Almost bare for charity: obscene or empowering?

Students undress for the upcoming charity event. Photo by: Cassie Fait

Students undress for the upcoming charity event. Photo by: Cassie Fait

If you wandered the Athens streets in barely anything, you would probably be arrested. But, one day for the past four years, students can legally flee down Court Street in their skivvies. It’s this Saturday.

As the day once again approaches, I question the  virtue of the 5th annual Bare on the Bricks. Students pay a registration fee and also donate the clothes to charity they are wearing (except for their undergarments of course).

Why pick a charity event that strips student’s clothes away? What’s really the purpose of college students running down Court Street almost naked?

Collecting money and clothing for local organizations and families is a reputable goal. I applaud whoever created this crazy idea. Frankly, many college students love to live on the edge. And what better way to do so than strip down to your undergarments? They are undressing for charity.

Strutting or even running in your undergarments can be very freeing. I support feeling comfortable in your own skin, loving your body and not feeling afraid to flaunt it. Holding a negative body image is  depressing and hurts your self-esteem. However, there could be more constructive ways to earn money for a charity.

Society is already over-sexualized. The media and even our own behaviors just ooze “sex sex sex.” Bare on the Bricks adds to the sexually charged atmosphere. Our generation should alter the course of sex appeal. Highly rating sex appeal just adds to objectifying people.

I also worry for the people ogling the barely dressed participants. Slut shaming runs rampant on the campus. It’s not a secret that there’s a rape culture on the OU campus. The participants are joining the event for charity (or to run the street barely dressed). They should feel safe flaunting their exposed bodies from insensitive people.

Bare on the Bricks just adds to our number #1 party school reputation. I imagine that half naked students will take advantage of the situation and party away. Look at #fugitivefest and #freezefest. It’s an opportunity presented to OU students, and they will use the moment.

In the end, I give points to the organizers for creativity, but it’s an unsavory event filled with some downfalls. Everyone should possess a positive body image, but that doesn’t mean that students have to strip for charity. Bare on the Bricks should be a thing of the past and students should try to put on a new event to benefit the impoverished Athens community.

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