(there is no illustration, so I can dodge charges of sexism or what not)
I arrived by train in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1987.
After securing a room at the hostel, my first stop was a small shop, where salami, bread and a few bottles of beer were purchased. It was noon, and a walk of a couple hundred yards to the lake on a brilliant, warm late spring day. Lots of office workers were headed the same direction.
By coincidence, I was a few paces behind an attractive brunette, perhaps my age (27 at the time), or a bit younger. When we got to the public area by the water, she pulled a blanket from her bag, threw it on the ground, and slipped out of her work clothes, all in one speedy practiced motion. She wore a bikini bottom and nothing else.
It was all so nonchalant and meaningless. She had a half hour to sunbathe, and got right down to it. No big deal at all. Only an American hick like me, raised in the hinterland amid humorless cornfed religious personages, could possibly see any significance in an act of simple nothingness.
But I decided to sit elsewhere and drink my beer, lest I dwell for too long on the shortcomings of my homeland, because once you get started, where to stop?
The real reason French women have stopped sunbathing topless at The Guardian's "Fashion Blog"
... "Globalisation and Americanisation of women's portrayal and sexiness in France has pushed away gentle (and generally harmless) French eroticism towards porno, frontal, hyper-sexualised consciousness," she says. "Nudist, beach-like freedom is not what it used to be ... breasts no longer feel innocent or temporarily asexual."