I seeded this article largely because of one comment that was embedded near the end of it. It remarked that this trend toward more female modesty seemed to coincide with a depressed economy in France as well as the rest of the world. This is not the first time that sociologists have made that connection it seems.
A few years back when mini-skirts and micro-mini's were popular and that was suddenly followed rather dramatically by the maxi-skirt some sociologists said that lady's hemlines tended to follow the economy. Therefore it was an indicator of the relative health of the economy depending upon whether they were up or down.
At the time I laughed but they pointed out at that same time that just before the crash of 1929 the Flapper era was upon us and after the crash the short skirts and frivolous and libidinous life style virtually disappeared in America. Women went back to a more conservative outward appearance with long skirts and high necklines.
France has for some time been a bit of a leader in pushing moral boundaries as has Germany and other European nations. But France was the first to openly allow legal partial and even full nudity in public. Other nations perhaps tolerated it to some extent but France flaunted it in fashion and advertising. To some extent the free lifestyle became almost a tourist attraction.
As a practicing nudist I can attest that when in a true nudist environment everyone feels much less stress and has a greater sense of personal freedom. Of course those who cannot accept such a life style because of their personal choices and/or upbringing would not feel so free but rather embarrassed and therefore even more stressed. But that is a topic for another discussion.
In this seed I am focusing on the connection between economics and social mores. Another economic indicator seems to be the sales of alcohol and drugs. When the economy starts to decline sales of these items tends to increase. Sure people drink and do drugs in a libidinous environment as well but when the economy collapses the ensuing depression causes even greater use of these mind altering substances as a way to cope with life in a depressed economy.
If one looks at creatures in the wild they often react in much the same way. When times are good and food is plentiful the reproduction rate tends to go up. Females become more receptive to males and males are more aggressive about breeding. However when food and territory become scarce and life is harder breeding seems to decrease by itself as females reject the advances of males and males tend to become less aggressive about breeding more possessive of feeding grounds.
So in a way this is just a reflection of our basest animalistic traits inherited from our earliest hunter/gatherer ancestors I think. When the economy is up we party hearty but when times get tough we seek emotional escape perhaps with alcohol or drugs and become almost loners avoiding the urge to reproduce so much. That (the birth rate) is another indicator that reflects trends in the stock market. Just like buying stocks having a child is a bit of a gamble with long term investment ramifications.
So societal attitudes do in many ways reflect the state of our economics as you can plainly see. I will miss the open nudity but alas it will go bye bye for now until the economy once again becomes strong in ten or fifteen years or so. At my age I probably won't be around to see it so this is my last hurrah where nudity is concerned. LOL
I will just have to content myself with the antics of those in the entertainment industry who seem to use nudity as an attention getting device. As a dirty old man I sometimes watch Fashion TV to see what to expect on the street in the coming year. Prior to 2008 these shows were often almost burlesque in nature with lots of nudity or near nudity both actual and implied. However after 2008 styles slowly began to trend back toward more conservative looks. There were the occasional shock shows to draw attention but the actual products that might really make it to store shelves proved to be becoming quite conservative in nature.
So if you are planning any major investments you might what to check the ladies hemlines, the local liquor store sales figures, and the number of births at your local hospitals before you invest. If all of their numbers are down you maybe in a down economy. LOL