Summer in the city, and the hairy nipples are everywhere

2018-12-01T09:56:07+00:00 July 8th, 2015|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , |
This is my friend Karen, at Paolo Nutini in Marlay Park last week. And a man, with no shirt on.

This is my friend Karen, at Paolo Nutini in Marlay Park last week. And a man, with no shirt on.

Summer in the city… The smell of melting tar, the drip of drooping ice-cream cones, the squeaking tyres, the slap-slap of flip-flops, the riotous colour of summer dresses… And the clammy damp hairy flesh of men with no t-shirts on. Everywhere.

There’s a running joke about how Irish people tear off our clothes the minute the sun appears, baring all, whipping out the baby oil and denuding Penneys as a plague of locusts would a field of corn, but with less discernment. But we don’t.

Most Irish women over the age of about 17 will, naturally, take off a layer of clothes. Given that we are wearing scarves, jackets and boots until mid-June, this means those items are removed. We might venture as far as replacing the boots with flip flops and the trousers with skirts and maybe even a short sleeved top. Most of us will retain our dignity, save for the odd see-through fabric or related mishap. Those young enough, and confident enough, will go for a crop top, or hotpants, or both.

Men, though, are a different story. No sooner does Mr Sun take his hat off than Mr Man takes his top off. And while the former is a welcome opportunity to soak up that Vitamin D, the latter provides only the chance to avert your eyes, awkwardly, from hairy backs, sweaty flesh and nipples.

The nipple debate rages on every time a celebrity breastfeeds in public, but it’s time to turn the spotlight onto the nipple-happy men who happily wander around city centres turning people off their al fresco lunches. Breastfeeding has a purpose. Very few women are merrily waving their nipples around for public consumption.
The same cannot be said for topless men in inappropriate locations. And location is key. Gardens, beaches, even the park? Fine. But walking down a busy street? Buying the newspaper? Going to the pub? No.
It’s been suggested that if Aidan Turner, aka Poldark, was the one going around topless, my view might be different. Well, it’d be a better view, certainly, but that’s not the point here.
Anyone who lives in Ireland can understand the need to feel the sun on your skin. We’re starved of it. But there’s a time and a place for everything, so if you’re a bare-chested Tarzan type, keep it for your wife.
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