Can a congressman survive once people on the Internet have seen his apparently waxed balls? It's a whole new level of exposure, made all the barer by the congressman's grooming habits.
Andrew Breitbart appeared on the Opie and Anthony show today wielding the cockshot on an iPhone, and apparently the radio hosts in turn snapped it with another cell phone and put on Twitter. It's blurry, but we have a source who has seen the image firsthand — not this tweeted picture of the picture we're all seeing now — and he says, "I can confirm, without a shadow of a doubt, that those balls are either shaved or waxed." (If you want to squint at the uncensored bits and see for yourself, you can do so here.)
It started with the chest, its gleam all the better to see how cut the slim Weiner actually was. "New question for Anthony Weiner: What depilatory do you use? #noJewisthathairless," tweeted New York Post columnist John Podhoretz at the time. And the Atlantic's Garance Franke-Ruta writes, "I'd wager some percentage of men here looked at Anthony Weiner's sext pictures and wondered not about his marriage, but where he gets waxed."
We wonder not where, but why. No disrespect to men whose genetic lot is such that their relevant surfaces are naturally bare, or bare-ish. And we are philosophically opposed to pubic hair grooming fiats in any direction, for men or women. But when it comes to utter deforestation of secondary sex characteristics that were put there for a reason — protection! — it's hard, for me at least, not to mourn their loss.
A little trim, that's hygienic. But hairlessness in public images of men has become so relentlessly ubiquitous that when a DirecTV ad resuscitated the 1972 Burt Reynolds centerfold for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition a few years ago, it drew audible gasps from everyone I showed it to. I hung it in my cubicle, and later on my refrigerator, partly to gauge reactions, but partly because I loved it — his careless posture, a nude body without the intervention of a razor, a waxer, or hours at the gym.
When I got Helen Gurley Brown, the legendary Cosmo editor who commissioned the shot, on the phone for a story, she said, "I thought one day when I was washing dishes that men like to look at our bodies, and we like to look at their bodies, though it's not as well known."
Reynolds picked this photo from the lot himself. "He's got a good body, he's got terrific legs, he's handsome, he's smiling up a storm and you can't really see any" — here she paused — "men's genitalia…It's about as sexy and revealing as a photo can be, but it doesn't reveal anything that it shouldn't."
On the question of what should and shouldn't be revealed, we know, at least, where Anthony Weiner stands.
Anthony Weiner's Cock Shot Emerges [Gawker]