Welcome to the seventh installment of Ask Wesleying, an advice column about any and all things Wes! Have a question about life at Wes? Submit it to get it answered in Ask Wesleying! You can find all of the Ask Wesleying columns here.
It’s been a loooooong hiatus, what with thesis, winter break, thesis, spring break, more thesis (you get the point). But fear not, I haven’t forgotten about all you questioning souls haunting campus, awaiting answers to put your spirits to rest.
This week’s question is about one of those things that gets mentioned on your admissions tour and then never arises again, nudity:
I’ve been trying to find information about how to apply as a nude model for art classes next semester, but have emerged unsuccessful. Do you have any info about who to contact, any requirements, etc? Also, any tips on how to locate the nude scene at Wes (if there is one?) would be greatly appreciated!
Nude in the NESCAC
You can read the answer to this week’s question below the jump!
Dear Nude in the NESCAC,
I’ve been sitting on this question for a while while I attempted to find info about nude modeling for you, but alas, I’ve come up empty-handed. All I really know is that one time, illustrious Wes alum Lin Manuel Miranda ’03 tweeted: “When I was at Wesleyan, the highest-paying on-campus job was nude modeling for Drawing 1 class. So, uh, those are out there somewhere.” I’m not sure how the recent wage hikes on campus have impacted this, but I’m sure there’s still good money to be had if you can figure out how to get the gig! I’d recommend reaching out to a Drawing I professor or TA the semester before you want to be a model to find out the specifics. I suppose I could have done that for you, but it’s a good life skill to be able to cold-email people to find out information/network/ask if you can take your clothes off in front of a class of drawing students.
As far as the nude scene at Wes goes, it’s certainly not as vibrant as it once was. During my freshman year, one of my friends threw a naked party (which I did not attend) in Westco, and apparently they used to be much more of a thing, but honestly, the most clothing-free parties I’ve heard of since then have been lingerie or Anything But Clothing parties, and even those are rarer (or at least I’m not getting invited to them). It seems as if the lack of student-run spaces on campus, party crackdowns, and a changing campus culture has led to a student body that has failed to “Keep Wes Weird.”
Another nude, weird Wes thing I heard a lot about (but have yet to witness) is upperclassmen/athletes streaking across Foss during First-Year Student Orientation (I believe during the Common Moment, but don’t quote me on that). I certainly understand the hesitation to streak in the modern age when photos can easily be snapped and uploaded to the internet in seconds (or minutes, if you’re trying to use airwes from Foss). But I’ve still been surprised by the lack of streaking that’s happened in my time here at Wes. Perhaps this is for the best, though, since streaking almost always involves surprising the observer, which is not consensual, and while nudity can be a fun way to celebrate your body and flaunt social norms, it’s important to be sensitive to those for whom unwanted nudity (and nudes–here’s looking at you, unsolicited dick pic senders!) is upsetting, triggering, or against their values.
The most famous, annual, semi-nude Wesleyan tradition is Undies in Olin, which happens every spring. Here at Wesleying, we enjoy photoshopping the head of our dear leader Michael Roth ’76 onto the undies-clad bodies (in order to preserve participants’ privacy)! A few years ago Undies in Olin trended on the NESCAC Snap Story (rip).
Speaking of Snapchat, there’s also wesbodies, which was an account you’d send your (faceless, if you were smart) nudes to, and then they’d save them to their story… This certainly seemed ill-conceived, but also appeared to be fairly popular until the account was suspended. It’s had a couple rumored comebacks since, but I think it’s fair to say that wesbodies is pretty much dead (probably for the best, tbh). (Note: wesbodies is back since the writing of this, but we’re not sure for how long)
Ultimately, the nude scene at Wes is what you make of it! If you want to do nude things, host a (clothed) interest meeting and go from there! Plan events! Advertise them here! ;) Just make sure your nudity is consensual for all involved (including anyone who might see you, intentionally or not)!