How to Start a Pubic-Hair War

by Steed Dropout
Sept. 16, 2013
Berkeley, Ca


Shooting the final week of Berkeley’s 14-Week Telegraph Sundays’ street fair, I aimed high but wound up low when I published a shot of a U.C. Berkeley cheerleader, hoisted high above me.

I shot from ground level as the acrobatic cheerleader hit the top of her stack.

Clarence Thomas’ senate-confirmation hearings, two decades ago, was far from my mind. Thomas was, then, accused of seeing pubic hairs on a coke can but was confirmed to a seat on the supreme court bench, where he might imagine to his heart’s content. He has hardly been heard from since, since being swallowed by his own robe.

Low-down. Photo by Ted Friedman.


Here’s the timeline:

The alleged nether-shot was my last crack at Cal Cheerleaders, whom I had documented for two weeks. I had vowed to get more low shots in general. The last time I went low, I dropped to one knee for a candlelight celebration downtown, but only got a waist-high view.

“Shoot more low,” I advised myself.

Maybe that’s why — after getting a piled high money shot of the girls, I stepped closer and aimed high. There was a majestic frame to the shot — something you might see on a post-card or tee-shirt.

I showed the shot to retired Oakland Tribune press photographer (award-winning), David Yee who wasted no time saying that back in the day (80’s-90’s) his editors “maybe would have” squelched the shot.

This unlikely brouhaha — in an age of public porn — reminds me of my picture-editing days at the (Springfield) Illinois State Journal-Register, 1959 (I was 18) when we published an incredibly revealing short-shorts shot, with naryg a quibble.

Stacked. Photo by Ted Friedman.

When I published the Cal cheerleaders’ shot, it drew a score of responses. My favorite: “I see Paris, I see France, I see your underpants.” Except that Cal cheerleaders wear shorts under their cheerleader’s skirts.

Week before. Photo by Ted Friedman.

I fed the less-than-viral dispute with my own provocations — inviting comments. For a lively forums exchange, check out my Facebook Page.

Berkeley Reporter here publishes my scrapbook of the Cal gals gracing the Teley street fair on two successive weekends.

The views here do not reflect those of publications in which my work appears.

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