September 5, 2010

Girls flashing at concerts was an American-only thing?

We've seen that young people today are far less exhibitionistic than during the wild times of the '60s through the '80s. In particular, flashing at a concert, streaking, and topless sunbathing are dead among young people. As for the first of those, here's an interesting quote I came across from the singer of Scorpions, Klaus Meine:

It is odd that in America that some of these [album] covers were a problem because in the 80’s when we would tour here we always had boobs flashed to us at the front of the stage. Nowhere else in the world, just here.

That's from the Wikipedia article for their album Lovedrive, but the citation goes nowhere. Supposedly it's from a 2010 interview. Notice from the tense that he speaks about this pattern of behavior as something that died in the '90s and 2000s. What's really cool is his statement that it only happened here. I'm sure he had plenty of experience touring the globe, so his perception must be true.

You always hear social liberals whining about how Puritanical our culture is -- those French are so liberated, they even go topless on the beach! Well we had that here, too, it's just that you had to go to rock concerts, particularly hard rock or heavy metal ones. But these complaining sophisticates would rather chew on rat poison than socialize or even be seen with metalheads, so they missed out on toplessness American-style.


  1. You're using one data point, the recollection of a singer of a German band. OK, interesting enough, but... Americans might today be more "puritanical" than Germans in many senses, but at least as many Americans (and probably a significant amount more, as a percentage) have a "hang loose","I'm wasted you're wasted, yee haw" mentality (in the relevant crowd-oriented social context, of course) as Germans.

    Biggest factor, I'd guess: everyone having a digital camera, or whatnot, at their disposal. And everything being recorded in general. Your tits could be on HDTV, so you're a little more reluctant to flash them.

  2. First, that is not one data point. I'm talking about female behavior, and Klaus Meine must have performed before millions of females over the course of his career.

    Second, the digital camera idea is wrong because they only became widely adopted in the mid-2000s, whereas flashing declined during the '90s. Hell, even cell phones were still rare in 1995 (a running joke in the movie Clueless).

    Third, I thought digital cameras, YouTube, Facebook, etc., were supposed to make young people *more* exhibitionistic rather than less. Technological change is almost never a good explanation because you can fit it to completely different real-world patterns.

  3. By "one data point", of course I'm not talking about that point from Klaus's point of view, I mean it as one person's perspective (not to sound like a postmodernist relativist here, but...). He's one data point in the sense that I'd want to hear that confirmed by other guys who were on stage for many years as well before I'd buy into it for sure. It's totally plausible, in fact I'd bet it's an essentially correct observation, but who knows?

    A "digital camera" as opposed to "camera" was phrased to emphasize a point, so let's just assume I left that out for a second. How many more people are filming and photographing a concert setting in the 90's than 80's (way more, no?)? And 90's to 00's (way more again, no?) It's a trend, and not just for concerts of course. Girls that don't want their tits displayed for the general public, and aren't dumb, respond to that, consciously or not. Maybe paranoid Americans are ahead of the curve on that one, who knows. Sure, some girls will never care, and some small minority will flash even more because they want to be "famous"...

    (A large assumption here is that such flashing is a signal to the band to "look at me, and maybe take me home if I'm very lucky", not so much for the general public to "look at me later". This is a good question for debate.)

  4. I suspect that there are a lot of places to go to the beach topless, just most Americans haven't heard of them.

    Also, society is definitely becoming more puritannical. Topless (and nudist beaches) in Aus are on the decline and night life is going down hill sharply. The media however, never shuts up about how wild and violent our culture is.

    - Breeze.


You MUST enter a nickname with the "Name/URL" option if you're not signed in. We can't follow who is saying what if everyone is "Anonymous."