I thought I would help advertise an upcoming exhibitionist event in one of our city’s watering holes since my protestations are likely to help draw the kind of clientele, contestants, cash prizes, and contributions for the cause the sponsors are allegedly promoting: breast cancer.
Even if cancer were the cause, using wet undershirts to ostensibly underwrite cancer is hardly more than a front for a most questionable activity, and more likely an affront to cancer survivors.
A local bar is hosting what it calls “boobie night” which leaves little to the imagination.
What’s most revealing in such revelry is less what’s seen but more what is behind the scenes.
There are communities within our city that have S.O.A.P orders – which is to say they are trying to clean up their act or more particularly the acts of others – and they hardly need the sort of seduction such as a wet t-shirt competition might offer.
J’Adore Eau de Parfum, that comes with your ‘Miss Dior’ soap order of $200 or more – all of eight bars – is not the kind of perfume, or soap, or bar that is being offered in this late-hours bar.
A wet t-shirt contest is to a Stay Out of Areas of Prostitution (S.O.A.P.) community what a greased-lightning inner tube is to a steep snow-covered hill. It’s a slippery slope that exists between the conduct often associated with the purposeful performance of dripping-wet scantily-clad women, and the kind of lewd activity about which cities and courts have legally ruled.
A Myrtle Beach judge declared that wet T-shirt contests could not be held where businesses were not zoned for sexually oriented activity. Undercover officers had testified of witnessing increasingly racier behavior until the contestants ended up nude.
Wet t-shirt contests have no little image problem based upon their Googled-associations – Playboy, nudity and the aforementioned sexual orientation to name a few.
Given these associations it’s not too hard to understand why a neighborhood association would object to such objectification of women.
Where, after all, is the attention focused with such an event – on the woman’s character, or lack of it, or upon her lack of clothing? A typical wet t-shirt contest is bra-less contestants in clinging translucent t-shirts taking turns dancing or posing while being judged. Judged for what? Is this not an appeal to the prurient interest (synonyms: titillating, lustful curiosity) of the onlookers? Is this really the standard – the community standard, the business standard, the family: husband, wife, child standard – we want to uphold, to be placed on display: “boobie night”?
While the very fact we are even having this conversation is cause for concern, it might hopefully serve as a springboard into a chat about an actual cause worthy of support, one Sarah Koppelkam writes about in her article entitled “How to Talk To Your Daughter About Her Body.”
“Step One: Don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works. Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.
“Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.
“Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman.
“Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.”
As opposed say to being judged the dubious best on “boobie night.”
After all, if you are a cancer survivor, or are a relative, a friend, or know someone who did not survive, you of all people know that how we look is hardly as important as who we are.