Here's How Different Parts Of the World Tackle Public Nudity

August 20th 2015

Laura Donovan

Public nudity is a contentious matter to many. Public figures and regular citizens alike continue to show support for the #FreetheNipple movement, which battles double standards about who can show their nipples. Some women have gone so far as to walk around topless in Manhattan to prove a point. Here's how cities and nations around the world tackle public nudity.

1. New York


While public lewdness is a class B misdemeanor that can land you up to 90 days in jail, a woman going topless is not included as public lewdness.

New York Penal Code 245 says public lewdness occurs when a person "intentionally exposes the private or intimate parts of his body in a lewd manner or commits any other lewd act (a) in a public place, or (b) in private premises under circumstances in which he may readily be observed from either a public place or from other private premises, and with intent that he be so observed."

But yes, it's legal for women to walk around New York City bearing their breasts. Bruce Willis' daughter Scout took advantage of this last year when she went topless to call out what she said was Instagram's hypocrisy for allowing male nipples to appear on the platform, but not female nipples.

Check out this video ATTN: made about the Free the Nipple movement:


Where Do You Stand on the Free the Nipple Controversy?

Where do you stand on the Free The Nipple controversy?Here's what the CEO of Instagram has to say about your nipples: http://bit.ly/1TMmUcF

Posted by ATTN: on Sunday, August 16, 2015


2. Paris


In 2012, Paris police warned against topless sunbathing during the annual Paris-Plages event in which the city creates artificial beaches by the Seine river.

People "wearing inappropriate dress could be fined at least €38 (£30), with cash penalties of up to €3,750 (£2,950) and two years in jail if suspected of soliciting sex," according to a 2012 Telegraph report.

At the time, the police said in a statement that "any outfit that allows for the genital area or breasts to be seen constitutes sexual exhibition and is punishable by a year in prison."

3. Singapore


Singapore has many strict laws, and the country's policy on public and private nudity is no exception. If you're naked in your own house and others can potentially see you, you could be fined up to $2,000 or be jailed for 90 days because it's considered pornography to conduct yourself in this way. Under law, police officials can use force if necessary to enter your home and arrest you. Singapore's law says that the punishment for being seen nude is a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 months.

Unsurprisingly, public nudity is also a no-no.

4. Louisiana


Under the state's obscenity law, "[e]xposure of the genitals, pubic hair, anus, vulva, or female breast nipples in any public place or place open to the public view, or in any prison or jail, with the intent of arousing sexual desire or which appeals to prurient interest or is patently offensive." Earlier this year, NOLA.com reported that indoor nudity can have legal consequences, too, as authorities have arrested people for being nude in their own homes. The laws on the books in Louisiana are pretty strict—"whoever commits the crime of obscenity shall be fined not less than $1,000" and can be sentenced to "not less than six months" in prison. Do it a second time and you're liable to be fined $2,500 or face not less than two years in prison.

5. Villahermosa, Mexico


In Villahermosa, Mexico, both indoor and outdoor nudity is prohibited. People who are visibly nude in their homes or nude in public face fines of more than $100 and possible jail time.

"We are talking about zero tolerance ... for a lack of morality,'' City Councilwoman Blanca Estela Pulido of the Revolutionary Institutional Party said in 2004, when the law was first introduced. "The majority of houses have a lot of ventilation and we give ourselves the luxury of going naked. Because we walk past the windows, you see a lot of things."

As noted by CBS News, the city is known for being hot and humid, which can make someone want to walk around naked at home.

"I have no idea how you detect the naked," opposition party Councilman Rodrigo Sanchez said at the time. "You'd have to have a big operation to try to bring it under control."

That said, people who report their neighbors for being nude? They could be prosecuted for spying.