Confessions of a tanorexic

In an interesting piece for Air Mail, Linda Wells writes of ‘The secret lives of tanorexics’, asking: ‘What drives these bronze obsessives – and why won’t they ever learn?’ She questions her sun-baked friends about why they are so intent on doing a thing which they are warned will ruin their complexions and make it more likely that they get cancer – and doesn’t get a satisfactory answer from any of them. Reading it, I realised that I too am a tanorexic. It kind of creeps up on you over the years, like any other bad habit: one minute you’re having a harmless half-hour in a sun-trap pub garden in

Why are fewer Frenchwomen sunbathing topless?

I was taken by surprise last month while holidaying in Biarritz. As I splashed through the surf towards the beach I passed a woman paddling. She was topless and it struck me that this was a sight you don’t often see any more in France. I first came to France on summer holiday as a young boy and recall asking my mother, who is of Scottish presbyterian stock, why French women didn’t wear bikini tops. She replied from behind her sturdy one-piece swimming suit that it ‘was just the French way’ Not any more. In 1984, a survey found that 43 per cent of Frenchwomen bathed topless on the beach.