It’s recently come to my attention that there are people on planet Earth who think that indulging in vanity is the worst sin one could commit. Just kidding, I’ve known this forever—I’m a human woman who brushes her hair! But that point was reiterated this week when the Washington Post’s Miss Manners was subjected to a query asking how one could avoid their friend’s gratuitous nude painting of herself hanging in their home when they go to visit.
“Some good friends of ours, a husband and wife, have a painting of the wife in their living room. The painting is a nude from her much younger days. It is not erotic, but it is very large and very explicit and detailed. She is looking at the viewer with a direct challenge.
When we visit, we are always taken to this room. I’ve asked to go to another room or to the garden, but my hostess says she loves to entertain in that room because of the sea view, which it does have.”
To her credit, Miss Manners was like, “Darling, live a little!” and noted the absolutely delightful feeling of leaving someone’s house and snickering about their weird decorative choices on the drive home. That’s honestly one of my top 10 feelings, right behind getting food unstuck from in between my molars.
As all good predicaments do, this one ended up being discussed on The View yesterday, too. Whoopi, declared, “If you’re not comfortable, don’t go to their house.” Joy Behar then joked that hanging a nude portrait of herself might make people nauseous. Sunny Hostin called it “freaky and exhibitionist.”
It pains me to say this, but I’m with Whoopi on this. If your host has a nude painting of themselves in the room in which they’re entertaining you, you have two option: Enjoy it, or leave. And more importantly, if you are so lucky to have a painting—not a photo, A PAINTING—of yourself in repose sans garb, definitely hang it above the dining room table. Put a smaller version of it above the toilet. Mail it out as your holiday card, for all I care! You are both a connoisseur of the arts and the art itself. What a life you’re living!
I can think of few things more glamorous than a nude painting. Maybe that’s because I was of an impressionable age when Titanic was released, and I really thought there’d be a future wherein a scrappy young hunk was going to paint me reclining in the buff with only a very expensive necklace on. I think if you have such a treasured possession (the necklace, the nude painting, or a combination of the two), you should flaunt it. And if you have friends who recoil at the thought, they have simply permanently forfeited their dinner invite.