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Oh please.

I just read this article about fewer people sunbathing topless these days because I couldn’t believe it warranted a headline above ‘the fold’ on SMH. I just…I can’t even…

Tanning on the sand is Cara Petrovski, 19, who will wear nothing less than her strapless brown and blue bikini. ”I like that bit of mystery, it’s like saving yourself,” she says.

I’m sorry. If you’re in a strapless bikini, there isn’t really much mystery left.

The Australian Nudist Federation sees something sinister at play. ”When breasts go away from our beaches there is something wrong with our society,” 

Uh, no. Perhaps people don’t want to get skin cancer? That could be a factor? It’s hardly sinister.

I’ve never wanted to wear a bikini or sunbake topless. Actually I only ever wanted to sunbake at all for a fleeting moment in my adolescence before I realised that it was kind of a stupid thing to do, given that I burned easily and just freckled up anyway, and yeah, skin cancer.

I went shopping at Sue Rice for a swimsuit once and the lady (who would have been about 20 years older than me) brought me a whole bunch of bikinis to try on.

“Um, could I please just have one-pieces? I don’t really feel comfortable in bikinis,” I said.

“Why not? That’s ridiculous. If you’ve got it, flaunt it,” she said, completely ignoring what I had said. She was probably trying to boost my self-esteem by implying that she thought I’d look fine in a bikini, but bizarrely, it just made me feel even more self-conscious. I ended up getting a one-piece, but I could tell she wasn’t pleased about it. In fact, if it hadn’t been my favourite swimwear shop, which is the only place I’ve ever managed to get supportive, attractive swimsuits that suit me, I probably would have gone elsewhere. As it is, I only ever shopped online from them after that (and now they only exist online anyway!)

But why does “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” persist as an adage? What if I don’t want to flaunt it? According to the above article, it means there’s something wrong with the whole of society.

But when I see women flaunting what they’ve got, it just makes me feel distinctly uncomfortable. The whole point of flaunting is to make people envy you, right? When out in the city last night, I saw a stunning woman with incredibly long legs, wearing a skirt that barely covered her butt, being felt up by her male companion. I passed another woman in a plunging top and tiny shorts, her breasts sitting up high like a couple of grapefruit on a plate, being ogled by every passing guy. I don’t envy either of those women. That’s not the kind of attention I’d want.

I actually don’t have a point here, it’s just kind of a rant.