#MTNBabes: Why You Shouldn’t Go Topless In Mountains And Post It On Instagram

"I would much rather see photo of a woman tearing up a mountain on skis than flashing her boobs to the wilderness"

Photo: The Bivy

Have you ever typed in #MTNBabes into Instagram? It’s a trend across Instagram where women take photos of themselves topless in the mountains before posting the snap on Instagram.

At first, it all seems like a bit of innocuous fun. Like those photos people used to take of themselves on uni ski trips, facing the mountains bare breasted with a pint in hand.

But if you think a little deeper, what kind of message is it giving off to younger generations of women?

We came across this video, which pretty much says it all….

Yes, these women are embracing the outdoors – but the whole focus is on them slapping each others butts and pouring beer down their chests.

It’s entirely focused on the sexualisation of women without them actually doing any sport whatsoever.

Women have strived to be admired not for their bodies but for their ability to rip in the mountains

Over the decades, women  have worked hard to be seen as equal athletes when it comes to male-dominated sports like climbing, skiing and snowboarding.

They’ve strived to be admired not for their bodies but for their ability to rip in the mountains.

In some ways, posts like #MTNBabes just works to undo all this hard work – reducing women to sexual objects rather than strong, capable athletes that they really are.


We’re not here to condemn anyone. Everyone has the right to display their body anyway they choose.

I can understand why women see this is a freeing experience. The wilderness is a place you can go where there aren’t any prying eyes to oggle your naked form.

So, I say go for it – get naked in the wild on your on time – but by posting it on Instagram, you have to remember that it spreads a message to a far wider community beyond your immediate friends.


As the awesome ladies from the Outdoor Women’s Alliance pointed out in this spot-on Instagram post:

“Our photos are seen in countries where women would be harmed for such displays. We have to look at how our actions affect others. We are not in a bubble, and what we do is seen by women (and men) in many countries where displaying bare women could encourage men to see women as sexual objects.”

It’s a fine line though. Campaigns like #FreeTheNipple are in many ways very empowering for women – it shouldn’t be our fault that this is the way society views the female naked form.

Photo: Chris Noble

But then where do you draw the line between enjoying the freedom to wander around topless (just like men) and titillating your viewer for an altogether different purpose?

For me, I think it comes down to what I would like to inspire my future daughter to be like.

Outdoor Women Shouldn’t Worry About Their ‘Thunder Thighs’. Here’s Why…

I would like her to be confident in her achievements (both on the mountain and on off) without feeling she has to get naked or bear any flesh to gain attention for her abilities.

I would much rather she admire a photo of a woman tearing up a mountain on skis or scaling the Half Dome in Yosemite than some girls flashing their boobs to the wilderness.


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