I saw some Swedish boobs today.
I thought that needed to be its own paragraph. I saw some Swedish boobs today at a place I did not expect to see Swedish boobs. There are spaces in which seeing a woman’s breasts are not entirely out of the ordinary. The beach. The bedroom. The gentleman’s club (such a classy misnomer). Where you may not expect to see a topless woman is at a university and study abroad fair for Swedish high school students. But sure enough.
Today I took a pause from my groundbreaking and incredibly important research that will probably save the world to help out at a fair to promote secondary education and study abroad. It seemed like a good excuse to get out of doing my actual work and a nice way to get a free lunch. And by free I mean I stood and talked to high school students for about six hours and got some soggy cod and potatoes in return.
There were colleges and universities and trade schools and any organization you can imagine that might be interested in recruiting high school graduates. There were thousands upon thousands of 17-, 18-, and 19-year-olds all looking for something to do with their lives. I was clearly of much use as a 30-year-old with little to no career plans. But I did my job and smiled and answered questions as best I could.
Come noon I was hungry. So off to lunch I went. And I passed by a small crowd of young women. I looked to my left and noticed two pedestals. Upon which was a topless teenage woman in a thong. Having body paint applied slowly and carefully by another woman. I slowed. I’m not going to lie. I slowed down. I stared. Mostly out of sheer confusion. I don’t know of too many universities that offer majors in nude body painting.
As my brain raced to figure out where in the hell I was, I looked to the woman’s left and there sat several women applying make-up to some of the high school students. It was a school of make-up artistry. Suddenly this made a lot more sense. I went on my way and ate my lunch. It was disappointing, but filling. I went back to my booth and the crowd had dissipated but the woman was still being painted atop her pedestal.
Two hours later I had to pee. And I passed by the make-up artistry booth again. There was zero crowd. At all. But the woman was still being painted atop her pedestal.
And finally, as the event was closing down and I was leaving, I walked by one last time. There were two photographers and zero crowd. The woman’s paint job was complete and she was now being photographed as she struck poses atop her pedestal.
I’ve seen Swedish boobs in public before, remember? That was mostly an awkward situation. This wasn’t awkward. It was about three second of shock followed by three seconds of confusion followed by three hours of meh. What was most shocking was the lack of a crowd. Actually, what was most shocking was the woman’s ability to stand atop a pedestal for at least three hours and act as a canvas. That was closely followed by the lack of a crowd. Maybe I have no faith in the average American teenager who happens to be attracted to women, but I can’t imagine there being no crowd of teenagers in front of a topless woman in the US. Of course, I can’t actually imagine there ever being a topless woman at an event created and marketed entirely for high school students in the US. Because in America, women’s nipples are scary and are a direct cause of communism. Men’s nipples are totally different though.
Welcome to Sweden. And nipples not being a big deal.