Naked is the new black

This week I thought I’d seen it all when I got an invitation to a naked party… yes, that’s right, a party where guests were invited to attend in their birthday suits wearing nothing but a big smile… with not even a leaf to protect their modesty (though in hindsight, a leaf to protect a bush is kind of like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted…). In the words of starry-eyed Father Dougal Maguire (from genius sit-com Father Ted) we were all going to be “in the nip!”…

Now I consider myself to be a fairly open minded girl at heart, am I not a child of generation Y?!? I was born in the 80s so I’m proudly entrenched in that generation of kids who played with tape ribbon (remember how it made great fairy wands), scratched the needle on the old man’s record player and now downloads mp3… whose over-eager use of a space hopper ended up in a split lip and who to this day is still relentlessly faithful to her quad roller skates (I just never clicked with the blades) but who now boards a plane like she’s taking a bus. I learned how to type on a typewriter and to use a mouse in my teens, I sent my first text message at the age of 18 from a big techno-blue Motorola mobile handset (I still remember what it said…) but my current job is all about communication and online media… I’ve out-boyed boys at being boys (cue two black eyes at the same time proudly carried around like a trophy aged 7), travelled abroad with friends with nothing but some cash and a sense of adventure with no internet or mobile phones and have done my fair share of mixed-gender contact sports. I think it’s fair to say at this point in time that I’m fairly adaptable and yet, I was not prepared for the reaction I would have to such an invitation; yes, I admit it, on the score of nakedness, I am a judgemental old prune and I was horrified!

And don’t get me started on a similar bright idea that popped into the mind of some progressive neo-hippy human resources person in one of those new-breed creative companies somewhere in the UK who thought he would suggest a concept of Naked Fridays in his workplace… There is one word for that and it starts with an E and finishes with a whole lot of WWWWWWWs…

I mean really… naked parties? Naked chats around the water cooler? Haven’t we just gone a little too far in our relaxation of social boundaries? Where’s the mystery? Isn’t some of the fun of meeting someone you like linked to wondering about things you cannot yet access or see? Isn’t some of the relief of meeting someone you definitely do not fancy linked to the fact that you can safely admire their funky T-Shirt from a distance? I love other people’s clothes, they say so much about a person. I love my own clothes, all the colours and layers and they keep me warm!

Imagine the naked party scene… May, in Dublin, hailstones battering at the window. Glass in hand, you’re trying to firmly focus on your conversation with a cute guy wearing nothing but glasses – whilst firmly ignoring the running commentary in your head about what may or may not be going on beneath the (non-existent) belt and if you’re too chicken to take a peak… meanwhile, every extremity present in the room is slowly but surely succumbing to frostbite…

Thankfully it turns out the party idea was a prank and that people are turning up fully clothed (though I will nonetheless be far away from Dublin at that time in case that turned out not to be the case!). But I for one firmly believe in the concept of clothes – and them staying firmly on – in any social context. Blame the generation gap! I’m an old prune from the 1980s… great vintage I’ve been told so long as you keep your knickers on!

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About monicaheck
Monica Heck is a bilingual freelance writer and journalist based in Dublin, Ireland.

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