Finding New Professions for Topless Women Is an Art

Article excerpt

Byline: Burt Constable

I feel for topless women - and yet they will have nothing to do with me.

(And not just because I use them as the butt of that tawdry, hackneyed double-entendre in my opening line.)

The topless women won't talk to me because they blame the Daily Herald for endangering their livelihoods as topless masseuses in DuPage County.

Hey, Deborah Johnson was the reporter who blew the cover off the topless massage biz, not me. And our editorial board urged the county board to ban topless massages, not me.

(That same board endorsed Bob Dole, but Bill Clinton didn't get all snotty about it. Clinton's office would still let us know if he did anything important. Heck, I'd bet Bill would call me personally if he knew I was writing about topless women.)

The days of topless massages in DuPage as they exist now are numbered, and I want to help these topless women find new careers. But they refuse to meet with me after work. I can't meet with them during work because the Daily Herald has a history of rejecting any $80 expense claim containing the word "topless."

That leaves me with no interviews and the topless women with no jobs.

Just what legitimate employer does hire topless women?

A check of our newsroom reveals not a single topless woman working here. British tabloids print photos of topless Page 3 Girls, but this would never fly at the Daily Herald where I am considered topless if I show up without a tie.

The topless masseuses have no training in massage, so they can't get jobs at traditional spas offering "tops-on" massages.

The Yellow Pages doesn't even offer a Topless category - going right from Tools to Topsoil. There's no topless shoe shine shops, no topless maid services, no topless manicurists, no topless financial consultants and no topless landscapers.

But there is one legal, non-sleazy career open to topless women - nude art modeling. …