Just about a month ago I had the great “pleasure” of going through international security at JFK on my way to Italy. The lines were unusually long and slow, I couldn’t for the life of me understand why. When I finally reached the actual x-ray area it became clear, it was the full body scanner that was slowing things up. It was the full body scanner, since I had not flown internationally since the new body scans had been introduced I had completely forgotten. I know this has been the source of great controversy, I had seen the stories on the news and on the Internet about people being groped and prodded, there was even as story where a TSA officer asked a breast cancer survivor to remove her prosthesis. I couldn’t image it going that far. Actually things seemed to be moving along, I didn’t see any one refusing the scan.
I, a seasoned traveler had already taken my jewelry and outerwear off, had prepped my shoes for removal and was ready to grab my 3 bins (coat and shoes, computer and purse). I inched my things towards the x-ray machine and prepared to be scanned. When I was summoned forth I stepped into the contraption and assumed the position; hands above head legs apart, and just a moment later I was asked to pass through. I peeked at the monitor where I thought my image would appear, but the woman told me that is was not located there, but in another area of the airport. I have to say that I was kind of disappointed, I wanted to see what I looked like, I was having a thin day. The agent asked me to wait with her before gathering my belongings, “I have to wait until they clear you” she said with her hand on the walkie talkie attached to her shoulder. While I awaited clearance I decided to get as much information as possible. “How much does it show?” I asked, “Like do I need to suck in my stomach?” She laughed and said that it wasn’t that bad, and that’s all she said, then waved me on. As a collected and reassembled my belongings I couldn’t help but think, that at there are so many times during the day that I have to worry about my body, I worry when I pick out what to wear to Bikram, or to teach my ballet classes, I have to find the jeans or outfit that makes me look slim or makes me at least feel slimmer then I might be at the time. Now I thought I have to diet before I go to the airport so that my full body scan (which is probably more revealing then the outfit adroitly chosen to camouflage my body flaws shows) looks good. Just another added stress! So Rhianna I feel you girl. However I have to say that the cost to my ego is a small price to pay for being safe. *note, if you are going to the airport you might want to wear a pair of spanks!