Why is Nancy taking off her clothes? Start here.
So let's just say, I had a few qualms about this whole "taking off the clothes" thing, even in service to a good cause, which feeding people certainly is. Not initially, when I woke up and thought, good idea! But later, when I remembered the photos will float around the blogosphere for as long as there is a blogosphere (or until Typepad crashes again), viewable by anyone with online access, including potential employers, college friends, elderly relatives, and that nice mother and her two little girls I met the other day on the train...
Ah, frack it. I know it's okay, and here's how I know: because my two barometers told me so, these being my husband and my daughter, each of whom sort of pepped up at the idea, no clouds of excruciating humiliation passing over Din's face, Tavie saying only, "Hot mama."
As for that hot thing: would I feel any better about the photos if I looked like this? Well, probably. I've been in discussion lately about why young women choose to take graphically sexual images of themselves and send them out into the technological beyond, and the easiest answer I can come up with -- and we're talking garden variety gals here, not the pros -- is because, they want to. They have these pretty perky body parts and, well, they just want to show them off.
I used to do this, too. I've posed nude for more painters and photographers than I can remember, appeared topless in a Susan Seidelman movie I've never seen, and each summer get a day or two without my bikini top at the naked beach in Martha's Vineyard. It's an interesting experience, that beach, as I am often the youngest person there by 20 years ("Why," Tafv asked last summer, "is it old ugly people who want to be naked?"), and by comparison I look... better, my skin still affixed to what's underneath; hair where it should be and not where it shouldn't; free of skin-tags and bunions and those rocketing veins some men get on their ankles. Last summer, an attorney in his 60s, a very nice man who went from blanket to blanket talking to all the other naked people, decided he wanted to be my friend. He would occasionally sit with me or ask me to take a dip; one day, I did the latter.
"Aren't you going to take off your bottoms?" he asked. I told him, no, I was fine, at which he looked remarkably concerned.
"But... it feels so good to be in the water naked without them," he said. I smiled and kept them on. He aahed a bit as we stood chest-high in the waves, letting me know, possibly, just how pleasant the full saltwater immersion was, and mentioning that, if I wanted to take my bottoms off now, his throwing arm was probably still good enough to heave them to the shore.
I demurred; he sighed, and realizing the battle was lost, told me that he still got such a thrill coming to a nude beach ("all these naked women!"), and that when his generation was young, you rarely ever got to see a naked woman unless she was your wife, and the freedom of the nude beach was, to him, astonishing and wonderful, whereas his grandson, who'd just started college, "had chosen to be in an all-male dormitory," he said, "which I just couldn't understand!"
I knew what a thrill it would be, had he gotten a glimpse of my ass (or better), but something stopped me, something about tipping the balance of offering and withholding, something we'll get to next time, should you folks pony up at least another $50 for the Oregon Food Bank. Don't forget to let me know in the comments here, and also, to to manually enter 'Blog for Food' in the tribute section on the OFB page.