Photos showing police on a beach in Nice, France, ordering a woman to remove some of her clothing, which appears to be a burqini, caused outrage on social media late Tuesday night. Nice is one of more than a dozen towns in France to enact a ban on the burqini — a controversial piece of full-body swimwear worn by some Muslim women — in the wake of fears fueled by recent terror attacks.
The images show four police officers confronting the woman, who then removes part of her clothing ensemble. The officers, wearing body armor and carrying high-powered firearms, are then seen issuing what appears to be a ticket or a fine to the woman.
In response to the incident, Twitter users began posting one photo snapped as the woman removed her top on the beach in Nice alongside an old, black-and-white image of a police officer measuring the length of a woman’s bathing suit in Florida nearly 100 years ago.
— Matthew Ruddle (@RuddleMatthew) August 24, 2016
According to Getty Images, the photo was shot in 1925 and shows “Smokey Buchanan from the West Palm Beach police force, measuring the bathing suit of Betty Fringle on Palm Beach, to ensure that it conforms with regulations introduced by the beach censors.”
In the 1920s, it was commonplace for cities to have strict swimsuit regulations, which, if violated, could result in women being fined or arrested, according to Fusion. Though the fashion police in each era are haranguing women for opposite reasons — one for potentially not covering up enough, the other for being overly covered — many social media users pointed out that there is photographic evidence showing that for nearly 100 years women have been policed by men over what they choose to wear at the beach.
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