Go­ing top­less in Venice?

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION - enice Beach wants

Van­other go at nude sun­bathing, a prac­tice for­bid­den in the city and county of Los An­ge­les. But judg­ing by the let­ters to the edi­tor we re­ceived, the law might be out of step with the peo­ple on this.

The re­ac­tion from read­ers to a Venice Neigh­bor­hood Coun­cil mo­tion ask­ing to be ex­empted from lo­cal laws on top­less­ness ranged from ac­cept­ing shrugs to a few let­ters say­ing Venice faces more press­ing con­cerns. What­ever ends up hap­pen­ing, we can take this as a sign that L.A.’s rapidly gen­tri­fy­ing ham­let by the beach will stay weird.

— Paul Thorn­ton, let­ters edi­tor Pa­tri­cia Mace of Los An­ge­les re­calls a pre­vi­ous time of le­gal­ized top­less­ness:

This ar­ti­cle brought back mem­o­ries of when nude sun­bathing was briefly al­lowed on Venice Beach decades ago.

The peo­ple I knew at the time were all for it, but it wasn’t long be­fore the male oglers, all fully dressed, out­num­bered the sun­bathers. Some would even come close to you, fully dressed, and lie down to ogle.

Top­less sun­bathing is great; I think peo­ple should try it. But if it’s al­lowed again in Venice, we’ll see how long it takes for the oglers to out­num­ber the sun­bathers.

Dana Point res­i­dent Milt Rouse ad­vo­cates the ac­cep­tance of nu­dity:

The ab­sur­dity of the top­less is­sue in Venice is not the ex­po­sure it­self but the silly pre­oc­cu­pa­tion many peo­ple have about the hu­man body be­ing some­thing that should be hid­den.

It is ironic that through­out his­tory it has been largely re­li­gious fac­tions that have spear­headed the fight against nu­dity, this most nat­u­ral of hu­man states. It is as if they be­lieve that their god has made a mis­take.

Just as those who do not like cer­tain tele­vi­sion shows or films can change the chan­nel or look away, the an­swer for peo­ple who do not like the hu­man body ex­posed is not to place laws on oth­ers, but, rather, to avert their eyes. The in­hib­ited must not be al­lowed to place lim­i­ta­tions on oth­ers.

Erin Dar­ling of Venice says more se­ri­ous is­sues face the beach-side com­mu­nity:

As some­one born and raised in Venice, I don’t mind news ar­ti­cles cov­er­ing my icon­o­clas­tic neigh­bor­hood. How­ever, as a mem­ber of the Venice Neigh­bor­hood Coun­cil, I am a bit dis­mayed that The Times would cover (un­cover?) a mildly risque mo­tion and over­look the more sub­stan­tive res­o­lu­tions ap­proved the same night as the top­less­ness is­sue was con­sid­ered.

In re­sponse to City Coun­cil­man Mike Bonin’s tepid re­sponse to Venice’s af­ford­able hous­ing cri­sis, we passed a res­o­lu­tion call­ing for the full en­force­ment of ex­ist­ing laws that limit short-term rentals (such as Airbnb), which threaten to turn the com­mu­nity into a col­lec­tion of de facto ho­tels. The coun­cil also sought to strengthen ef­forts to sen­si­bly reg­u­late the con­ver­sion of beach bun­ga­lows into Mc­Man­sions.

Times read­ers are un­doubt­edly in­ter­ested in a woman’s free­dom to lose her top while at Venice Beach, but surely, they also de­serve to know about ef­forts to pre­vent Venice res­i­dents from los­ing their homes.

Ge­naro Molina Los An­ge­les Times

SIMON SJO­GREN, of Swe­den, ap­pears to be top­less while do­ing a hand­stand at Venice Beach.

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