OK be honest. Did you click on the headline because you’re interested in learning about a new way to empower women, you’re sick to death of news about BLM riots and the Democrat National Convention, or because you just hoped you’d see pictures of topless women?
If you chose “a” or “b,” you’re in luck. Apologies to the third group.
You have my word on “b.” As for “a,” here we go. As reported by the Denver Post, women across Colorado are posing topless while hiking on mountaintops — all in the name of empowerment. It occurs to me up front I should remind you that I’m simply the messenger, here.
The growing movement, which recently began trending on social media, has been around since 2015. Kari Armstrong, co-organizer of The Boulder Hiker Chicks, told the Post the experience is not only fun, but feels a little “risky,” as well.
“It feels fun, exciting and maybe a little risky to be naked in nature. When you have worked hard for your hike, or even if you haven’t, it is fun to do something a little silly and liberating to celebrate.”
Actually they just pose topless, but to each
his her own. Anyway, here’s how the process plays out, according to the Post.
The whole experience seems to have two parts: First, getting and being half-naked on a trail that might have lots of other hikers on it while you have a friend snap the photo of the gorgeous mountaintop view and your naked back.
Next, sharing the image on social media, either in a private group or on your individual Instagram or Facebook account.
Along with the images are captions that run from goofy to deeply personal as women share recovery from cancer and other serious health ailments, relationship heartache, body acceptance and other issues, in part to say how doing this helped them feel better.
The “empowering” experience is particularly popular in the mountains of Colorado, where going topless is legal.
When Armstrong and co-organizer Alli Fronzaglia started their hiking group, they reveled in their growing reputation for being a little wild. Fronzaglia explained — after noting that they would sometimes wear costumes while hiking:
“Women joined us to let loose, gain confidence, and make new friends. We had begun showcasing our shenanigans on social media. It was part of the fun.”
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Funny story: All this time we thought we doing it for the ‘gram. Turns out we’re doing it just for us. 🤷🏻♀️😜☀️❤️🙌 This morning’s end-of-summer sunrise paddle was AHHH-mazing. This private event was organized exclusively for our BHC Connections members (women who’ve participated in at least one public BHC hike). 35 hiker chicks on paddleboards, a beautiful sunrise, fantastic company, and our usual shenanigans. It might be the most we’ve ever laughed before 7 am. 😉 Many thanks to @taylor_radio & @rockymountainpaddleboard for hosting such a large group at such an early hour. It was an unforgettable experience & we’re so grateful. Soooo many amazing moments to share but of course this was one of our favorites. ☺️ Thanks to all our chicks who met up at Boulder Reservoir before the sun came up so that we could enjoy it together. 📸: @yeahkaren #paddlesintheairlikeyoujustdontcare #sunrisesup #bestmorningever
Kellie Schulte, another member of group, recounted how she felt after climbing a 14,000-foot-high mountain, following a breakup:
“This was a big important moment for me. With every step, I felt empowered. Like I was taking control of my life. Like I could and would be me again.
“I looked at my friend and said, ‘I’m taking one of those topless pics and I’m never giving up the things I love again.’
“Then I snapped a couple of pics and I absolutely love them. From this point forward, I’m committed to living an authentic life. A happy and adventure-filled life.”
While Fronzaglia acknowledged that the experience isn’t for everyone, she told the Post it’s just one more way for women to be themselves.
“I think it’s just one more way for women to unapologetically claim their space on the trails and in nature. So many of us, as women, spend our lives trying to do the right thing, trying to look a certain way, trying not to offend, trying to just be acceptable to society. Being in nature reminds us that, like the wildflowers and the trees, we’re perfect just as we are.”
The bottom line:
Being a guy — wait, is it socially-acceptable for me to refer to my male self as “a guy”? — I’m hardly qualified to weigh in on the efficacy — or lack thereof — of standing on a mountaintop, topless.
Then again, it appears to me that the Boulder Hiker Chicks have a whole less anger and a lot fewer “issues” going on in their heads than the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Maxine Waters.
Now, if you’re ready to get back to BLM or DNC news, here’s a feel-good convention-related report I wrote, earlier today: