Object of beauty? Or too risque for Bermuda? One of Desmond Fountain’s sculptures in the Queen Elizabeth II Park in Hamilton. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Object of beauty? Or too risque for Bermuda? One of Desmond Fountain’s sculptures in the Queen Elizabeth II Park in Hamilton. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20: In the interest of full disclosure, I have been known to wear turtlenecks in the summer. So… I’m a little repressed.

I live in fear that one day I might be strip searched at an airport and have to apologize for how I look.  (“What, I have to peel off the Spanx too?”)

In my world, I would rather turn purple than suffer that indignity. It’s no way to live, let me tell you. 

I don’t like things hanging out and I think that a woman’s sheath, grazing just above her knees, is a sign of good breeding and elegance. She should have the right shoes too.  

Men, by the way, should never and I mean never, wear tank tops or muscle shirts unless they happen to be Olympic quality athletes. I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey and probably won’t get around to it. Too much information.

You can imagine, then, my horror, my alarm and my incredible discomfort at the presence of a Desmond Fountain nude perched at the Koi pond in Queen Elizabeth II Park, formerly known as Par-la-Ville Park in Hamilton.

It’s beginning to look like “Ooh-la-la” Park. Would someone please, please put a sweater on that girl? She looks cold.

Nudes are a delicate subject. Some people have them hanging all over their homes while others opt for landscapes. It’s a personal choice. 

There are famous, great nudes; Michelangelo’s David comes to mind and of course, Venus de Milo.  Monroe always looked amazing but Madonna giving a flash is, well, just tiring. 

‘Our Nude in the Park’ as I affectionately refer to our subject, is beautifully and accurately rendered — just maybe a little too much.  If she were my daughter I would tell her to come inside, lest she receives inappropriate glances.

Like the one coming from the man sitting on the nearby bench, enjoying a cigarette and looking at her like she’s his date. She’s way too young for him.

She is young, perhaps fourteen. As she gazes towards the pond, perhaps she is contemplating her budding womanhood and her innermost feelings.

Or maybe she’s just wondering if her parents will extend her curfew and let her stay out with her friends a little later. I think not. I think they’re worried sick about her and whether she’s getting in with the wrong crowd. After all, she’s already sitting around the park without her clothes on! 

She’s spending way too much time being nude and not enough time studying.  Her grades are down and the school counsellor has already called a few times about her not being in her regulation uniform. 

Frankly, she’s attracting a little too much attention and if she’s not careful, she could ruin her reputation.

Am I’m overreacting?  Is this a bad case of sour grapes and wobbly bits?

I don’t suppose there are many calls for sculptures of what the French euphemistically refer to as, “women of a certain age”.

Women who wear double-digit sizes and have “fine dry lines,” as every cosmetic ad likes to point out, don’t seem to inspire sculptors. We spend most of our time apologizing for our mid-sections and our thighs. Sometimes, despite our size, we feel invisible. 

But there was a night, one night. Alone and fed up with everything in my world and inspired by the cinematic setting of crashing waves and a moonless night (cue music…something operatic), I stripped down and bared all.

I threw my clothes on a rock and ran and ran as fast as I could along the beach. Hair loose, arms pumping at my sides, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t perfect. I felt weightless; young and really strong.  Well, not really. I was a little winded. I put my clothes back on. It just wasn’t me.

Naked works for some people. They’re comfortable in their own skin.  They clean their house naked, they sunbathe naked, they even go to nude beaches and swim naked; imperfections be damned.

Me? I’ll spend my quiet contemplations fully dressed, thank you very much. Meanwhile, will someone get that naked girl in the park a chaperone?