On July 14, 1789, a group of French rebels stormed the Bastille fortress in Paris—not to free the inmates, but to raid the prison’s stash of weapons and ammunition. The successful attack fueled the French Revolution, and soon after, the country stopped paying taxes to the monarchy, and became its own republic.
And how did Parisians celebrate their victory the next year? Fireworks, wine, and of course, streaking naked through the streets. Oui. In order to symbolize their complete freedom from the Sun King and Marie Antoinette, many Parisians said au revoir to their clothes and zoomed through their local arrondissements totally naked!
Of course, that was before Instagram, indecent exposure laws, and the advent of the modern bikini (which also happened in France, in 1949). Still, if you’re a purist and determined to celebrate Bastille Day in the most old school way possible, here are some tips:
1) Please wear sunscreen. You may be burning with passion for liberté, egalité, fraternité, but you don’t want to actually get burned.
2) Consider using self tanner before you streak. Pale skin is beautiful, but if your current shade matches the blanc in the French flag, you might want to get glowing before you get going.
3) Avoid areas near small children, large churches, and heavy police surveillance.
4) Reconsider and wear a super-cute French t-shirt instead. We’re sure you look très belle naked, but getting arrested might not be that much fun. After all, they confiscate all your belongings in there—even lipstick!