Things Men Have Said to My Face After Seeing My Naked Body
Since the dawn of time, with the exception of maybe a few weeks there at the beginning, nakedness and shame have gone together like snakes and planes. Ear hair and bassists. Milk and cheese. Drunk and uncles.
Like all of those examples, when shared, one’s nakedness can be received with anything from elation to degradation. But you don’t have to tell me twice about the vulnerability and embarrassment that accompanies nudity.
Here are five verbal reactions I’ve gotten after various dudes saw my unclothed human form for the first time. Much to no one’s chagrin, this won’t be a detailed account of my sexual history. That’s for my gynecologist to know (hey Greg!) and for my new gynecologist to find out (Greg’s leaving the practice soon).
So sit back, relax, and put your feet in these stirrups here. I apologize if my hands are cold.
“DO YOU REALIZE HOW HOT YOU’D BE IF YOU WORKED OUT EVERY DAY FOR THE NEXT THREE MONTHS?”
You can’t have your cake and eat it too, and if it were up to this guy I wouldn’t be anywhere near a cake ever again (unless I’m fully clothed and standing next to one with a stripper hidden inside).
This is a banal observation. Who wouldn’t be hotter after working out every day for three months? Think outside the bun, dude! But in the moment, benefit-of-the-doubt-me got it. He was just trying to help me realize my… uh… untapped potential. Zing!
A few other questions spring to mind: Why three months? Do you want me to complete that “Thinner Thighs In Thirty Days” program three consecutive times? Can I stop working out after the three months are over? Also, why in the name of Satan’s colostomy bag would you say this to a person’s face?
In the moment, I could only assume he meant, “You don’t look bad, the bones are there, underneath a squishy layer of goat cheese and herbs, but I prefer nude people look like Susan Fucking Powter.”
What I learned: If you can’t say anything nice, sure as hell don’t say it to someone who just showed you their Geena Davis for the first time. Gratitude goes a long way. A simple, “This is very kind of you, thanks,” makes the moment pleasant and (God-willing!) forgettable. If not, chances are your reaction is emblazoned on their brain forever, and the chick will have the opportunity to write a weird essay about it. Who wants that?
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I NEED A SHOT.”
What kind of shot are we talking here, pal? Rabies, tetanus, diphtheria, polio? As far as I know, we’ve yet to develop a vaccine against seeing anyone’s naked body, much less mine (Hope-atitis C?).
All joking aside (yeah, right), sometimes the truth punches you in the teeth before it sets you free. That’s just one of the risks we have to take when we’re open to self-discovery. So call it what you want; a nude surprise gone awry, the fast track to sadness, a fucking terrible idea. They’re all apt synopses of this situation, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, and e-books in Biden’s Kindle library.
What I learned: You can’t assume anyone wants to see you naked, ever. And if they must poison their liver before doing so, git along little doggie. There are greener pastures and better metaphors that don’t involve so many references to cattle.
Here’s a new fashion spread called “70s Porn.” I think they’re using porn in the disaster porn sense, with an emphasis on the first word, as opposed to in the anal porn sense, which would place the emphasis on the second word. But here’s the twist: there are boobs.
What Not to Wear This Halloween
Oh, Halloween. The worst night to get a cab and the best night to take home a slutty Disney princess. Is it really a holiday, since we don’t get the day off from work? Of course it is, because when else could you get nudity in massive quantities, enough facepaint to excuse you for bringin home a five, and cauldrons full of shame the next day.
Before you skank-it-out at a house party, leave your credit card at the bar, or turn into a weirdo roaming graveyards, you’ll have to pick out a Halloween costume interesting enough to spark a conversation with that five. You’ll have to navigate the thin line between offensive enough to be clever and overcompensating with complete stupidity. For those not smart enough to use all three digits of their IQs, we’ve brought you a guide on what not to wear on Halloween, so when you only pick up your sexy pizza-slice costume off the floor the next morning and not also your dignity.
Who sells that? Amazon.
What’s it supposed to be? A “realistic black Kenyan man”—perfect for doing the Harlem Shake (um, what?).
Why shouldn’t I wear it? It’s racist.
What kind of person wears that? A bigot.
Who makes that? aleXsandro Palombo, for his website humorchic.com; a “daily society portrait blog, the best illustrated fashion chronicle, a point of view about costume, politics, culture, society, and celebrity. aleXsandro Palombo is the father of fashion satire, visionary artist, author, and critic.”
What’s it supposed to be? It’s a T-shirt of Amanda Knox holding a bloodstained knife.
Wasn’t she acquitted of murder? Yes.
What kind of person wears that? The kind of person who believes they are the “father of fashion satire.”
Moscow Is a Paradise
Sasha Mademuaselle's favorite city is Moscow, which isn't all that surprising given it's where she was born and raised. Sasha says that what she particularly loves about her hometown is “the freedom the youth have,” which—considering the recent news aboutPutin viciously restricting freedoms for young people—was kind of surprising.
Still, her photos are great, so we’ll just excuse that last part as narrative license and enjoy all the naked people, dinosaurs, and creepy tattoos instead.
Swedish photographer Lina Scheynius used to be the queen of Flickr in the early 00s. Back then, she posted pictures of her life, her friends, and self-portraits. Her photos received attention for their extremely intimate and sincere nature—or, to put it another way, many of them were pictures of her naked.
Today, although not much has changed in her subject matter, Lina regularly photographs for magazines like Vogue, Dazed and Cofused, and Oyster. For her personal work, Lina publishes small, private volumes of her pictures, with the fifth volume, titled simply 05, just released. I caught up with her for a chat.
VICE: Hey, Lina. In your new book, are you focusing on the same body of work as in your other personal photographic diaries?
Lina Scheynius: Yes, though naturally it keeps evolving over time. But there are still only pictures of what is right in front of me and part of my life. This book is also full of self-portraits, something I have gone back to focusing on lately.
Do you make a distinction between personal work made for yourself and personal work with publishing in mind?
Not really. It’s a bit of a mess on my hard drive, to be honest. I don’t really know what is what until I end up publishing it. I don’t take a lot of straight up and down personal pictures, such as family pictures at fun fairs and Christmas dinners, but if I do you never know what you might end up using them for.