We should (hopefully) be able to visit Europe again next year. But are we ready to do so?
Forget calling flip flops ‘thongs’; being mortified by topless sunbathing is the biggest give-away you are an Australian on a European beach.
Even as body-positivity sweeps Australia and America, when you compare us to Greece, France, and much of Europe, we are very uncomfortable in our own skin.
There are two main reasons for this. The first is that we are brought up to be mortified by nudity.
The second reason is that we have been pepper-sprayed with beauty standards that are only possible to reach within a narrow age (and size) range.
But this can – apparently – be overcome once you realise no one cares what you look like as much as you do.
As Liv Hambrett, European correspondent for the Daily Life wrote on this topic: “I don’t know where the UK and thus Australia and the USA peeled off from Europe in its attitude toward the human bodies, although I can hazard an uneducated guess (church, prudish royals etcetera.) I do know religion doesn’t stop the Germans getting their kit off, or not caring a jot about being naked, and that how a country deals with the human body is ingrained in their greater socio-cultural relationship with sex (and that’s one of the most flawed, damaged relationships we have).”
“And I do know Australians could borrow a little of the European attitude to bodies; it’s just a body.”
It’s also worth pointing out this is clearly not the case in all of Europe. In fact, in France – one of the most well-known countries for its liberal beach attitudes – The Guardian reports topless sunbathing is on the decline.
Original publication 1 September, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 3 weeks ago
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