This just in: it’s Topless Tuesday

Who knows where traditions come from at Burning Man? But here’s another one: Sweetthang announced at the morning meeting that yes, in fact, today is Topless Tuesday. Whereupon a fair number of women — and men — took off their shirts, to general hoots and hollers. And then everyone went about their normal business.

Many people think that nobody wears any clothes at Burning Man anyway, but of course this is not true. The costumes here are completely fabulous.

And this is probably not the time or place to delve into feminist theory and discuss the liberating experience that comes from the simple act of taking off your shirt. But I’ll say this: it doesn’t seem odd here. (Still, we maintain eye contact while talking to participants of TT. It’s just the way we are.)

So feel free to discuss the question of nudity on the playa, and whether you’ll be going au naturale or not. There are no wrong answers. And here’s another pic to get the ball rolling. From behind, because there’s no reason to get all horndog-y about it.

 

About the author: John Curley

John Curley has been Burning since the relatively late date of 2004, and in 2008 he spent the better part of a month on the playa, documenting the building and burning of Black Rock City in words and pictures. John is a longtime newspaper person and spent many years at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a deputy managing editor in charge of Page One and the news sections of the paper. Since leaving the Chronicle in 2007, he was a contributing editor on Blue Planet Run, a book about the world's water crisis, and for the past two years has been a lecturer at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. He has also started an event and editorial photography business, and is also working on a book about the "Ten Dollar Doc" from Arco, Idaho, which will make a lovely film someday.

8 thoughts on “This just in: it’s Topless Tuesday

  • As much as I like naked people, when someone says “oh Burning Man,. that is where everybody runs around naked.” my reply is, “well, a few do but that would be soooo boring. Short of tattoos, it is hard to be naked and self expressive.
    Clothing can be sexy. I had a female boss who dressed incredibly sexy even while not exposing anything below her neck. At Burning Man one can dress sexy and expose any part of the anatomy one cares too. I love that added dimension. Sexy can be what is covered up as well as what is exposed.

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  • I really love dressing up, I love wearing costumes at Burning Man! In fact I’ve been known to change my outfits up to 5 times a day while on playa. Last year was my fourth burn and my first time going nude at Burning Man. For all the fun of dressing up, I have to say it was really wonderful to be dressed down also. I didn’t feel vulnerable or exposed, I felt natural and free. It is quite something to feel the playa breeze caress your ENTIRE body! I danced naked amongst the coals of the man after he burned and it will always be one of my most treasured memories. :) I think it’s the fact that you can dress like a crazy person, or wander around stark nude and no one thinks twice about it or treats you like you’re different. That is the beautiful part to me.

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  • This will be my second year going and I’m toying with the idea of going topless, but I’m a curvier girl and feel self conscious about the fact my ta-tas aren’t perfect and perky, and that I’ve got a bit of a belly. I guess no one care….but maybe they are just being polite…*sigh*

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  • Hey Nevus, just my two bit’s worth here. There are plenty of bigger bellies and even less perfect ta-tas than yours out there.
    I say do it for the feeling of freedom for your own sake, and I will bet more than few others out there will like what they see when they look you way.
    I only recently learned that my 90 year old dad has aways liked (in his words) plump women, and he was a Steve Martin and Johnny Carson kind of handsome man in his prime. Makes me amused and a bit sad my mother spent her adult life struggling hopelessly to get thin. Apparently dad never spelled out to her his likes.

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