Many topless men are missing their toes

Before I begin this week’s article, let me preface by stating an important fact:

I love well-built men. I’m always on the hunt for them and thoroughly enjoy them when spotted. As a matter of fact, my daughter is horrified if she catches me secretly snapping pictures of gorgeous athletes as they jog past.

Obviously, I am becoming a dirty old lady. Unfortunately, I’m not old enough where it’s considered “a cute quirk.” At my middle age, it’s creepy, and I get it. So, I do what all women my age do – I’ve found a pair of big, dark sunglasses.

If I’m not in sunglasses, I’m in my “sexy” mini-van Googling Thor while watching for any cutie to run by as I slam McDonald French fries and an Arby’s Shake all at the same time. Food must somehow correlate with muscular bodies for me. The other night, I ate an entire tub of buttery popcorn when The Rock stripped down in the movie, Central Intelligence.

So, I think it’s more than obvious that I love strong, powerful bodies on men and I openly encourage them to be topless. But, come on! We live in the Keys and, honestly, most of our men aren’t built like The Rock. They are built more like wobbly mud pies. I understand true beauty is found on the inside and I’m sure they are great guys, but most of them should not be walking around without their shirts on. It’s a little disturbing. And, it sorta ruins my French fry high.

Actually, the entire male/female rules confuse me. At what point in history did the law begin dividing men and women’s dress codes? To understand how topless men managed to slip through the rulebook, I researched today’s “all-knowing” encyclopedia -- Wikipedia. Apparently there are different nudity laws throughout each state. I found this little tidbit:

A variety of different offenses, such as "indecent exposure", "public lewdness", "public indecency", "disorderly conduct" and so on, may involve exposure of a specific body part (genitals, buttocks, anus, nipples on women), a specific intention or effect (being sexually suggestive, offending or annoying observers). In some cases, a member of the opposite sex must be present. In Florida, designated nudity areas are given an explicit exception.

As you can see, I highlighted the key points and now I’m even more baffled. For example:

#1. Why are women’s nipples considered illegal and men’s aren’t? I didn’t know I was harboring illegal nipples. Good thing I keep them well hidden so no one will suspect I have these dangerous things. (To be fair, the excerpt above did go on to argue that, because women’s nipples can be used for breast-feeding, they are considered sexual organs. So, does this mean that a baby bottle is illegal too? I’m so confused.)

#2. Honestly, MOST topless men result in offending and annoying observers. I’m not being mean here, I’m just saying that it’s very rare to find men with the chest or abs of Thor or The Rock. As a matter of fact, a lot of men have bigger breasts than many women, which is more than offending and annoying to observers and a little discourteous to small-breasted women.

#3. Finally, I’m concerned that seeing topless men all over the Keys is, in fact, sexually suggestive. But not the good kind… instead, it suggests flat out abstinence. It’s like seeing our parents walking around naked all day. Not a good visual for any of us. It could actually shut down our reproduction rate and threaten the very survival of our species if we continue to allow unchecked toplessness on men.

So here we are, in brutal heat, and women are required to wear tops -- whereas men have total autonomy and can freely expose anything above the waist without recourse. Although I’m the first to exploit well-built men, as I clearly admitted at the beginning of this rant, I just feel like something has slipped through the cracks. Either women should be free to waddle around topless just like our male neighbors do, or men should be required to cover the illegal goods as well.

If my male readers are anything like my husband, I figure all of you are thinking, “Fine with me. Let the girls show everything!” But, like my husband, you’re missing the point. Upper body exposure “for all” isn’t the solution as far too many of us tend to look like the male/female versions of Ghostbuster’s Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Seeing even more wobbly skin will only exacerbate the problem.

The solution is common sense. We need to set parameters for men. Probably a very simple, easy-to-remember rule like: “If you can’t see your toes, throw on clothes.”

Hopefully this will help clean up our streets and keep our species intact and thriving. After all, like my mother always said, “It’s better to keep people guessing anyway.”

**Exception to the rule above… “If you’re built like Thor, then knock on my door ” (Preferably topless.)

Jana Vandelaar has worked as a freelance writer in the Keys with a loving family, fun friends and smelly pups for more than 20 years. Check out her website at for more books available online or ‘Like’ her Facebook page at JanabananaINK for daily smiles about life as she sees and lives it. If you enjoy her articles, Jana has a book titled, “ONLY IN THE KEYS, Snort-Laughing Stories About Life In The Florida Keys.” This is a fun book full of Jana’s most popular articles written for The Reporter since 2008. It’s available at Randy’s Florida Keys Gifts, MM 102.4 or at Hooked On Books, MM 81.9.