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Arts & Culture

Fair Fashion Varies from Standard to Exhibitionist

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Brian Bull
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The Oregon Country Fair is a chance to relax and “let it all hang out,” so to speak.  But while most people are fine with the standard summer attire of shorts and a t-shirt, or a billowy dress with wide-brimmed hat, others are more comfortable with skimpy garments or even just a layer of paint.  KLCC’s Brian Bull visited with a young couple who mostly went au naturel to this annual event.

Emily Smith’s “attire” is like a weather forecast…mostly clear with only a few clouds. The 20-something from Bellingham, Washington is exploring the fair topless, with a rainbow painted across her chest, and strategically-placed clouds painted over her breasts.

BULL: "Has anyone just outright called you an exhibitionist for this attire?"

SMITH: "No, I think the fair is about being an exhibitionist, so wouldn’t be a negative thing y’know, if people thought that.”

Emily is accompanied by Conner Baker, also from Bellingham.  He describes his modest outfit:

BAKER: “Pink underwear, with rainbow thong over it.  And I have some rainbow leggings, and a rainbow cape.  With some Batman sunglasses.”

Conner admits he was nervous at first, but has become more confident as the day has gone on.  He and Emily are part of a group that are going to switch from rainbows to galaxies as the fair continues.

I’ll let you conjure up your own celestial images of what that get-up means for Conner and Emily. 

SMITH: “Yeah, we had the same theme, dressing up is definitely about expressing myself and being free, and wearing what my inner, silly spirit wants to wear."

BULL:  "You’re both half-naked!"

SMITH:  "We are half naked!"

BAKER: "Yes!"

SMITH: "Embracing the nature as well."

BULL: "Was it  easy to go out in public, with all these throngs of people…in your half-dressed way?"

SMITH: "I think the last time I was here,  there was definitely more people who were wearing very little clothing.  So it was a little challenging, but I just…I’m comfortable, I think it’s fun.”

But both semi-nudists say their skimpy rainbow attire is also to promote acceptance of diversity...a message laid bare in recent headlines.

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