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Swedish women vote to keep their tops on

James Savage · 22 Jul 2010, 17:02

Published: 22 Jul 2010 17:02 GMT+02:00

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While Italians, Spaniards, Brits and Germans were unperturbed about the idea of women taking their tops off on the beach, Swedes were far less at ease with the practice, according to a survey of 3,000 people by flight website Skyscanner.

Ninety-nine percent of Germans were in favour of topless female sunbathing, but only 84 percent of Swedes agreed, and a mere 67 percent of Swedish women thought it was acceptable to let it all hang out at the beach.

The findings paint a picture of a much more prudish Sweden than the one portrayed in Ingmar Bergman films like Summer with Monika, where innocent naked frolics upset moral guardians abroad.

Now, even traditionally prudish Americans are more relaxed about stripping off on the beach than people from Bergman’s homeland, according to the survey.

Overall, 96 percent of men and 87 percent of women thought it was acceptable for women to take their tops off on the beach. 98 percent of respondents thought it was alright for men to take their tops off on the beach, although only 18 percent thought it was acceptable in a shop.

“We Swedes think we’ve got a very liberal and relaxed attitude to nudity, but it turns out that many other countries are more positive to topless sunbathing than we are,” said Kristin Andersson, manager of Skyscanner Scandinavia.

Story continues below…

“Regardless of our own attitudes, the important thing is to respect those around us and to be aware of local customs and cultures, so that we don’t cause outrage or upset anyone,” she said.

Sweden has in recent years been the home to activists pushing for increased acceptance of topless sunbathing and swimming. The network Bara Bröst (meaning both "Just Breasts" and "Bare Breasts") argued that women should be allowed to take off their bikini tops at public swimming baths. The network got international attention for a number of bare-breasted demonstrations at Swedish swimming baths.

James Savage (james.savage@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:40 July 22, 2010 by amirhosein
statiscally, 84 percent is not very much different than 90+ percent.

Secondly, 84 percent of how many survey paticipants?
19:43 July 22, 2010 by eZee.se
Go for it ladies!

God created you as the fairer sex to make the world more beautiful... and by golly! seeing a nice pair of boobs does make the world a more beautiful place for me.

On that note, there's a flip side of course to anything so good..., hanging bags, grapefruits, flip floppy breasts and ones that can be flipped over your shoulders, please wear a top!
21:01 July 22, 2010 by Frobobbles
Topless sunbathing is mostly annoying
21:23 July 22, 2010 by Gamal
Boobies are men's favourite round object!
21:54 July 22, 2010 by VicTaulic
This article needs more pictures.
22:00 July 22, 2010 by tcotta
67% of Swedish women in the survey say it's Ok to go topless sunbathing. That means 33% are not in favor of topless sunbathing.

Maybe Sweden teaches mathematics differently than we do in the US, but that sure looks to me like Swedish women approve of topless sunbathing by a 2-1 margin.
22:44 July 22, 2010 by dizzymoe33
You men need to remember that also we like a good looking naked hard body not a beer belly and hairy backs, shoulders with big bouncy boobies.
02:08 July 23, 2010 by laura ka baal
its also written in bible, oh sorry i meant in new self handwritten bible, what a culture. Great keep it up.
02:19 July 23, 2010 by Markus G
I have always found the Scandinavians and Finns to be far less accepting of toplessness than other countries in mainland Europe. The Germans, the Dutch, Belgians and French are all more accepting.
03:26 July 23, 2010 by för30årseden
Fantastic. According to the picture, the world famous "Swedish Bikini Team" -- immortalized in American beer commercials -- is back.
03:30 July 23, 2010 by GLO
The most beautiful women in the world Cheers!!!!

Im only sorry I cant live there......Love to visit...
05:09 July 23, 2010 by shiraz
It ought not to be one sided voyeurism but the men also ought to be considered desirable (by the women at least). Above all perhaps it ought to be about more than nudity : it ought to be about love. We ought to attempt to make it safe and abundant. We ought to ensure that women who are already cool do not decline into old age. We have to combat disease and old age and all the hurdles only then can we be happy otherwise even sweden may turn into some nightmarish h_e_c_k like some crazy middle eastern countries. But nudity perhaps is the first step towards love making. If however the women or children or people get harmed because they are loving (in the process of loving) there is perhaps a danger of everyone losing everything.
05:21 July 23, 2010 by för30årseden
shiraz seays: But nudity perhaps is the first step towards love making.

