New Skin

People who know me in real life know that I am quite vain. I mean, I like to look good, sometimes I’ll be caught checking out my face in the mirror, and probably I worry far too much about what tie goes with what shirt, shoes and belt. And the funny thing about this is that I am actually totally not that vain at all. I would happily strip off in front of anyone if they asked me nicely enough, and there was a warm cup of tea involved, because to be honest, I know I’m not perfectly formed and also, it doesn’t take much imagination to think of anyone naked.

I would show you my form and because being a grown up and having seen naked people in real life a couple of times I can imagine what anyone would look like naked. It’s a kind of intimacy that, to be honest, isn’t that exciting – the naked form is more functional than arousing. For example, does a doctor get sexual excited every time you strip in front of them? Most likely not, as it’s part of their job. It’s also more likely that to be perfectly honest they don’t care what you look like, and that’s my attitude. I quite like the way I look, and I know that I might not be fat, but I’m far from a temple. I’d say my body is less a temple, more a night club.

So I read with incredulity of the new airport scanners that will be able to see you “naked”. But I can see you naked right now. I can think of what you body will look like naked. Right now. And there is nothing you can do stop me. The “naked” scanners actually might be your real body, but do they look like their actual body? No, my imagination is better at that, and there is nothing you can do to stop me.

Is vanity wanting to look good? Or is vanity being self-important? I like to look good in clothes, and I don’t think that makes me vain. Plus when I look this good, how can you avoid looking at yourself in the mirror?

Zaphod Beeblebrox: “If there's anything more important than my ego around here, I want it caught and shot now.”