Skip to main content

Topless photos latest travel rage

By Frances Cha, CNN
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Sat June 7, 2014
Three friends began documenting their travels by removing their tops and sharing with the world on Instagram.
Three friends began documenting their travels by removing their tops and sharing with the world on Instagram.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Three students in UK start topless travel photo trend
  • Travelers send in topless photos from around the world
  • The Topless Tour has nearly 20,000 followers on Instagram

(CNN) -- Irreverent?

Obscene?

Glorious?

While some parts of the world are instituting bikini bans and campaigning for travelers to cover up, elsewhere, travelers are encouraging others to take it off on social media for everyone to see.

What began as a spontaneous idea and Instagram post has sparked a stream of travelers to send in fun, topless photos -- taken from the back -- to be featured on the social media channels of the Topless Tour, which began as an Instagram project.

Judging from the enthusiastic response and growing number of participants, there's something about posing topless that heightens the feeling of liberation and adventure while traveling.

Japan's 'anti-loneliness cafe' goes viral

How it started

The Topless Tour was started two years ago by friends Olivia Edginton, 20, Lydia Buckler, 21, and Ingvild Marstein Olsen, 20, students at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London.

After taking an impromptu topless dip in a cold lake in Olsen's hometown in Norway, the three friends wanted to capture the moment of freedom.

"It simply just happened, no planning involved," Edginton wrote in an e-mail.

They continued to travel and post similar photos throughout Europe and New York, all featuring themselves in topless poses against dramatic backgrounds.

Then they called for others to send in their topless photos from around the world.

From Idaho to Cape Town to Thailand, the mildly salacious images poured in.

Among the more amazing submissions: a woman bungee jumping topless in the Swiss Alps.

More to come

The Topless Tour currently has nearly 20,000 followers on Instagram.

That number is increasing quickly as the trio and a growing community continue to document their travels with bare backs.

Although the topless photos come predominantly from women, many men have submitted as well.

"We never imagined it would have such global reach and appreciation," Edginton said. "It was always just something we would hope would catch on, never really thinking it would happen."

For the trio leading the Tour, the best part of the experience has been hearing people's stories from all over the globe, and how the project has helped people "feel themselves again, be proud of who they are and love their beautiful bodies," said Edginton.

"One of our followers recently said these lovely words: 'All that pressure and judging went away. And so did my shirt. I felt free, happy, and me.' "

How to take good Instagram photos when you travel

Correction: We incorrectly described an Instagram post as a woman skydiving, rather than bungee jumping. This has now been fixed.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
The Y-40 Deep Joy, the world's deepest swimming pool at the Hotel Millepini Terme in Montegrotto Terme, Italy.
An Italian spa complex adds new depths to the hotel swimming pool concept with a 42-meter plunge chamber.
updated 8:36 PM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
Whether spiraling up mountains or sky-scraping attractions, these stairs give new meaning to the phrase "watch your step".
updated 10:29 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Even during the harshest periods of the communist era, being Shanghainese had a special cachet in China.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
Up the Inside Passage on a heritage tugboat, sport fishermen chase British Columbia's monster salmon.
updated 3:41 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
New York to London in three hours? The European aviation giant is joining the race to make it happen.
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Which cities provide the most memorable party times? A self-proclaimed "nightlife connoisseur" names his top 10.
updated 11:44 PM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
Whether you're looking for a post-meeting pint or a wild night out, creativity is on the menu at these hot Hong Kong venues.
updated 6:28 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
An image showing the Istanbul district of Beyoglu where gentrification is changing the face of the neighborhood and leading the closure of many old shops and establishments.
Artists and migrants are moving out as a once-crumbling neighborhood goes upscale.
updated 1:02 AM EDT, Sat September 20, 2014
They irrigate our farms, are an important means of transport and a source of eco-friendly power.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT