News In Brief

No extra exposure in Asbury Park, N.J.

Christina Huh Jul 9, 2010

The Asbury Park City Council put the kibosh on a proposal to make Asbury Park a topless beach. MTV’s “Jersey Shores” suggests that orange is the preferred skin color of Jersey girls, but some folks in Jersey want a natural, even tan.

Reggie Flimlin, a yoga studio owner, proposed for the beach to allow for topless sunbathing. For her, the proposal was a feminist proposition. She pointed out that men are allowed to go topless without being stigmatized.

From the Associated Press:

“It’s a shame,” she said when told by The Associated Press of the council’s decision. “They had a real opportunity here to embrace women’s rights in Asbury Park. It’s discouraging.”

The city attorney pointed out that there are two city ordinances that prohibit public nudity, which includes topless sunbathing.

Supporters said the proposal could’ve revitalized the oceanside city, creating new buzz and attracting more people to it. People against it said that it would scare off families who are starting to come back to Asbury Park.

“My mother raised us to keep ourselves covered up,” resident Stephanie Miller-Dekle said. “This is a family town. It would be a disgrace to be out there with children on the boardwalk and have them looking at body parts that don’t belong to them. I’m proud of Asbury Park right now.”

New Jersey state law allows individual communities to decide how much coverage (or how little) people are allowed on beaches. Currently, only Gunnison Beach in northern New Jersey is the only beach in the state where total nude sunbathing is allowed.

Your best bet for going topless is skipping over to New York — topless sunbathing has been legal on every beach in the state since 1992.

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