Sunbathing topless in Paris can land the perpetrator a hefty 30,000 kronor ($4,466) fine, while topless tanners in Barcelona can be fined between 1,000 and 2,500.
However, Stockholm’s rules are a little more clouded, writes the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN), with police having to often straddle a fine line between morality and circumstance.
“The police can’t fine someone on the spot for going around topless. It’s a moral law and can therefore changes as morals change,” said Karin Rosander, a spokesperson at the Swedish Prosecution Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten), to the paper.
The showing of too much skin can be labelled by police as disorderly conduct if the circumstances make the display offensive to someone.
The Swedish based pro-nudity group Bara Kroppar (a term meaning both ‘just bodies’ and ‘bare bodies’) believes Stockholm has become a prudish city and that people in the city feel more shame about their bare bodies.
“Unfortunately it seems that we’re moving towards a more negative attitude to the human body. It’s connected to shame much more than it ever was before,” head of the organization Johan Palme said, adding that Malmö and Gothenburg are more willing to allow nudity, with many more nude beaches to choose from.
However, Palme doesn’t point to more nude beaches in the city as being the answer.
“Society puts so much emphasis on the human body, just because it’s there. I don’t think the law can change that. As it looks now I think the current laws are ok anyway,” he told the paper.