Radio host bares breasts during interview with B.C. mayor in honour of “Go Topless day”

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Apparently, Sunday is International Go Topless Day.

Vancouver Province writer and talk radio host Lori Welbourne got an early start.

Last week, she interviewed Kelowna, B.C. mayor Walter Gray. It started out as a 'normal' interview but soon took a different turn.

Here the video, posted on YouTube:

The mayor told CBC News that the segment was a gag but some Kelowna residents weren't laughing.

"I'm not sure that that's a fair thing for him to be a lightning rod for," Kelowna resident Mark Provonchier told the public broadcaster.

[ More Canadian Politics: Stephen Harper’s northern tour ends with tussle between staff and a reporter ]

On her radio show, Welbourne is known for not shying away from the controversial topics.

In the past, topics have included "slut shaming", "do marijuana mamas make better mothers", and "who should a john complain to about their hooker’s looks if he finds her ugly?"

Nevertheless, she's received some criticism for the topless interview. She's posted some of those negative comments on her Facebook page.

I just got an angry private message from someone about this video and they called me a whore. Yeah... okay! I think someone needs a dictionary.

YouTube commenter from the Topless in Kelowna video: Her billboard is obviously photoshopped, big time. Maybe just a very old picture.

Me: the billboard picture was taken 4 years ago when it first went up. It wasn't photoshopped - but my hair was longer and I was a good 15 lbs less. Sorry for letting myself go MIM. I'll hit the gym, get some Botox and grow my hair asap.

In an article for the Vancouver Province, she explains why she did the interview sans a top.

The idea behind the Go Topless movement is to promote gender equality. Events on its special day are planned all over the U.S., and other countries as well, encouraging women to bare their chests in public, and suggesting men cover theirs up with bras or bikinis to highlight the double standard.

Curious to know what would happen if I walked the streets topless in Kelowna, I went to City Hall and asked. Mayor Walter Gray said people might call the police, thinking it’s illegal, but it’s not.

It was just the answer I was hoping for. Not because I have any desire or intention of baring my breasts in public. I don’t. But I do appreciate knowing that I could legally do it if I wanted to.

Her article and YouTube video have gotten a lot of attention.

Wellbourne says she's surprised by it all.

"I did videos for years and never had many hits so I stopped over a year ago because they were taking so much out of me. This interview with the mayor was a flukey thing," she told Yahoo! Canada News.

"The reaction seems pretty mixed. Some people get that the video is meant in fun and I’m not a real reporter. Others are mad and think it’s inappropriate.

"I think any backlash against me or the mayor proves the point of my column though, that we're entirely too puritanical about the human body in North America - particularly the female form."

A list of "Go Topless Day" events in Canada can be found here.

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