Nakedly Cheerful

Dear J-

It’s a little funny — maybe not funny ha-ha — how we feel about nakedness as our ages progress. I think at the moment the kids are not terribly abashed about taking their clothes off to change into pajamas, for instance, but all that changes in a matter of a few years, I’m sure. Later on when you’re older it becomes more … recreational? … and so if you’re comfortable enough with your body the nakedness disappears again into part of the background of life. I say this as I’ve now put off going to the doctor for an annual exam twice now, rescheduling from March to June to August. Part of that is probably going to be prodding the old hernia scars, and I’m okay with that as long as it’s not in front of everyone, I suppose.

I’m not sure if it’s the general trend or inevitable but it seems like privacy has eroded over the years since 09/11 to the point where we can’t honestly expect to have an online presence that isn’t dissected to death. Case in point, yesterday someone indicated that she wanted to join theVet to support the Bay Area in providing mobile euthanasia services; within moments of knowing her name we had her license up on-line showing which geographic areas she might be able to support. There was a recent case where the victim (of a disappearance, I think) had left no digital footprint at all, which was the newsworthy wrinkle worth mentioning. It’s hard to be alive and not have some sort of presence, after all.

Are we natural exhibitionists or does that come naturally just to me? My dad used to tell us this story where a blind man was tricked by a little boy: the boy gave his name (in Chinese) as “everyone come look!” and went swimming together, except the boy only pretended to enter the water, instead stealing the clothes and running off as the man called after him “everyone come look! everyone come look!” It’s funnier in Chinese, naturally. I like to think that none of us have anything to be ashamed of, anyway, but just like how our digital habits may not be the most savory in the eyes of common culture, so too might our bodies not be accepted by polite society. Let them flinch. We’ve got nothing that no one hasn’t seen before.



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