By Calvin Palmer
A New Jersey seaside resort is considering setting aside part of its beach for topless sunbathing.
The city council of Asbury Park is looking into the request by resident and Yoga Basin owner Reggie Flimlin to create a topless beach, nearly a block-long at the city’s Eighth Avenue beach, said Council President John Loffredo.
The only problem is that beach would be visible from the boardwalk. The city already has an ordinance where wearing only a bathing suit on the boardwalk and city’s sidewalks is deemed lewd behavior.
Hello America! We are in the 21st Century!
Councilwoman Sue Henderson said: “I have no problem with people expressing themselves. I’m keeping an open mind. The problem is that we have a boardwalk that runs past there.”
Flimlin made the request because women are going topless at the city’s north end beach. And she does not see the issue as one of lewdness but equal rights.
“I just thought it would be appropriate for Asbury Park, given how open and accepting we are, to celebrate women’s rights in a particular area on the beach,” Flimlin said.
“I do think Asbury is ready to recognize a woman’s right to be comfortable, to sunbathe without tan lines,” she added. “We celebrate so many different ideologies and choices here, and currently men are topless and women should have the same right.”
Loffredo said the city council would look into the request.
“I guess it’s a matter of maturity, honestly, as to whether or not you can accept it,” he said.
It is also a question of good taste. Given that the United States is renowned for a high percentage of morbidly obese women, the thought of them frolicking on the sand displaying their 58-inch JJ-sized breasts while their 62-inch hips sport a thong is the stuff of nightmares.
If the city council does allow this topless beach, it should be with the stipulation that only women with an acceptable body mass index (BMI) are allowed to sunbathe topless. Cities in northeast Florida with beaches, please take note.