It’s been a hot, desultory summer here in New York City, so, quite naturally, the dominant political controversy of the season has been topless women—in particular the handful, referred to as desnudas, who walk around Times Square clad in thong underwear, high heels, body paint, and nothing else.
Until recently, few paid much attention to the women, who comprise a small part of the carnival-esque atmosphere of the square. But in recent weeks the desnudas have aroused the ire of both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill DeBlasio, two politicians who haven’t been able to agree on basically anything else. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s perfectly legal for women to go topless in New York. But deBlasio, a self-styled “progressive,” has made no secret of his desire to boot the desnudas out—even if it means uprooting the square’s pedestrian zone and replacing it with regular thoroughfares.
So, in an old-fashioned exercise in participatory journalism, the New York Post reporter Amber Jamieson, went undercover as a desnuda for a day.