[Ads-l] "Desnuda"

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 14 02:34:48 UTC 2015

I'm not sure how much staying power "desnuda" has in American English,
but it's recently seen a lot of exposure through its application to
those naked, painted ladies in the heart of New York City.

Perhaps my Twitter feed is just having a summer fling with the word,
but I thought I'd at least make note of "desnuda" before it vanishes
with the chill of autumn.

-- Bonnie


[From Colleen Wright's "The Painted Ladies of Times Square," The New
York Times, Late Edition (East Coast), 16 Aug 2015: MB.8. Online
article, link below, is titled "The Desnudas of Times Square, Topless
but for the Paint."]

Mey Ovalles ignored the snickers of gawking boys and the smartphones
snapping photos as she clutched her bra to her chest and her bare skin
became an opaque shade of blue with white sparkles.

She shielded her nipples until they were cloaked with brush strokes,
though her curvy, sun-kissed body -- with the exception of a nylon
thong -- was exposed to hundreds of passers-by in Times Square. She
felt naked until she became a canvas of red, white and blue.

This was part of Ms. Ovalles's daily routine as a desnuda, a Spanish
word meaning naked that has been embraced by the women who strut
around the Times Square pedestrian plaza topless and covered in body
paint to pose for photos in exchange for tips.

Ms. Ovalles is one of the newest participants to join the parade of
seminude performers contributing to the carnival-like atmosphere amid
the sea of tourists. "Oh my God, it's a lot of people who see me
naked," Ms. Ovalles, 27, said. "It's too fun. It's totally different."

The earliest sighting of a desnuda seems to date to the summer of
2013, according to posts on social media. But this summer, on any
given day, there are at least a dozen young women, primarily Latinas,
of all heights and body shapes, strolling through the pedestrian
plazas, trying to capitalize on this suggestive performance art.


(Online version at http://tinyurl.com/ofodbyp or

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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