shiraz -- You are confusing love and sex. If you are really lucky, you can have both in the same package. But sometimes they are different. You can love someone and not have sex. You can have sex with someone and not love them. Nudity is the first step towards sex. If I think I love someone because I see them naked -- I'm in big trouble. I have much higher standards for love.
05:34 July 23, 2010 by omphus
Bad news for the Arabs, although I doubt this will deter them.
08:28 July 23, 2010 by SarahRF
Is it really so wrong to keep your boobs in a top? I personally find it more comfortable. My girls feel supported and just look nicer for it, in my opinion. And considering how many Swedish women have melons instead of lemons, I'm sure those puppies look better all plumped up in a top too, instead of sagging down onto stomachs!
08:49 July 23, 2010 by Benzed
That photo has made my week. Classic Sverige.
08:50 July 23, 2010 by christo
ooooh thats what am talking about. l just love sweden. wenever i see the chicks like that my body goes into cold. ...just go on sweet ladies.... its ure life , our free style woow.

more pictures plse.
12:30 July 23, 2010 by bravedave
What does that photo have to do with the article? I wonder if my flatmate knows she is in this picture lol.
18:22 July 23, 2010 by The Baldchemist
Well as long as they are wearing birkas then who cares?
00:32 July 24, 2010 by calebian22
"Now, even traditionally prudish Americans are more relaxed about stripping off on the beach than people from Bergman's homeland, according to the survey.Overall, 96 percent of men and 87 percent of women thought it was acceptable for women to take their tops off on the beach. "

Why do I find it hard to believe that 87% of American women find topless at the beach to be acceptable? I think skyscanner conducted the survey at a nudist beach.
01:14 July 24, 2010 by Leo Danial

What a great article !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Topless is not enough !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Totally Naked should be the fashion !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Women should expose it all for everybody freely !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome to the universal free whore house !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
02:39 July 24, 2010 by Melvin Irish
mmm boobies
02:41 July 24, 2010 by Rebel
Yet as typical Swedes they will not go topless. Why? Because while it is legal, it is not the "in" thing for Swedes as it might have been in the 1980s. I suspect many would do it if they felt it was what every other Swedish woman was doing, but hey, Swedes are not known for being independent thinkers or doers.
17:40 July 24, 2010 by cogito
Wasn't there an Italian mayor who banned topless for any women over the age of 25?

And while we're at it, doesn't anyone else find the sight of shirtless men on city streets unappetizing?
21:19 July 24, 2010 by anders Pearson
I find it sad that modern day people care more about what others think. The human body is a beautiful site to see for both men and women. Human skin is a work of art and should be shown by ever. I think we should all be happy of our body's no matter want shape or size you are. Swedes as well as the rest of the world should be proud to show it all. "If you got it, flaunt it!"
08:55 July 25, 2010 by norasu79
Really, this is just for men's pleasure. Why give it away for free? Let's see something from the men, 1st. (Although, most of us women might find it disgusting) Since I believe we like our men with something covering, and left up to the imagination. Like, just jeans. : )
11:59 July 25, 2010 by cogito
@anders Pearson

It depends on the appropriateness of the place where you "flaunt it."

No matter how beautiful you find yourself, I do not want to see you flaunting your nude body on a city street, in my supermarket nor in the restaurant where I'm eating.
14:22 July 25, 2010 by soultraveler3
It's fun going topless when you're swimming or hanging out on the beach with a bunch of friends, but I have more "lemons" instead of "melons" (SarahRF's terms) so there's no sagging going on lol. I think she's right though, for many large breasted women it's more comfortable and MUCH better looking to keep their tops on. Nobody likes seeing saggy things on men or women. :/


I don't like seeing guys going around without shirts on if they have manboobs or are very hairy but the worst imo is when hairy, sweaty guys go around with their shirts unbuttoned halfway down their chests and think it's sexy. =o
12:01 July 26, 2010 by Jafo
As a American who has been a lifguard at Beaches where Euro travelers go. After awhile guys its not a big deal.

Also i may add the ones goi9ng topless Shouldnt! Same as Speedo's 80 yr old men in them NOT THE LOOK YA WANNA SEE!!

To the ladies. Freedom of choice Top or not.
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