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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 40

Bare Necessities

An overview of topless etiquette.
Words by Bella Gladman. Photograph by Amanda Charchian.

An overview of topless etiquette.
Words by Bella Gladman. Photograph by Amanda Charchian.

In modern times, the legality of sunbathing bare-breasted might seem like a question for women only. But back in the 1930s, it was American men campaigning to “free the nipple” after the shirtless success of Johnny Weissmuller in 1932’s Tarzan the Ape Man, and Clark Gable in 1934’s It Happened One Night awakened them to the liberating possibility of wearing something other than a full swimming costume to the beach. Only after a number of protests (42 men who swam

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