This past weekend, a life changing experience took place on UVM’s very own campus. Unbreakable bonds were forged, memories to last a lifetime created, clothing was shed. What I’m talking about is the Naked Calendar photo shoot. Several brave and beautiful clubs appeared throughout the day to bare themselves to the camera and proudly declare themselves and their passions. I witnessed genius in the making, people coming together to create dynamic and exciting photos, all while being fucking naked. They did that shit! Watching people who stepped into the room with palpable nervous energy slowly gain their confidence and comfort was truly exciting. I would lay my life down to protect them.
I almost lost feeling in my arms (which felt like death) after repeatedly holding up my jacket over the clear window in the door until some icon from UVM club swim suggested we just throw a towel over the door. Thank you to that person, it was truly humbling to realize just how much more efficient I could have been.
Speaking of efficiency, shoutout to Women’s Rugby for knocking it out of the park. They came, they saw, they conquered, in like 15 minutes. Seeing the use of everyday materials in contexts I never could have imagined has made me rethink just about every mundane item I come across now. I promise, when you see a dice bag being used as a penis sheath, tires in places no tire has gone before, and a giant oar being carried into a medium small classroom, you too will be a changed person.
Determining where to place my eyes felt like an olympic sport. Everytime I found a spot that I thought would be safe to look at– boom, genitalia. As I watched other club members go through this process, some small part of me wondered how they did it. I couldn’t picture myself being able to just get naked and allow a stranger to photograph me for something that would then be distributed campus-wide. Watching others do what I felt like I could not was slightly terrifying. However, when the time came for the Water Tower to take our own picture, I found it in myself to go ahead and do it anyway. Suddenly it was my turn to experience the awkward planning of poses while everyone was still clothed, which then turned into the awkward undressing/strategically walking back to the photo in the least revealing manner possible.
It was just as stressful as I imagined it to be, but also oddly fun. Not to be earnest or whatever, but I had to push all of my body insecurities aside and allow myself to revel in what a crazy experience this was. How many people can say that they’ve stripped naked in a college classroom with a group of their peers? This is the kind of strange memory that people say college is all about! Who cares if I’m not a supermodel or don’t look like an instagram influencer? I fucking did that shit! So many people showed up with infectious enthusiasm, had fun, made a dope ass photo, and looked amazing while doing it. To everyone who participated, you are all my personal heroes. It was so lovely to see all of you interact with one another and be so kind and supportive. And to the rest of you wonderful UVM students, keep your eye out for the Naked Calendar in the next week or so. Keep track of your events in style.