I Am Naked Donald Trump
Photo by Lauren Perlstein
Hey, everyone. It's me, Naked Donald Trump.
You probably heard about my appearance yesterday in Wynwood, perched atop a III Points billboard. Just about every news organization in town came to check me out. People seemed pretty excited. Maybe a little too excited — they yanked me down for fear of distracting drivers on I-95.
To be honest, it was a relief to be brought inside. I thought I would like it better here in Miami. I'd be floating high above the crowds this time — not like my debut last month, when gawkers in cities from Los Angeles to New York gathered around me to take selfies and point at my crotch.
This time would be different, I told myself. Maybe, from up in the air, I'd be seen for the work of art that I am.
But up here? It's hot as balls (I assume). I was almost excited for it to rain, until a storm rolled through and I realized I'm basically just a Trump-shaped lightning rod. Plus, I was pointed away from all the murals, so all I had to look at were the drivers on I-95. Sometimes that was scarier than the lightning.
And then there were the people, with their pointing and laughing and squinting at their phones as they zoomed in for a photo. Somehow, being ridiculed from afar was worse than enduring it face-to-face.
Look, I don't mean to be ungrateful. I'm really happy that so many of you seem to take such enjoyment in my visit. I'm ready and willing to play my part in this year's democratic process. But as you look up and giggle and snap selfies – well, it doesn't really feel like you're laughing with me, y'know?
I know I'm no George Clooney. I was built to look like Donald Trump, and my creators did a damn good job. My hair looks funny. My belly sticks out. And my, um, personal bits — let's just say I know that statue of Britney Spears on a bear rug won't be calling anytime soon.
But I still have feelings. I'm a person, or at least a fairly accurate representation of one. And when you point and laugh and post your Instagram photos with hashtag #micropenis, well, it hurts.
"But Naked Donald Trump," I hear you saying, "it's not about you. It's about the real Donald Trump, the guy who's out there spewing racist ideology and sexist insults, disrespecting veterans and snuggling up to Putin. It's about revealing him as the monster he is. It's about making sure he never gets elected."
I get that. But put yourself in my shoes. It's probably not so hard. Maybe you're also a person with extra belly fat or varicose veins or with less bulk in your boxers than you'd prefer. Maybe there's some other part of your body that feels ugly and shameful. Imagine that you had to stand up here on this billboard all day and all night as people walked by, judging and mocking you because of the way you look. Does that make you feel good? More important, does it make a compelling argument against a Trump presidency?
The thing about making fun of a person's body is that it's never just about that person. It's about every person who looks like that person, and every person who thinks they look like that person, and every person who fears they might someday look like that person. It's about everybody, and it tears everybody down – literally, in my case. I'm just grateful I didn't lose a foot this time.
You know, I had a lot of time to think while standing up there. Between cringing at noisy horns and all the potential collisions – most of which could be avoided if you'd just use your turn signals, guys – I watched the cars go by, and the people inside them. I counted so many different types of people in Miami, so many different shapes and styles. Isn't this one of the most diverse cities in the nation? Don't you want to celebrate those differences? Wouldn't that be a far better rebuke to Trump's politics of exclusion?
When I reappear in my new location, I hope you'll have changed your tune. I hope you'll admire the craftsmanship it took to make me, the endurance it takes to withstand the South Florida elements, the detail etched into my vaguely disappointed scowl. I hope the next time my photo is posted to Instagram, it's next to the hashtag #YAASQUEEN.
Or hey, here's a novel idea: Why not just bring me some damn clothes?
Naked Donald Trump
P.S.: I'm with her.
UPDATE 4:23 p.m.: A Mana spokesperson says the statue has been moved to the rooftop of a Mana-owned building at the corner of NW 23rd Street and NW Second Avenue in Wynwood.
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