Thursday, November 10, 2011
Of course this picture is meant to be a joke. We're supposed to laugh at Uncle Jimmy. And I did laugh when I first saw it. What's not funny about a half-naked fat guy playing the flute and dancing in the street?
But when I really thought about, I realized that the picture makes me uncomfortable. Things we find humorous usually do, on some level. Looking at it, I feel like I'm seeing something that should be private and I'm not really talking about his nearly naked body. (Which wouldn't even be an issue if he had a six-pack. Consider what that says about our culture's body image issues.)
The thing that makes me most uncomfortable is his abandon in the moment. His joy in the music of his own making. When is the last time you allowed yourself to just be exactly who you are, doing exactly what you love to do and enjoying it - in public - without worrying what other people thought of you? When is the last time you did that in private?
Go out today and play your version of Uncle Jimmy's flute. Dance half naked. Hell, dance naked (but I suggest you do that in private for legal reasons). Do whatever makes you feel good in the moment. Push aside that voice in your head that tells you that you're doing it wrong. Let go. Find your inner Uncle Jimmy. Find your joy in the music of your own making.
Posted by Jessica Droeger at 11:40 AM