Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hotel Life - Pool (2)

I had some help this time. Which is great, because when you're in public, and already in an eye-catching outfit, you don't want to draw even more attention to yourself. Selfie generation or not, I still feel self-conscious taking pictures of myself in front of strangers. Then again, as a dedicated hobbyist, my process is fairly involved; and there are some pictures you can't get without another person helping you out, because it's just not feasible to set up a tripod.

It's amazing that I don't attract more photographer friends. Maybe that's an indictment of our increasingly anti-aesthetic culture. As obsessed as we are over our superficial images, carefully preened for social media, it becomes less and less acceptable to admire the superficial appearance of others, at least in person. Lest you be accused of "creeping" and "perving".

Or am I imagining things? Is it all in my head? I just don't see a lot of people in the world like me, and it makes me wonder why. I guess I'm more likely to interpret societal cues in a hostile way because I have a very risk-averse personality. We live in the land of opportunity, and yet our culture seems to be shifting towards the implementation of "safe spaces". Is it ironic that I should hear that phrase and feel threatened?

But then, safety and liberty have always been at odds with one another. It's statements like this that make me feel like I should be a political conservative. But the conservative platform disgusts me. Since when did "rugged individualism" align itself with rigid conformity to an outdated stereotype (i.e., the gun-toting frontiersman)? In my head, it should be synonymous with a hard-line support for tolerance and diversity.

Freedom is the freedom to choose your gender. What kind of sex you have and with whom. Freedom is access to medical treatments. And education. Freedom is opportunity for all, regardless of race or country of origin. Conservatives are just decaying busybodies unable to adapt to a changing culture, dedicated to dressing up their bigotry in fancy words.

Walking back to the room. I'm a little bit intrigued and a little bit intimidated by the fact that the route to the pool always seems to pass through the lobby. What's the protocol? Are you supposed to cover up? You'll see kids running through the lobby in their swimsuits and nobody bats an eye. But I'm worried that when I do it, people are going to think that I'm trying to show off. And so what if I am? If you have the confidence to do it (I know that plenty of people do not), then you should reap the rewards.

Although I can hear in the back of my head the public's cry of, "but the people who want to show off aren't always the people you want to see!" It's very similar to the specious argument that "nudists are always the people you don't want to see naked." So then, what's the solution? Should a person like myself, who is trim and fit, get a free pass? Who decides the cutoff line? We live in a culture that at least superficially promotes equality of opportunity.

The downside to that is when the people choose to play it safe - if there are some people you don't want showing off, and everybody has to obey the same rules, then we'd better just restrict everybody, and sacrifice the joy of seeing beautiful bodies to avoid the "trauma" of seeing those that aren't so beautiful. That's another one of the reasons I like nudism - it takes the opposite tack. The human body is nothing to be ashamed of - and it's worth "putting up with" the not-so-spectacular ones to be able to appreciate the extraordinary ones.

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