Open letter to people of the Tropics: Wear Shorts!

Dear People of the Tropics,

Why don’t you wear shorts?

You have nice legs. Maybe you don’t. Who cares? If you live in a county that hits 40-degrees Celsius, you should be wearing shorts. Not slacks. Not blue jeans. Not anything that covers your knees unless that’s a kilt or a dress and you’re going commando.

Got it?

For the past two weeks as I traveled through Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, I’ve bent to your predilection for pants (although I wasn’t able to bend all that far because my pants stuck to my sweaty legs). How do you stand it?

Men in the tropics often roll up the bottom of their shirts to air out their beer bellies, but God forbid you bare your knees.

Dan Savage of MTV’s Savage U doesn’t think you should wear shorts unless you are boy. He must have chicken legs. Because even GQ’s Style Guy gives shorts a thumbs up in certain circumstances. Quoted from this NY Times story on the appropriateness of shorts.

“I avoid them,” said Glenn O’Brien, the fashion editor and writer of GQ magazine’s “Style Guy.” “If it’s like 100 degrees, or if I’m just going to Whole Foods, I will break down and wear shorts, but I try to avoid them for business.”

People of the Tropics, Today, I say enough! I’m leading a revolution of bringing shorts to the tropics. Think how much water we’ll save through decreasing leg sweat! How much petroleum we’ll save from less chafing. This has environmental and health ramifications.

At 3PM yesterday after riding around Ouagadougou all day on a motorbike in the scorching sun, I shed my pants for shorts. I grabbed my baseball cap. I applied another layer of sunscreen. I put on my Oakley’s and I embraced my legs. I embraced my inne Touron and my outer grande gringo and I got a little sun on my legs. I hopped back on the scooter, and you know what? There was a nice breeze in regions that could use a little cooling down.

Down with Pants! Up with shorts! Do it for yourself. Do it for the future of your children.

The revolution has begun.



Letie Rios says:

Before reading “Where Am I Wearing?”, I never took the chance to stop and actually think about where my clothes and/or shoes were made from. After the first few chapters my attention was caught. I am glocal because I am aware of the struggles other people have to go through to provide for their families and themselves. I am very much appreciated of everything my parents as well as life has to offer me. I have a lot of respect for Kelsey going on these trips to other countries! I hope that all the friends he has met along the way stay in contact and continue to better themselves by working hard.

Let your voice be heard!