National Go Topless Day

Group of diverse individuals wearing colorful summer clothes, walking on the beach with big smiles, celebrating National Go Topless Day..
National go topless day illustration

Welcome to the whimsical world of national days, where every day is a reason to celebrate something unique and quirky! Today, we dive into the intriguing realm of National Go Topless Day. Get ready to uncover the origins, significance, and a fun fact about this unconventional celebration!

When is Go Topless Day?

It's national go topless day on the 16th May.

A Brief History

When it comes to unusual national days, National Go Topless Day certainly takes the cake (or should we say, takes the shirt off?). This annual event, observed on various dates around the world, aims to promote gender equality and raise awareness about the right for women to go topless in public, just like men.

The idea behind this distinctive day originated in the early 21st century, gaining momentum through online communities and grassroots movements. Proponents argue that laws requiring women to cover their chests are discriminatory and perpetuate gender inequality. By shedding societal stigmas, supporters hope to spark conversations and challenge social norms.

Join the Movement

On National Go Topless Day, individuals gather for peaceful protests, marches, and public demonstrations. Through their actions, participants strive to educate the public and encourage dialogue about gender equality and body positivity. It's more than just freeing the nipple; it's about fostering inclusivity and empowerment.

While this day may not be everyone's cup of tea, it serves as a reminder that each person should have the freedom to make choices about their own body without fear of judgment or discrimination.

History behind the term 'Go Topless'


The Birth of Topless Swimsuits

The term 'go topless' originated in 1936 when designer Jacques Heim introduced the first topless swimsuit, known as the 'Atome', at the Cannes International Film Festival. While the swimsuit was not truly topless, it featured a cut-out design that revealed the wearer's midriff and gave the illusion of a topless appearance, creating a sensation and sparking the term 'go topless.'


Swimming Revolution

The term 'go topless' originated in 1936 when a swimming revolution took place in the United States. Prior to this time, women were required to wear traditional one-piece swimsuits, which covered their chests. However, a group of daring swimmers challenged societal norms by opting to go without the tops of their swimwear, thus sparking a nationwide movement and the birth of the term 'go topless'.


The topless swimsuit is introduced

In 1936, Rudi Gernreich, an Austrian-American fashion designer, introduced the first topless swimsuit. The swimsuit, called the 'monokini,' featured only briefs on the bottom and left the breasts completely exposed. Gernreich's creation caused quite a stir in the fashion industry and among the general public.


Topless protests emerge

In 1964, an organization called 'Go-Topless' was founded by spiritual leader Rael and a small group of his followers. The organization aimed to promote gender equality by advocating for women's right to go topless in public, just like men. They believed that laws criminalizing female toplessness were discriminatory and violated women's rights.


Rise of the Topless Bathing Suit

In 1964, fashion designer Rudi Gernreich took the concept of the topless swimsuit a step further by creating the first true topless bathing suit, known as the 'monokini.' The monokini consisted of a bottom piece similar to a bikini, but without any top coverage, thus popularizing the idea of going topless on the beach.


Topless Sunbathing

In 1964, topless sunbathing gained popularity in Europe, particularly in France and Spain. This cultural shift in seaside lounging practices contributed to the wider acceptance and use of the term 'go topless' to refer to sunbathing without a bikini top. The image of sun-kissed women basking in the sun without any upper garment became emblematic of freedom and relaxation, fueling the term's growth in popularity.


The First Go Topless Day

Go Topless Day was first organized in 1970 by the Go-Topless movement. The day is observed on the Sunday closest to Women's Equality Day, which falls on August 26th. Go Topless Day is meant to raise awareness about gender equality and challenge societal taboos surrounding female toplessness. It involves peaceful protests, demonstrations, and topless gatherings in various cities around the world.


The Topfreedom Movement

With the growing acceptance of women embracing their bodies and advocating for gender equality, the term 'go topless' gained a new significance in the early 1990s. The movement known as topfreedom emerged, promoting the right for women to go topless in public, just like men. Several cities and states began to change their legislation to allow women the freedom to be topless in public spaces.


Feminist Movement

During the 1970s, the feminist movement gained momentum worldwide, advocating for women's rights and challenging societal expectations. As part of this movement, some feminists championed the idea of going topless as a form of protest against the objectification of women's bodies. The term 'go topless' became associated with this feminist activism, creating a deeper cultural significance behind the term.


International Go Topless Day

In 2007, the term 'go topless' gained further attention through the creation of International Go Topless Day, an annual event held on the Sunday closest to Women's Equality Day. The day serves as a platform to raise awareness about gender equality and women's rights to go topless in public. It is celebrated in various cities around the world through peaceful protests, artistic performances, and open discussions.


Topfreedom Movement

In 1992, a group called GoTopless formed in the United States, with the goal of promoting gender equality in public toplessness and challenging laws that prohibited women from going bare-chested. This movement brought the term 'go topless' into the spotlight once again, igniting discussions around gender equality and body autonomy. Various cities and states began revising their legislation to allow women the same rights as men when it came to being topless in public.


The Go Topless movement gains momentum

During the early 1990s, the Go Topless movement gained significant momentum. Activists fought legal battles in various countries and states, challenging laws prohibiting female toplessness in public. Their efforts sparked debates on gender equality and individual freedom.


Topfreedom laws gradually change

In recent years, several cities and states have revised their laws to allow women to go topless in public, aligning with the principles advocated by the Go Topless movement. While the legal landscape varies across jurisdictions, the movement has undoubtedly contributed to a more inclusive understanding of public nudity and body autonomy.

Present Day

Continued Advocacy and Celebration

Today, the term 'go topless' continues to be associated with body acceptance, gender equality, and the right for women to choose how they present themselves. It remains a symbol of empowerment and a catalyst for important conversations surrounding societal norms and double standards. Whether embraced as a fashion choice, a political statement, or a form of self-expression, going topless has become a defining aspect of contemporary culture.


Go Topless Day

Go Topless Day, an annual event held on the Sunday closest to Women's Equality Day, was first organized in 2007. The day serves as a platform for advocacy, where both men and women participate by going topless in public to protest against gender-based double standards. The term 'go topless' became synonymous with this event, solidifying its significance in the ongoing dialogue surrounding gender equality and body acceptance.

Did you know?

Did you know that National Go Topless Day was inspired by the Raelian Movement? The founder of the movement, Claude Vorilhon, advocated for a world where women have the same rights as men, including the right to go topless in public.


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First identified

12th May 2015

Most mentioned on

16th May 2015

Total mentions


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