Dame Florence Cardell-Oliver, or FloCO as she probably preferred to be called, certainly knew what she wanted. Beautiful topless men.
In 1935 Cottesloe council ordered men to stop rolling bathing costumes down to their waists. FloCO was fully supportive. As the 59-year-old future parliamentarian explained, Australian men weren’t good looking enough.
“I consider that few of our men possess sufficient physical beauty to allow the sight of their bodies,” she said. “And a girl with shoulder blades which stick out like wings, wearing a backless costume, is inartistic and nude-looking.”
FloCO liked to spend her spare time on the best beaches around the world, and never saw anything as hideous as the two-piece bathers worn by common Cottesloe girls.
“I spent the summer before last at Biarritz, where the smart French and Spanish people go,” she explained artlessly, “and they were certainly not nude-looking in bathing costumes.”
It was not impossible to look good topless, the good lady admitted. At one of her many homes—this one in Cornwall—there were several really fine-looking men with costumes without tops. Apparently British men are better looking than Aussie men. Who would have guessed?
The solution? Like the fashionable French Riviera resorts frequented by Perth’s high society, attendants should be employed to wrap towels around bathers.
That would be lovely, FloCO, just lovely. We look forward to it on our next trip to Scarbs.