Heroic trailblazer really puts it all out there
By Isabelle Orr, Entertainment Editor
Vancouver local Richard Martin took a giant step for mankind last Friday.
“I don’t think of myself as a hero,” he told Other Press reporters. “More of a vigilante of sorts.”
His achievement? Being the first man in 2019 to go shirtless in public.
“Not everyone has the balls to do what I did,” Martin said. “And I have the biggest balls, because I did it first. That’s a fact—you can write that in your article.”
With the recent spell of good weather, Martin, unprompted, removed his sports fabric polo shirt to reveal his pudgy, blindingly white torso.
“I was the only person shirtless in the public park filled with other adults and children,” Martin recounted. “Many people were in shorts but only I was nude from the navel up.”
According to eyewitnesses, people were shocked at Martin’s bravado.
“It’s really something to see a man take his shirt off in public,” said Roy Hebert, who was in the park at the time of Martin’s unveiling. “He just grabbed the hem and pulled it off. What a guy.”
“My children and I were spending some time in the sun reading books we picked up from the library,” Rachel Dewitt, mother of two, told Other Press reporters. “When Richard took his shirt off, I made sure my children looked at his smooth adult torso so they knew what a real man who takes charge looks like. I know I can’t take my shirt off because that would be indecent. But I’m glad men can do whatever they like with their bodies as they are free from sexual and societal stigma. I love the summer!”
Martin thinks that 2019 is shaping up nicely.
“I already have big plans for the summer that involve me sitting on a park bench with my shirt off, walking up and down the street with my shirt off, and arguing with a Chipotle counter person when they refuse to serve me because my shirt is off,” he told reporters. “I’m also looking forward to wearing a shirt that’s too small, so my gut hangs over my shorts, and then I clasp my hands over top of that. Maybe I wear a hat, maybe I don’t wear a hat. I leave myself some leeway there.”
Above all else, Martin wants people to know that he is both body-positive and a feminist.
“Women can’t go topless because they are teachers, nurses, and mothers,” Martin said. “It just wouldn’t be right, like a woman wearing the colour blue or a man wearing mittens. But men are policemen, doctors, and train conductors so it’s okay.”
Martin added, “Actually, it would be okay if women went topless. But only if they are hot with big boobs. And I get to look.”