This week, I dropped trou for the cover of Creative Loafing — and got some interesting reactions.
I wanted to write a story about the inaugural Charlotte No Pants Light Rail Ride on Jan. 13, which encouraged people to ride the rails pantsless. I was going to keep my hot pink cords on, but the smiles on participants’ faces and unusually warm January weather encouraged me to strip down to my Wonder Woman undies.
Plus, we weren’t taking off our bottoms just because: organizer Richard Purcell encouraged us to donate our pants to Warm Charlotte, a local group that takes clothing and monetary donations.
My editor asked if I wanted to be on the cover of CL in my underwear. I said yes — after seeing the picture of myself to be sure I didn’t look too naked. When the photo hit newstands, a co-worker gave me a thumbs up and said she was too self-conscious about her “cottage cheese” thighs to ever do something like that. A couple of straight men compared my photo to posing for Playboy or said I had ruined my chances of running for president someday. If presidents could have histories where they smoked pot, slept around, or married the adopted daughter they raised since she was an infant (I see you, Grover Cleveland), then I could wear my undies on a train for charity.
If my Wonder Woman underwear had been made of spandex instead of cotton in the same cut, like swimsuit bottoms, I doubt anyone would have cared. Then I just would have been at a pool party without a pool on the light rail with 50 other people in their swimsuits. Wait, maybe that’s weirder.
The best thing to come out of the experience was becoming better friends with my thighs. I have a dimple that keeps winking at me, but instead of ignoring its advances these days, I wink right back.