Planking’s passé, horsemaning is history, and while selfies are thriving in Tunisia, a new photo trend has emerged with the winning combination of mashing the beauty of nature and people. “The Topless Tour” invites people everywhere to shed their shirts to “feel the freedom and share their beauty with the world”.
The world is responding, but one slice of the planet has completely resisted the fun. There’s not one photo uploaded from the Middle East!
The Topless Tour was started by three London-based dancer pals who – while hiking in Norway – spontaneously whipped off their tops for a discrete and arty photo (no word as to who actually snapped it!). They posted it on Instagram; a trend was born.
Mainly inspired by dance, sport and yoga, the topless travel pix are tame. (See the lead photo of trend-starters Ingvild Marstein Olsen, Lydia Buckler and Olivia Edginton posing in Norway’s Rondane National Park.) Most all of the snaps capture people’s backs. The viewer follows the poser’s gaze to the scene beyond, and the bare-breasted play second fiddle to the stunning settings.
The trio told GrindTV that they became “addicted to the liberation” of being topless in the great outdoors. They began taking more photos in new places, posting them under hashtag #thetoplesstour, attracting an international following with nearly 15,000 Instagram followers and 10,000 Facebook likes.
“The Topless Tour is the opening of your bare chest and heart to the world,” Edginton told the Daily Mail.
The photos are tasteful; nothing is gratuitous. (Although a few cheekier models also go bottomless.)
The remote settings are spectacular. Photos have been staged in California and Colorado, Cape Town and Vegas, Thailand and India – but not one originates from the Middle East or North Africa (MENA). Why is that?
Surely this region offers some of the planet’s best natural portrait studios. So where are the shots from Jordan’s Wadi Rum, Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, or Israel’s Ein Gedi?
Photographer Spencer Tunick braved this region’s sensitive sense of modesty in his series of naked floats in the Dead Sea. Lebanese Olympian skier Jackie Chamoun set off shock-waves when she posed partially nude on the slopes outside Beirut for a risque calender project. Tunisian feminist Amina Tyler faced the camera head-on in her naked selfies. They’ve greased the skids for showing skin, so where is everyone else?
Are you a fun and fearless traveler? Want to bring attention to the natural wonders of the Middle East? If you decide to drop your own top somewhere in the MENA region – please be respectful of local mores (and cautious of local laws!), Tag your photos with #TheToplessTour, and do leave a link to your image in our comment section.
All images from #TheToplessTour Instagram site