I grew up in the conservative, land-locked Midwest, so thong bikinis and sunbathing topless are more than risque… for many Midwestern folk these notions are considered vulgar and even sinful or immoral.
But, for the natives of tropical seaside environments where the days are spent in a natural sauna, the locals barely give a second glance to all the uncovered flesh. The whole idea of “less” is not so much about being risque as it’s simply about relief from the steamy heat. More naked skin simply means less sweat-soaked clothes stuck to your body.
Having grown up the Midwest, admittedly, I’ve been more reserved about what I show. This is for both my upbringing and my own insecurities about my body. Yet, as I spend more time in tropical environments I find myself truly appreciating how comfortable the local women seem to feel in their own skin. Their body image seemed quite healthier than mine. As I meditated about my background and the culture I was surrounded with, I began to feel proud of these women. Their desire to sunbathe topless had nothing to do with drawing attention to themselves. It was simply about enjoying a simple pleasure we all should have the right to enjoy… pure, natural sunbathing. So what’s the big fuss, I decided? Time to go topless on a public beach and let my white flesh soak up some healthy vitamins D and K…
I felt so… free. Natural, free… and beautiful. And when the waves lap at your bear skin as you wade into the sea… the water feels as soft as silk… a sweet, tender caress.
My friend Perla and I snapped some photos together and of each other while enjoying our lazy afternoon lounging at the edge of the electric blues of Cancun’s Caribbean Sea. I have decided there is nothing vulgar or obscene about sunbathing topless… though not all of my family and friends agree. That’s okay, they’re welcome to their own opinions. All I ask is that you please respect mine.
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