Friday, July 4, 2008

Girls told not to jiggle, men not to ogle

SURF lifesavers say they have become "morality police" and have had to evict increasing numbers of oglers from popular topless sunbathing spots.
Senior lifeguards warned of men armed with hidden cameras who were filming unsuspecting female sunbakers on Queensland beaches.

They said "dodgy types" were warned on an almost daily basis about ogling and sitting unacceptably close to topless women while some perverts even used telescopes for spying.

In Cairns, women were allowed to sunbake topless on the Esplanade but lifeguards were supposed to enforce a "no jiggle" law.

Under the five-year-old rule, women could legally take their tops off as long as they did not strut about, swim in the pool, play beach volleyball or fling a Frisbee.

Cairns talkback radio has been running hot this week with a debate between women scared off by perverts and others who said they were offended by the "festival of flesh" at the lifeguard patrolled site. Self-confessed former topless sunbaker and Cairns Mayor Val Schier laughed off the concerns, saying topless sunbaking was a rite of passage for many young visitors to the north.

"If there are pervs or oglers they'd be hurried on by the lifeguards, it is an open area, it is not as if there are dirty old men in raincoats hiding behind phone boxes," Ms Schier said.

She admitted she, too, had sunbaked topless.

"I have bared my naked body to sun, it's freedom.

"It's a good feeling to be free of clothes," she said.

Bikini-clad backpackers Stephanie, 21, and Laurence, 23, from Belgium, wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

"As long as we don't wave our breasts about, run around half-naked, or go topless into the pool I think it is okay," said Laurence.

Senior lifeguard Daniel Fleming, 22, confirmed the concerns of lifeguards across the state, saying his role was increasingly one akin to the "morality police". "Everyday I have to shoo away dodgy characters," he said.


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