Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Sunday, June 24, 2007


Judge Not, Lest You Wear a Thong Yourself

I don't know what it was like where you live yesterday, but New York City saw one of the most gorgeous goddamn summer days imaginable. Sweet eyebrow-tweezing Christ, it was beautiful. Blue skies, mild temperatures, not a sign of locusts; just a lovely day. So we took advantage of it by heading out to Coney for the annual Mermaid Parade.

Now, if you've never heard of the Mermaid Parade, I should pause to tell you that it's your basic irreverent cavalcade of creative types and exhibitionists, like the Solstice Parade in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood or an average Thursday in Provincetown.

And so you have all sorts of people in outlandish costumes, many playing off the mermaid theme. You've got your groups making political statements against the development of Coney Island by some douchebag who wants to build condos on the boardwalk. You've got your gay drill teams warming up for the next day's Pride Parade. But mostly you've got people who like to drink in the early afternoon and walk around with their naughty parts very nearly hanging out. (Or actually hanging out as the case may be.)

All this scantily-claddedness caused a couple of different responses in me.

The first was the very common challenge of trying not to look at all the twenty-five year-old women with their boobs very much on display because I'm a very happily married man who neither wants to anger his wife nor seem like some creepy old pervy dude who stares. This is not exactly easy, even for someone with the very best intentions.

The second response was physical recoiling at the vast numbers of people who were showing off bodies that no sane person would ever want to look at. Love handles spilling over their swimsuits. Unimpressive genitals displayed in horrifyingly tight speedos. Back hair so thick that you'd think you were looking at Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart. Basically, they looked like I'd look if I tried wearing their outfits. Or worse. Some of these revelers made me look like a veritable Cary Grant in comparison.

I'm looking at these people and I'm thinking, "Why?" Why would you go out of your house dressed like that? Why would you want people to see your flabby skin--even if you've painted it blue--hanging down out of your bikini top? Who wants to see a Phillip Seymour Hoffman look-alike in a loin cloth?

My revulsion eased up gradually and I began to feel a kind of admiration for these folks. I mean, there's no goddamn way a gal who weighs three hundred pounds can not know what she looks like in her version of the Princess Leia Slave Girl outfit. If she's got eyes, she knows she's making an aesthetically questionable choice. But she doesn't give a shit. She doesn't give a moldering rat turd that people might make fun of her on their dumb-ass blogs. She spends not a moment considering that she perhaps shouldn't be seen in public without pants. She (or he, 'cause there were just as many guys in this category) wants to feel sexy and have fun and is happy enough with herself that it doesn't matter what society thinks.

And that's awesome. I wish I were comfortable enough with myself that I could walk around unironically in a pair of tighty-whities. I don't want to be so goddamn brainwashed by our society norms that I can only stand to look at (or do my best not to look at) twenty-somethings who appear to have stepped off the page of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue. Fat-ass people in spandex shorts aren't doing anything bad to me, so why should I fear them? I shouldn't. And I won't.

I'm going to do my best from here on out to change my perspective. If someone's happy with themselves, I ought to be happy for them. Even if they look like they're carting around a gallon of small-curd cottage cheese in their utterly visible thighs.

Perhaps the most amazing display I've seen of the kind you discuss here was last June in London when we happened to walk past the finish line for the World Naked Bike Ride. Merciful flat-tire-changing newborn Jesus! You'd think with all the cycling and nudism, that someone involved would be somewhat modestly in shape, but that was not the case at all.

In addition to the exhibitionism (albeit for a purpose--the ride protests the dependence on fossil fuels), add the fact that they're cramming a bike seat up their sweaty bare ass, (and you've also got testicles unaccounted for there, too...) It all just makes for a graphic scene of unwanted views marred with red bike seat lines.

Can one gouge out one's mind's eye?
I say fly your freak flag proudly.
I love this blatant sort of exhibitionism. It makes me hate the world less.
with whiskeymarie on this one; I encourage your general embracing of this movement.
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