…by Anura Guruge
A Link for those that really, really want to see the French pictures
— though there is a good chance that this site (referred to by the link) might get taken down.
The news of this, being reported breathlessly by a female CNN anchor, was the first thing I heard this morning when Deanna woke me up. I had to laugh. What is the BIG deal (and I not sure she is particularly big in that department to begin with).
As a Brit, who has visited European beaches with British women, and is now living in New Hampshire, I feel compelled to comment on this because I do have first hand experience.
European beaches have been topless for as long as I know. Going topless was not that common in Britain, even in the 80s, though I don’t think there were any ordinances against it, and yes, you certainly would see topless women when you least expected them. So in the 80s British women faced a dilemma when they were in Europe. Most succinctly put, keeping a top on made one more conspicuous than not having one. Unless you have been to a European beach you can’t really visualize it. We are talking thousands of topless women, acres of them. As I used to say: ‘once you seen your first 10,000 boobs they all look the same’; and you could see 10,000 in a day in Europe (i.e., just 5,000 women).
I have, and never have, had any problems or issues with boobs. Perfectly natural, and unless you were amazingly deprived, every kid should have seen at least one set of breasts as a child; and I am a huge believer in babies being breast fed (though Teischan’s penchant for it even when she was 27 months tested even my will).
So, it is the Duchess’ prerogative. We all know she has them. Yes, she will be my Queen, though possibly not in my lifetime. That she has exposed her breasts, in ‘private’, does not phase me. When in Europe, do as the Romans do. They know what technology can do. So they took a risk. All fine. All good. All very British.
What puzzles me is the supposed reaction by her and the Palace. They should have all laughed it off. What is the big deal. She is a modern British woman, and in my experience most British women when in Europe experiment with going topless. So, I have no issues. She has in no way offended me.
I have never understood the American aversion to the public display of breast. There was a time I used to visit Waikiki Beach, in Hawaii, on a regular basis — initially on business trips. I like Waikiki Beach; it was, in the late 1980s, nearest thing in the U.S. to an European beach. It would crack me up as to the trouble and expense that women went to so as to still cover their breast but expose as much of them as they could. It was crazy; if you are showing so much just go topless.
In Britain I grew up with the famous Page 3 topless picture, Monday to Friday, in the tabloid ‘The Sun‘. I didn’t use to buy ‘The Sun‘ or have it delivered. I was a ‘Daily Mail‘ man. But, if I was somewhere and saw a Sun, I would open it up and look at Page 3. It was the British thing to do. Kids would see it. Their parents would read ‘The Sun’. It was available at libraries and was widely read by teachers in school. I really do not think we lost the Empire because of ‘The Sun’ page 3. There was a time I used to go back to Britain quite frequently. During my first two years in the U.S., as part of my job (given that I was here with a British company), I was allowed to go back as often as I wanted — plus I used to do seminars in Europe. On those trips I would collect copies of the Sun and bring it back for Americans. There was at least one devout Catholic, who went to Mass 3 times a week, who got addicted to my Suns. As soon as I would get back he would say: Did you bring back some papers for me?
Do not see what the big deal is. Upsets me when I hear about women breastfeeding getting harassed.
That Laconia, which is so proud of its ‘Bike Week’, outlawed ‘flashing’ to me is un-American and a violation of NH’s ‘Live Free or Die‘! Flashing is such an integral part of a Bike Week. Yes, I remember when flashing was permitted. I have also seen flashing when it was not permitted. One Sunday, possibly 1999, I was taking the kids (then 10 and 7) to see Bike Week (which we did on a regular basis) — driving by car from Laconia to Weirs on the side of Paugus Bay. Tons of traffic and we were crawling along. The kids, per the rules, were in the back. There was a red pickup truck directly in front of us. Two girls in the back … with bales of hay for their comfort. They flashed constantly. At least 20 times. The kids never noticed! No big deal.
So, Kate … no problem. Go for it.