Northfield Park & Rec Advisory Board approves ‘man boob’ swimsuit policy

Lost amid the skatepark controversy at last night’s meeting, the Northfield Park & Rec Advisory Board  (PRAB) voted unanimously approved a policy requiring males with ‘man boobs’ to cover up while at Northfield’s outdoor pool at Old Memorial Park.

The issue surfaced over the summer after a revised pool apparel policy was approved in the spring (see Revisions to outdoor pool rules now in draft), the result of a 2011 controversy involving a complaint by a parent who was told she had to put a swimsuit top on her three-year-old daughter while at the pool.

While that issue was resolved before summer, news from Seattle surfaced in June that a breastless cancer survivor was told by the Seattle Parks and Recreation department that she could not swim topless in public pool.

When two local residents inquired about Northfield’s swimsuit policy for breastless women, they were told that the issue had never come up.  In August, the PRAB appointed David Viscousdahl, Lyle Nuzky, and Gracie Quark to a task force to study the issue. They presented their recommendation to the board last night.

Jack Nicholson"We think the vast majority of Northfield residents would find it uncomfortable to view the chest of a breastless woman at a public pool," said Quark.  "But to head off future controversy and to level the playing field, we recommend a policy requiring men with enlarged breasts to cover them up with a mansierre while at the pool." Quark then held up a photo of Jack Nicholson and said, "Besides, man boobs are an eyesore anyway."

When PRAB chair Knute Nathanial asked how pool staff would go about enforcing such a policy, Viscousdahl cited the Ann Lander’s pencil test. "That type of test should work equally well for men. Plus, pencils are cheap and in-service training would be minimal. I’m happy to be the practice subject for the lifeguards, no charge."

PRAB members then discussed whether more input from the public was needed. "We’ve interviewed lots of people," said Nuzky.  "It’s no secret that we’ve been studying this. Anyone who was truly interested would have contacted us by now or shown up for tonight’s meeting."

Hearing no comments from the assembled residents, the PRAB unanimously approved the measure. It will go into effect for the 2013 summer season.


  1. kiffi summa said:

    OK, Griff… I know how you LOVE your ‘faux news’, and I also recognize the Seinfeld show’s ‘mansierre” … but putting in “breastless cancer survivors” with a wish to “swim topless in a public pool” is the height of callous insensitivity to a devastating illness that can be as emotionally harmful as it is physically destructive.

    I just can’t believe you wrote this… well, yes of course I can, because I read it here.
    But I wish you hadn’t …

    October 20, 2012
  2. Robbie Wigley said:

    Kiffi… I don’t always agree with Griff and it makes for some interesting conversations around the house as you can well imagine, there is never a dull moment. However.. the cancer survivor is Jodi Jaecks from Washington state who took on the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department and won. I am the one who told Griff about it and….. I for one think it is pretty cool that she stood up to the rules and fought for herself and others. Here is the link to the Times article (I think… if not I will get Griff to add it)

    October 20, 2012
  3. kiffi summa said:

    Robbie: I definitely get the point, and her point, and some of the idiocy that surrounds conceptions of sexuality … after all there are topless beaches all over the world.

    My objection was the inclusion in the comic atmosphere, which did not seem at all comic to me.

    October 21, 2012
  4. LOL Griff. I haven’t checked in here for awhile (been busy opening the Walmart in Lakeville) but reading this post today cracked me up.

    October 25, 2012
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    Welcome back, Brenton. Will the new Walmart in Lakeville be carrying mansierres?

    October 25, 2012
  6. Andy Palmer said:

    As someone with moobs, I’m more than happy to cover them.

    March 29, 2013
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Good to know, Andy, especially if you’re mountain biking. 😉

    March 29, 2013