Some clothing we need. That’s the kind that keeps us warm, or shielded from sunlight, or from getting our feet burned or cut up. Some clothing we wear because we like the way it makes us look, or how it gives us a way to conform with social conventions, or to flaut the same.
But basically, clothing keeps us covered up. It hides what we call our “privates.” Also our love handles, pot bellies, surgery scars, cellulite, man-boobs, and tattoos we’d rather not show. Clothing can also enlarge or showcase our best features, or make our less-than-best look better.
In all cases other than the naked one, clothing gives us a means for doing what techies call selective disclosure — while just as selectively keeping some things undisclosed. Or, therefore, private.
What I’m saying here is that maybe, as we debate what privacy is, what it means, and how to deal with it through technology, business and policy, that the things that can teach us the most about privacy are the ones in our closets and drawers.
For fun, dig the best ad for clothing, ever: Barney’s Men of Destiny.