But the August 21 protest, in its fourth year now, has some strange-ish philosophies behind it, if you for some reason happen to care why you're parading around in nipple-looking pasties.
Turns out the group behind Go Topless Day is the one-and-only Raëlian cult:
Those same freaks, if we may be so bold, who believed some French dude in the 1970s when he said aliens, who control humans via remote computers, had instructed him to start a religion. From the manifesto:
RAEL had a dramatic encounter with a human being from another planet, at a volcano park in the center of France, known as "Puy de Lassolas". This extra-terrestrial gave him a new detailed explanation of our origins and information on how to organize our future, as recorded in the book: Intelligent Design. After six consecutive meetings in the same location, Rael accepted the mission given to him, to inform humanity of this revolutionary message and to prepare the population to welcome their Creators, the Elohim, without any mysticism or fear, but as conscious and grateful human beings.
Since then, Raëlians have taken up various harmless (if kooky) causes, including human cloning, sensual meditation (don't ask), and -- bringing us to Venice Beach on August 21 -- the right to go topless.In the words of the almighty Raël himself: "As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right. Or else, men should have to wear something to hide their chests."
(Couldn't have anything to do with the fact that Rael likes him some topless titties, now could it?)
As we were speaking with Bob Morton, executive director for Naturist Action Committee, a nudist advocacy group, about another naked situation down on the Camp Pendleton beach today, he expressed concern about the topless group's "agenda":
"I'm not opposed to it," he says. "I just dont know what their motivation is, necessarily -- I don't know whether this will please the aliens, or displease them."
Some have speculated that the protests are just another way to recruit members to Raël's alien cult. And Morton says if the Raëlians really cared about defending nudist beliefs, they wouldn't be calling him up about "where it's safe and legal for a woman to be topless. My point to them is, if you're only going to do it where it's already legal, whats the point?"
Go Topless Day, likewise, avoids breaking any real rules, what with the nipple pasties.
Taking Morton's side, Huntington Beach attorney Allan Baylis says the L.A. city ordinance that bans toplessness should be tested -- that it's "treading on thin ice, constitutionally" and would almost definitely be struck down if it reached a higher court, like it recently did in New York.
Anyway. Enough of this legal babble -- you want pics! Last year's NSFW finest, after the jump.