The naked truth about packaging
August 28, 2008
ASPEN ” Belle Richardson showed her guts ” and plenty more ” Wednesday in Aspen.
For a half-hour, the employee at LUSH, a downtown shop specializing in handmade, unpackaged soaps and similar goods, bared all, but for an apron, to call attention to the wastefulness of product packaging. Passers-by definitely noticed her, if not her cause.
“Ask Me Why I’m Naked” read her apron, which left her backside buff but for the apron strap tied around her waist. She handed out fliers from her post outside the store’s front door that explained LUSH’s stand ” “packaging is rubbish” ” but when she asked one passer-by if he wanted to know why she was naked, he said, “Not really.”
“Is it illegal, what she’s doing?” said another.
“This wouldn’t be allowed in South Dakota,” said visitor Julie Luke. “Oh, they’d arrest her.”
“Do you have sunblock on?” someone else inquired.
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Many observers appeared nonplused, averting their gaze as they passed by the corner of Hunter Street and Cooper Avenue, while others stopped to take a picture with their cell phones. Chris Minor of Aspen came across the street to pose with Richardson for a photo.
On the whole, though, women were more likely to stop and to congratulate Richardson for her courage and conviction, while men frequently appeared embarrassed by the sight.
Out in the street, traffic often slowed to a crawl, as Richardson garnered stares from surprised motorists.
A co-worker was expected to join Richardson in the demonstration ” one of some 25 planned across the country at LUSH locations ” but was called away by a death in her family.
“I was a little nervous coming out here, but you know, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all,” Richardson said. “You’ve got to stand up for what you believe in.”
Noelle Gunn, the store’s assistant manager, stood at the shop door to lend moral support, but remained clothed.
She was surprised to see many passers-by shy away from the scene instead of asking questions about Richardson’s purpose or stepping up to take a flier.
“I think people get embarrassed,” she said.