Platts: #nakedgondy — birhtday suit debacuchery
Not many experiences feel quite as innervating as shedding off all your layers and grazing in the sun, completely butt naked. In fact, perhaps the only feeling that can truly transcend that one is stripping down to your birthday suit and taking a ride on the Silver Queen Gondola. And while you’re on there … why not take a photo or two to post on Instagram?
#NakedGondy —that’s what us kids are calling it these days. And from what I can tell, everyone may need to get used to it.
This nude phenomenon started on a particularly windy day in February when Aspenite Brad Unglert was stuck on the Silver Queen Gondola for about 30 minutes.
Unglert decided to take off all of his clothes and Snapchat body shots to his friends as a joke. He started to get high off of the rush, both from the excitement of being in the buff in a new place and from his friends’ dumbfounded reactions.
“I was so excited about the shot,” Unglert said via Instagram. “I couldn’t wait to post it!”
Unglert encouraged his friends to jump on the #NakedGondy bandwagon and soon Instagram was blowing up with naked gondola photos.
“We’re really stoked that it’s caught on so well,” Unglert said.
Right now, #NakedGondy is only occurring on the Silver Queen Gondola in Aspen. Colton Hinchliffe, promoter and co-starter of #NakedGondy, believes we can change that, however.
“We’re hoping this will catch on in other ski resorts,” Hinchliffe said.
Currently, there are 58 posts on Instagram under the hashtag #NakedGondy. The photos range from modest to somewhat disturbing. One involves a banana costume, another an overwhelmingly large, fake bush, and one even contains some light crotch-grabbing.
When I first saw a photo of my friend entirely naked on Instagram the other day, I was shocked. Clicking on the hashtag only disconcerted me more. In the very public world of social media, I couldn’t understand why people were willing to go balls out just to acquire a funny picture. Will #NakedGondy photos be uncovered in future political campaigns? Will employers judge a hire based on whether or not they jumped on the nudist bandwagon?
Aspenite and #NakedGondy participant Jimmy Dula thinks it won’t matter nearly as much in 20 years.
“Many probably think this is akin to civil disobedience,” Dula said. “But we are a different generation that plays by a different set of rules.”
Would generations before us have created a trend like this? Would they have shed off all of their layers, put their ski boots back on, and smiled for the camera? Maybe not. But if this is the route our generation is choosing, the next one will surely have trouble topping it.
With winter in Aspen now over, the gondolas have officially stopped running and offseason is in full swing. The #NakedGondy hashtag may be quiet for now, but I’m certain it will rear its naked head again soon.
Barbara Platts, a local marketing professional, writes about the “mountain millennial culture” that she participates in every day. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her @barbaraplatts.
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