Body Shaming Confession
I know exactly how this woman stage manager feels.
Once, when I was a male director, I was directing a play and one of the actors was costumed in a pair of Adidas shorts (it was set in an office in the 1970s and his character was a big fitness nut). During the rehearsals, I couldn’t help noticing that his left ball was just hanging slightly out, and every time he sat in the scene, you could clearly see his ball. As the director, I (wrongly) felt it was my responsibility to direct the audience’s focus in the scene and all of a sudden the scene was all about this actor’s nuts.
I asked him to tuck his ball in and maybe wear some underwear but I realize now that that was body shaming. What harm was it to see a man’s nuts onstage? I realize I was sexualizing him in an uncomfortable and morbid way and that his right to expose his sack was certainly more important than the play itself or the audience.
I failed in this instance. I think about it a lot. I make up for it by routinely wearing Adidas shorts that expose my balls everywhere I go and am incensed that I am regularly asked by people in public, in the Target, even in the Chicago Children’s Museum to cover myself up.