The “disinhibition” of America is becoming emblematic of our 21st century, with self-revelation rampant on the Internet, an apparently booming porn industry, politicians and public figures being caught in flagrante delicto, and the historic Mardi Gras of New Orleans going bare-breasted in public, says extreme behavior expert Frank Farley, a psychologist at Philadelphia’s Temple University.
“Mardi Gras has been going topless for some years with no end in sight,” says Farley, a former president of the American Psychological Association. “Is this reflecting a growing acceptance of such behavior in America? I think so.”
Liberal views on many fronts are gaining ground, from a healthy decline in racism, sexism, and ageism on one hand to a more questionable tolerance of such public nudity displays on the other, he says.
“Censorship of such displays is becoming increasingly difficult in this media saturated century and the Mardi Gras is helping to fuel the trend,” adds Farley. “Self-exposure of all types, including the now accepted ‘flashing breasts-for-beads’ at Mardi Gras, is beginning to define the Internet.”