The Venice Neighborhood Council last night voted in favor of a motion to support topless sunbathing on Venice Beach.
The motion proposed that because “Venice was founded and designed around the European culture of Venice, Italy” and because Venice Beach has always been a “safe haven for liberal views and free expression” that topless sunbathing should be allowed.
Speaking in support of the motion Venice Neighborhood Council Community Office Melissa Diner said the motion was important for equality and that women should be“…afforded the same rights as men to sunbathe topless”
Historically topless sunbathing has been allowed on Venice Beach but it was made illegal in the mid ’70. After a photographer came and took pictures and these images spread around the world and Venice was inundated with a special kind of tourist.
Venice Neighborhood Council President Emeritus Linda Lucks spoke saying she remembers fully clothed tourists standing crowds deep along the grass photographing the topless sun bathers.
Crowd control became such a problem for LAPD that topless sunbathing was made illegal.
Lucks said reintroducing topless sunbathing on Venice Beach would only work if there were a blanket approval across all city beaches, otherwise once again Venice could become a spectacle.
Venice Neighborhood Council Representative to DWP Dede Audet spoke suggesting that Venice could benefit from the legalization of topless sunbathing saying “…many government workers will be willing to trade work cycles to work at the beach”
While many in the room supported the motion most agreed it important to consider whether American culture would accept topless sunbathing. In Europe and on many Australian beaches topless sunbathing is accepted however these cultures tend to shun those who make a spectacle of it rather than objectifying those who choose to sunbathe without the negative side effects of tan lines.