Calhoun Blues

Comments from Jess below...

April 30, 2003

Speaking of breasts….

Summer is (thankfully) on its way. Pretty soon, instead of jackets, sweaters and pants - shorts, tanks and sandals will be the clothing norm. I can't wait! This isn't exactly a remarkable or controversial statement, but I LOVE summer. I love being outside, playing sports outside, I love the sunshine, I love summer clothes - I even love the heat and humidity (let's not forget the air conditioning). But you know, there are one or two things about summer that I could do without. One of the things on this "Not Too Crazy About" list includes summertime around Lake Calhoun.

I'm sure I'll get a lot of grief for this, but what's with the half-naked people at Calhoun? If the temperature is anywhere near 50° I swear people are out there running around with barely anything on. Men are gallivanting about shirtless - whether they're running, biking, walking or lounging. Similarly, women are often in bras, bikini tops and hip-hugging short-shorts regardless of the level of exertion. All that skin in our metropolis amidst the pavement, concrete, and high-rises is not only out of place, but also kind of hurts my eyes. Whether people are on the "beach" (Really, do a few yards of sand and a lifeguard chair qualify as a "beach"?) part of the lake or on the grass elsewhere around Calhoun, there's also this crazy sunbathing/cancer-baiting thing going on. Once, while innocently strolling along with a friend, I came across a shiny, greasy, orange-ish, tan-ish guy splayed out on a patch of grass wearing nothing but a leopard print Speedo. Ick. Gouge my eyes out now!

My non-shirt wearing (less prudish?) friends tell me this near-nudity phenomenon at Calhoun is attributable to the heat and physical exertion. They say that people are hot from exercise and so go shirtless in order to cool off. While I believe that this is true for some people, for the most part, I don't buy it. The Calhoun shirtless trend is not only about being sweaty and overheated. More so, it's about being seen and wanting to be seen. Men and women respectively scamper around shirtless and in bras at Calhoun not only because they're hot, but also - to a certain extent - because they want people to know/believe they're HOT.

Yes, yes, at first glance it makes no sense that I go on about the splendor of breasts one minute and the next minute cringe and rant about scantily clad people around Calhoun. But going shirtless around Calhoun is different than going shirtless in other places. I don't care that people go shirtless. It's great that people like their bodies. In fact, I like that even some not-so-fit people go shirtless. At some level, it speaks to their self-assurance. However, there's a fine line between confidence and flaunt it, "I'm so sexy - Look at me!" arrogance. Around Calhoun, there's a bit more than confidence. There's some sort of vanity thing going on. Orange Guy in Speedo? Honestly, who wants to see that s**t?

May 1, 2003

I have to say that if it’s even 75 degrees and I'm running, I’m not gonna be wearing long shorts and a big t-shirt. And I think that most of the runners feel that way. It’s easy to tell the difference between those that only run when it’s that warm so they can take it all off, and those that you see every day taking their running seriously. It’s all about comfort! I totally agree with you that girls walking around in their tight, short, little pants and string bikini tops is tacky. But let’s face it, so are the people who walk around the lake in their heels. Have you seen some of the uncomfortable looking shoes these girls wear around the lake? - Jess

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