, including Gawker and Egotastic, and newspapers, such as Ireland’s Daily Star, have reproduced the photos, which appear to have been taken by paparazzi staking their villa out from a neighboring property.

Surprisingly, the British tabloids have so far refrained from republishing the voyeur shots according to a story in Saturday’s New York Times. Let’s hope they’ve learned a lesson from the way they harassed Princess Diana. But it’s a shame that William and Kate can’t enjoy even a bit of privacy while on vacation. One of the great joys of travel is the opportunity to reinvent oneself and to do things that you might not do at home. The royals and other celebrities don’t have that luxury but I don’t think many will be shedding tears for them.How many women around the world would gladly trade places with Kate, even if it meant that they’d have to be a bit more careful while sunbathing topless? I’m also a bit surprised that William and Kate wouldn’t be a bit more paranoid knowing how the paparazzi are. But according to the story in the New York Times, the villa they stayed in advertised itself as a very private secluded hideaway.

“The villa complex, built around a 19th-century hunting lodge called the Château d’Autet, is set in 640 acres of woodland and can house up to 17 people at four main properties. Apart from being a vacation retreat for Lord Linley and his family, it has also been rented out for thousands of dollars a week, offering guests a variety of recreational options including a tennis court, a swimming pool and an area to play the French bowling game called boule.”

In any case, they’ll certainly be more guarded moving forward after this incident, which comes on the heels of Prince Harry getting caught with his pants down while on holiday in Vegas. The British press also got scooped on that debacle and CNN called their restrained coverage of the story a “watershed moment for the UK press.” But in the Internet age, it almost doesn’t matter what the print publications do, because there’s always going to be some website that will satisfy the public’s curiosity.

That’s the downside to fame but I wish that everyone had the ability to cut loose while on vacation, because everyone deserves the right to let their hair, or bathing suit top, down now and then.

[Photo by UK Repsome on Flickr]

Parisians fight male nudity, rest of France fine for bare chests

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.

According to the Independent:

“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]

New management, no sexy skin at Mandalay Bay

The peaks will now be capped, so to speak, at the Moorea Beach Club at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Once one of the adults-only pools in Sin City where ladies could sunbathe sans top, a new sheriff in town has forced some modesty on the facility.

Across the country, frat boys and men married more than five years groaned. There are no reports of a letter-writing campaign, though.

The use of celebrity hosts for special events, has forced the club to make a decision, since local ordinances prohibit (certain) uncovered skin at big parties. Ironically, Kendra Wilkinson is among the hosts. She’s known for frolicking with Hugh Hefner The Girls Next Door. So, of course, she should be kept as far as possible from the scandalous sights of topless pools.

Las Vegas invites you to get naked

Are you bold enough?

Unlike topless destinations around the world, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino attracts hotties willing to drop their tops and accept fewer tan lines. This stand in stark contrast to most topless beaches, where there’s a distinct lack of legitimate eye candy. The recent “Rehab” party, for example, offered up plenty of skin and is indicative of a new pool party trend in Las Vegas. The 21+ crowd is in the crosshairs of many hotels and resorts, and they are luring us with the oldest bait in the book.

“Daylife,” sunlight’s answer to “nightlife,” is the product Vegas is peddling. Adult pools and pool parties – complete with bottle service and the hardly dressed to deliver it – are bringing in big bucks, big names and big … well, I’ll let you guess. Celebrity hosts, such as Heidi Montag of “The Hills,” help make the pitch to bring you in the door (sans inhibitions).

And now for the disappointing news … it’s not as crazy as you’d expect (or hope). There still aren’t many topless pools in Las Vegas. Those that exist are generally reserved for guests, attract an older crowd and don’t require that the ladies go topless (most of them don’t). The big parties are a different story, where the odds of naked mayhem are much higher.

Topless tobogganing divides German town

Citizens of the east German town of Oberwiesenthal finds itself at odds with a nearby ski resort this week, as plans for a controversial topless tobogganing event, scheduled to take place next month, move ahead.

Yes, you read that correctly. A “topless tobogganing” event is being hosted on a nearby mountain, with a local property developer offering up travel and prize money for those that compete. The developer in question, Jochen Nske, says he has “considerable support” for his big promotion, and claims that a similar event drew more than 12,000 spectators last year. That rowdy crowd lined the slopes of a resort in the Harz mountains to watch young slide down the mountain in little more than a helmet, bikini bottoms and a smile.

Despite the fact that the even is likely to bring a lot of visitors to Oberwiesenthal, the locals would rather Nske and his competition stay well away. The major of the town fears such an event would tarnish the reputation of his fair city, while others complain that it is sexist and demeaning towards women. The town council will vote later in the week on whether or not to allow Nske to move ahead as planned.

For his part, Nske seems unmoved by the controversy. He says that if he’s voted off the mountain, he’ll simply move across the border to Czech Republic and host the event there instead.

Much like curling, this topless tobogganing will not get the respect it deserves until it is officially recognized by the Olympics.