Adam Richard - creator/writer/star of Outland
Standing Around in my Underpants
I take my clothes off in front of people a lot. Anybody who has worked with me for any length of time (yes, even a minute) has had the misfortune to have been brown-eyed by me at some point or another. It’s shocking and unexpected, the first few times, and for some reason it always makes people laugh. The fact is, because I am fat, polite society tells me I should be hiding my grotesque arse away from sight under several layers of clothing. Polite society also told me not to be too much of a show-off or put cocks in my mouth, so you can see that the mooning was inevitable.
I have no trouble getting my kit off for a laugh, obviously. Talking Poofy gigs are always conducted with me in various states of undress - whether in a Peter Alexander onesie or a Spider-Man suit or just my undies. It makes people laugh, so I do it. I’m a comedian, it’s my job. What I would never have the guts to do (in spite of the surfeit of physical guts I attempt to shove into my trousers each day) is go to an underwear party. Until this last weekend.
I’d had several beers, and I was feeling jolly, and a friend and I were wondering if perhaps we should. It was an UnderBEAR party, so it’s not like we were going to be standing around in our underpants surrounded by a bunch of twinks who wouldn’t look out of place in an underwear catalogue. We’d be amongst similarly dumpy individuals, and so we were.
There were people thinner than us, fatter than us, men more hirsute than we and some that were practically hairless in comparison. There were even people more famous than us, which was a relief, because I hate being the most famous person at a party (that is a lie). The most exciting thing was I didn’t feel like a freak. All those times I bared my arse for a laugh, it was because people were laughing at the freak; pointing at the Elephant Man and giggling at the poor tragic creature putting himself on display for their entertainment. Nobody was laughing as I wandered around the pub, no doubt leaving a trail of money falling out of my socks. Instead of laughter, people were eyeing me off lasciviously, appreciating the bumps and curves I normally tried to hide under oversized shirts. It was a thrill, a tonic.
Being happy with who I am now, rather than trying to achieve some kind of demented goal weight, seems to be the best aim I can have at the moment. I will get healthier, I have no doubts about that, but I need to be happy in my own skin, as it is, stretched into whatever shape it is today. One day, it might be a different shape, (although not the shape I have in my head, which is the shape of Chris Hemsworth, but I don’t think skipping a dinner or two will achieve that kind of result) and I will need to be okay with that too. Being happy with who I am, and not hating who I see in the mirror, is the real first step to becoming healthy.
Inspiration for this blog came from Rosie Waterland and Michelle Holland and the many men who pawed at me, told me they wanted to do vile things to me, and those who ended up actually doing vile things to me, after seeing me plonking about in my kaks on the Australia Day weekend.