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Nekkidness.
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Nekkidness.
Here's a great post from Bitch PhD about going swimming with her son at a local pool, and what she noticed about nakedness while she was there. I've got lots to say about the topic of mixed-gender parent-kid couples and public nakedness, but since I really should keep working, for now I'll just cut-and-paste the comment I left at her place:
Last night I was watching Little Miss Marker with my three-year-old --- or at least as much of it as the kid could stand. (I Netflixed it on a whim.)

Anyway, the plot of the movie is that Shirley Temple, who looks about four, has been left by her father with bookie Adolphe Menjou as collateral on a bet. The father never comes back, and Menjou has to take care of Temple while he figures out what to do.

The first night he's got her, Menjou gives Temple one of his pajama shirts. Temple says matter-of-factly that she can't wear her underwear (which looks like a one-piece bathing suit, pretty much) to bed, and Menjou tells her matter-of-factly to take it off. Which she does, on-screen, with the shirt for a bit of cover.

Here's the thing that surprised me most --- you see her nipples when she's changing. The scene is shot as frankly as it would be today, if not more so. (Are four-year-old girls' nipples permissible in light family comedies today? I dunno.)

So yeah. We're really weird about kids these days.

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From: jenniferm Date: August 3rd, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
For further illustration of this weirndess, I bring you an OhNoTheyDidn't post in which there is much wanking over whether or not it's okay for that little girl to be topless, if little boys can wear girl-colored shorts, if said shorts are pink or faded red, and what sex the little girl is. Eventually, it's revealed that the topless little girl is in fact a topless little boy, and more hilarity ensues.
brooklynite From: brooklynite Date: August 4th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Lordy. I'm glad I read far enough to realize that that one really odd duck who kept going on and on and on about not wanting to see little girls shirtless is fourteen. That makes his (her?) squeamishness a little more comprehensible.

But lordy.
x_h00ine From: x_h00ine Date: August 3rd, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do you know the Dar Williams song "When I Was a Boy"? I've always loved these lyrics:

I was a kid that you would like
Just a small boy on her bike
Riding topless, yeah I never cared who saw
My neighbor came outside to say, "Get your shirt!"
I said, "No way! It's the last time I'm not breaking any law."

And now I'm in this clothing store.
And the signs say "Less is more."
More that's tight, means more to see.
More for them, not more for me.
Oh, no, no, can't you see?
That won't help me climb a tree, 10 seconds flat.

Also reminds me of a failed casual dating experiment of mine with a very cute, but not very bright (or very nice) guy. I think he was annoyed that I broke up with him, in large part, because he couldn't see the relationship between clothing and directing kids into "gender appropriate" behavior.
brooklynite From: brooklynite Date: August 4th, 2006 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I've heard of the song, but haven't heard it. I think my sister may have recommended it to me.

Sounds excellent.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 3rd, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll confess, there was a moment when we were at the Catskills when the kids were playing with the ginormous sprinkler ball that I wondered whether anyone would be offended that I had taken Abigail's shirts and shorts off and let her run around in her underpants. (We left the underpants on only because she was worried -- I kid you not -- that if she sat on the grass, the grass or a bug might tickle her on the butt).
oddprofessor From: oddprofessor Date: August 4th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
At the Catskills, I doubt very much that anyone would have gotten bent if you had taken off your shirt and shorts and run around in your underpants.
eeminy From: eeminy Date: August 4th, 2006 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
At the Catskills, I doubt very much that anyone would have gotten bent if you had taken off your shirt and shorts and run around in your underpants.

And the best part of all is that you can say this with confidence even though the original comment leaves it uncertain as to whether it's shysterb or ajb47 who's posting.
x_h00ine From: x_h00ine Date: August 4th, 2006 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)
What makes you think it's not Evan? Or one of the dogponies?
shysterb From: shysterb Date: August 4th, 2006 11:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Damn, how the hell did I get logged out?

Anyway, it couldn't be the dog-ponies, as they were vacationing at the Doggie Spa and Resort that is my in-laws'.
lauredhel From: lauredhel Date: August 4th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
After all the hoo-ha in that Ohnotheydidnt thread, I thought back and realised my 8 year old niece still plays happily in a backyard pool in her knickers with all the other cousins around. The kids under about 4 were all nekkid. Just like we did when we were kids, and no-one cared a whit.
willendorf5761 From: willendorf5761 Date: August 4th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
This reminds me of a conversation I had with my cousin Rohanah when she was about 2. We were playing in the playground at the end of Haight Street when she announced that she had to go to the bathroom. I led her to the little bathroom house and we were about to go in when she said, "Does that say 'Women'?"
"Yes."
"I want to go in the one that says 'Men.'"
"We can't go in there. When you're with Daddy, you can go in the one that says 'Men,' but when you're with me, we have to go in the one that says 'Women'."
"Why?"
"Because we're women."

She accepted this, but it seemed like an inadequate response to me at the time, and it still does.
From: misterniceguy60 Date: August 9th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Surely the correct answer is, "Notice how it doesn't say 'Girls' or 'Boys'? People don't much care where little kids go, so long as they're with a grown-up. What they care about is where the men go and where the women go. When you're a woman, you'll have to always use the doors that say 'Women'. The good news is, almost all the doors are for everybody these days."
From: misterniceguy60 Date: August 9th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Mrs. Nice Guy often repeats the story of when one of her kids was little and a stranger urged her to "cover up". The little darling shrugged and said very reasonably, "I don't got tits."

On the other hand, remember that within living memory, men were arrested on the beaches of this country for swimming topless.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 4th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

wrong girl

the girl was nit shirley temple she is red headed this girl was darkheaded and her name was sara stimpton look at credits next time
brooklynite From: brooklynite Date: April 5th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: wrong girl

Sara Stimpson was in the 1980 remake, which until today I had no idea existed. (Walter Matthau!) I'm talking about the original, which was definitely Shirley Temple.
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