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Top 10: The most popular must-read stories of 2013

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Top 10: The most popular must-read stories of 2013
From revelations about women's underwear to naughty royalty and naked hikers: The 10 most popular stories from 2013 that you wouldn't want to miss. Photos: See articles for credits.
14:15 CET+01:00
The last year was full of weird and wonderful stories from France, from revelations about women's underwear to naughty royalty and naked hikers. So as 2013 draws to a close, here's a countdown of the ten most popular stories from this year that you wouldn't want to miss.

To start things off, here's a plea for understanding from France's newest lobby... 

10. ‘Nudists are criminalized just for getting naked’

In July, a leading French naturist organization spoke to The Local, appealing for greater freedom to roam in the nude without being legally labelled sex offenders, after one 51-year-old teacher risked jail for indecent exposure.

This little story combines the French penchant for strike action, with their keen sense of style...

9. French bus drivers to strike over tight trousers

In April, public transport workers in Marseille vowed to take industrial action, not over rampant crime in the city, but over the “quality, colour and fit” of their new uniforms. 

One of the biggest conversation-starters of the year...

8. ‘Speaking English would make the French less glum

In March, French academic Claudia Senik provoked international debate when she offered The Local a controversial remedy to the problem of French unhappiness.

Most people just send a "Good Luck" card when someone leaves their job...

7. Feminist group bids Pope ‘adieu’ at Notre Dame

If Catholic worshippers and tourists at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris weren’t already in shock at the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in February, topless protestors Femen gave them something to really gasp about.

Where would you be seated?

6. Paris restaurant ‘keeps ugly diners hidden’

A former hostess at a top restaurant in the French capital got tongues wagging in November by claiming her bosses kept only “beautiful” diners in public view. But how did they deal with phone reservations?

Royalty behaving badly, and the biggest shopping spree you've ever heard of...

5. France pursues Saudi princess over €6m bill

In March, authorities began seizing the assets of Saudi princess Maha Al-Sudairi, in order to cover some of the cost of a €1m-a-month trip to Paris. How did she rack up the bill? And how did she get away with it?

We all have "horror stories" from our school days, but this one caused most consternation in France this year...

4. French teacher shows pupils horror movie ‘Saw’

There was disbelief in June when a teacher near Paris sat down a classroom full of 11-year-olds and showed them the ultraviolent horror movie ‘Saw,’ after giving them a particularly interesting introduction.

PODIUM: And the third most popular must-read story of the year, is...

3. French senators vote to ban child beauty contests

France provoked worldwide debate in September by voting to outlaw so-called “Mini Miss” beauty pageants. Some welcomed the move as a blow against “hyper-sexualization,” but others were quick to express their dismay.

In second place is a brilliant story that changed the way women dress in the French capital...kind of...

2. France lifts 200-year-old ban on women wearing trousers

There were sighs of relief in the French capital after a new government ruling meant women in Paris no longer needed the permission of local police to “dress like a man.”

And the most popular must-read story of the year, is this one - proof that science doesn't always have to fall flat, so to speak... 

1. Women better off without bras: French study

A French scientist became something of a global superstar in April after The Local reported that his 15-year study had reached some rather surprising conclusions about the effect of bras on breasts.

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