What do you think about going topless on the beach?
If I am on a deserted beach early in the morning I'll always swim topless. It's more comfortable and nicer in the sea and then sitting on the beach to dry off it's nicer not having a wet thing on your body (apart from bottoms). It would be nice to be completely naked but I genuinely wouldn't want to shock/offend anyone and I would NOT like to see a naked man swimming so it would be hypocritical of me to do the same in case a dog walker or something turned up.
On a more crowded beach I'm less confident/comfortable for obvious reasons.
Last summer I was on a beach in Wales and a couple of young women were topless and I said, "that's cool that you feel confident, I can only go topless when there's no one around",
and they said, "you should join us,"
and I said, "OK", and it was fine.
Being in a group felt safer and normalised it. But she also said a man had told her off earlier that day, complained that it wasn't appropriate on a beach with children around. She said it wasn't her problem if he was sexualising her body seeing as breasts exist to feed children.
I can see it both ways. I don't think there's anything positive or feminist about revealing my body for men to stare at (or, more likely at my age, criticise) but i also don't think there's anything positive about feeling like I have to cover myself up on the beach when all the men get to go around topless. Bikinis are arguably barely less sexualising than being topless, especially some of the tiny/weird/cutout designs that are fashionable right now. Full swimsuits are uncomfortable (the more wet nylon is stuck to my body the more uncomfortable my skin feels and I even get a rash from damp stuff on my skin for hours). So-called "modest wear" looks horrendously uncomfortable and impractical and I resent the implication that I'm not "modest" or that "modesty" is something to aspire to.