LONDON – Irreverent? Obscene? Glorious?
While some parts of the world are instituting bikini bans and campaigning for travelers to cover up, elsewhere travelers are encouraging others to take it off on social media for everyone to see.
What began as a spontaneous idea and Instagram post has sparked a stream of travelers to send in fun, topless photos — taken from the back — to be featured on the social media channels of The Topless Tour, which began as an Instagram project.
Judging from the enthusiastic response and growing number of participants, there’s something about posing topless that heightens the feeling of liberation and adventure while traveling.
How it started
The Topless Tour was started two years ago by friends Olivia Edginton, Lydia Buckler and Ingvild Marstein Olsen, students at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London.
After taking an impromptu topless dip in a cold lake in Ingvild’s hometown in Norway, the three friends posted a photo to remember the moment.
They continued to travel and post similar photos throughout Europe and New York, all featuring themselves in topless poses against dramatic backgrounds.
Then they called for others to send in their topless photos from around the world.
From Idaho to Cape Town to Thailand, the mildly salacious images poured in.
Among the more amazing submissions — a woman skydiving topless in the Swiss Alps.
More to come
The Topless Tour currently has nearly 20,000 followers on Instagram.
That number is increasing quickly as the trio and a growing community continue to document their travels with bare backs.
While the topless photos come predominantly from women, many men have submitted as well.
“It sounds really cheesy on paper, but it really connects you with the people you love,” the trio has told the Daily Mail. “The experience is a whirlwind of different emotions and it’s so nice to share it with others.
“So far we haven’t got in too much trouble. We get the occasional tut and shake of the head, but generally the response is surprisingly more positive.”