Mardi Gras is a celebration that brings to mind images of lavish parades, gaudy beads, king cakes, and for some, bare chests. There are many Mardi Gras traditions that are portrayed as quintessential by the mainstream media, but can flashing truly be considered one of them?
The history of this over-the-top holiday goes all the way back to the pagans, but today it's a necessary precursor to the Christian practice of Lent. Mardi Gras, French for "Fat Tuesday," is the last hurrah for Christians before they swear off something they love for the 40 days leading up to Easter.
The history of Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans goes back to the early 1800s, and the numerous and long-standing traditions are sacred to locals. While some people think the time-honored "Throw me something, mister!" accompanied by a showing of boobs is a true Mardi Gras tradition, locals insist that it's actually not.
So how did "beads for boobs" become considered a mainstay of parade-going behavior, and why do women flash at Mardi Gras? The trend is much more recent than you may think, and a big part of the celebrations.
The Beads Themselves Have A Long History – And Were Originally Made Of Glass
Over Time, Beads Became One Of The Most Common And Sought-After 'Throws'
Women Began Getting 'Immodest' In The Streets In The 1880s
Beads-For-Skin As We Know It Began In The 1970s With The Women's Lib Movement
The Tradition Comes From The French Quarter – Not Mardi Gras In General
Some People Go The Full Monty For The Most Treasured Throws