In an apparent act of rebellion against the liberalism of their mothers, pretty French girls vacationing on the Riviera are refusing to take their tops off, in what is being called “la nouvelle pudeur”:
“It’s the most eye-catching summer trend: female holiday-makers who go in for topless sunbathing on our beaches are fewer and fewer in number,” said Le Parisien newspaper. “Some have decided to put their tops back on. Others – especially the younger generation – have never dreamed for a minute of trying out the monokini experience.”
Some commentators are concerned though that it is less about modesty than about poor body image:
However many French women fear a return not to la pudeur but to la pudibonderie – or prudishness. They say that the modern-day reluctance for women to show their bodies on the beach or in sports changing-rooms has less to do with “modesty” than with a consumer-rooted obsession not to appear ugly.
Meanwhile, Silvio Berlusconi has more or less admitted that he’s a womanizing cad, but he insists that cheating on his wife with teenage girls can’t possibly be in bad taste: “As long as I’m present, nothing inelegant can happen because I’m a person of good taste, culture and elegance.”