I know that's a scary sight for some—not Chris Pontius, of course, rather a grouping of unfamiliar foreign words, but fuck it. I'm in Europa, where men are metro and capri pants are king, and I now understand why the French weren't too bemused (or amused) by everyone's favorite near-naked lumbering green menace. They are, for the most part, entirely unphased by the human body no matter what form, shape, or color it may take on*. I feel content in saying this because on a recent sociological expedition along the coastline of Vielle St. Girons in southwestern France, we encountered a blisteringly hot mess of naked French fried humans.
We first sighted their bare-assed mass from afar, a crowd of what had to be well over 300 people in their birthday suits, all gathered around some spectacle we could not discern. Secretly I hoped it was a "fight club" scenario in nudist camp trappings with wind-whipped wieners, flapjacked boobs, and saddlebagged asses all being torn asunder, but no such luck. On closer inspection—or as close as we dared come without being turned upon and savagely stripped, clothed heathen interlopers that we were—it was just some cheesedick cultural dance performance that everyone was grooving on; the typical hold-out hippie fare you'd expect to find in the more granola recesses of nature, albeit completely devoid of tie-dyed, gunnysack attire.
Professional sociologist that I am though, I did come away from the wildery beach experience with this wisdom to impart: Come as you are and wear as little to nothing as you want, but don't forget the sunscreen, kids. Apply often and liberally, perhaps even radically so, lest you too age to resemble a sun-fucked leather skirt that not even Stevie Nicks would dare wear in her most bummered state of mind.
* Unless it takes on a physical fear factor in which case the French feathers do start to ruffle or, in some younger cases, burst into tears.
(Photo by Dimitry Elyashkevich; Paris, France 2001)