A Modest Proposal

Susan Goldfein Header
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I’d like to have a conversation about bare-chested men. And no, this topic did not arise because of erotic fantasies about Vladimir Putin. But rather, a reality that confronts me regularly now that the weather has heated up here in South Florida.

As I walk my dog, it is not unusual for me to encounter a topless male of a certain age. Said male has removed his T-shirt because he is hot. He is probably unaware that his unsolicited nakedness is raising my body temperature — and not in a good way.

While a woman can’t reveal the upper half of her anatomy without censure or possible arrest, a man can. And I’m not at all advocating for equal treatment when it comes to disrobing. But I do have a question where men are concerned:

Just because you can, does it mean that you should?

Man's chest hairs

Obviously, there are certain environments
where it’s perfectly acceptable to let it all hang
out such as the beach or one’s backyard — but
stripping on a public street? Let’s please rethink
that option, even if you’re too young for Social
Security.

None of us is perfect. And those among us who
are retirement age may have left that idyllic image behind a while ago. That’s fine. Love thyself, I say.

But casually passing a guy on the sidewalk shouldn’t have to be an intimate visual exchange. Hey, neighbor, knowing that you have sagging
pectorals and an appendix scar is simply too much information!

Remember “Ugly Naked Guy” from the TV show Friends? Well, we never really saw his face on the series, but my theory is, he went on a diet and moved to South Florida after the season finale. I think I saw him at the supermarket as he parked his car next to mine.

One quick glance at his shirtless torso told me all I needed to know: he was scrawny, hairy, and had pasty white skin. Presumably “UNG” was wearing pants, but I didn’t wait long enough to find out. It’s at least 24 hours, and I still haven’t managed to “un-see” him.

I’m no prude, but I would appreciate just a bit more modesty. Fortunately, there are public places that do frown on male toplessness like restaurants and even gyms, where sweat equals success.

So gentlemen, please remember it’s as hot for me as it is for you outdoors. So jog, bike, fast-walk, stroll, whatever you like. But for heaven’s sake, keep your shirt on.

Susan Goldfein’s newest book, How to Complain When There’s Nothing
to Complain About, is available at Amazon.com. Read her blog at:
www.SusansUnfilteredWit.com. Email Susan at SusanGoldfein@aol.com

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