Local council extends topless sunbathing ban to overweight men

Council officials on the Isle of Wight have extended an island-wide ban on topless sunbathing to overweight men, it has been revealed today.  From Colwell to Yaverland, specially-trained wardens will patrol the island’s beaches and issue fines to anyone caught transgressing the ban. 

‘We will be assessing the size of individual’s man boobs – known as ‘moobs’ within medical circles – for size and weight.’ explained head warden Martin Adams.  ‘Wardens have been given special powers to stop male sunbathers and check their moobs with custom-made measuring devices such as weighing scales and callipers.  Anyone whose measurements do not meet fall within acceptable Man Boob Index (MBI) parameters will be fined and asked to put on a t-shirt.’

This new initiative has been hailed by council officials as the latest in a series of schemes to enhance the island’s image, including a ban on children’s sandcastles in favour of sand-sculpting arts festivals, the bulldozing of any caravans that do not have en-suite bathroom facilities and the compulsory re-branding of all fish ‘n’ chip shops into Rick Stein seafood franchises. 

Despite fierce criticism of the scheme from human rights groups, Isle of Wight council have defended the move, stating that a standardised method is much fairer than the old-fashioned, scattershot approach employed by individual parishes at present.  This, according to Adams, will do away with previous, demeaning methods. 

‘Until recently men in Totland had to prove that their nipples pointed horizontally, within a margin of a few degrees, before they were allowed onto the beach.’ He said, ‘And if you could hold a lolly stick under your pectorals at Sandown you’d be forced to wear a sackcloth jerkin with the legend ‘I ate all the pies’ written on it.’

In true British spirit however, many holidaymakers have already begun to find ways around the ban with the aid of local entrepreneurs.  Bucket and spade stalls at Seagrove Beach are reported to be doing a roaring trade in see-through plastic t-shirts for example.  Meanwhile one sun-worshipper in Gurnard maintains that imprecise wording in the legislative documentation leaves the rules open to interpretation, allowing for plenty of scope for overweight men wishing to get a tan.  ‘It don’t say nothin’ ’bout goin’ bottomless does it?’

(Written 16 Mar)

Published in: on November 2, 2009 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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