Letters to the Editor

Bad Boys: pretty awesome, actually

I am proud to introduce myself as the heathen behind the egotistical, pornographic, repugnant Bad Boys calendar.

Let me start off by saying this:

We are giving money made by this calendar to charity.

We did not make this calendar for charity.

Why did we make it? Because it was so damn fun.

Because spending an evening taking sexy pictures is amazingly enjoyable — for the photographer, for the model, for the assistant, for the editor, and for our audience.

Because MIT is about so much more than buckling down and studying; so much more than the academic tunnel-vision so prevalent on campus.

Because people at MIT are attractive and for some reason that surprises most of the world.

I am quite flattered that Ms. Yan, author of the December 7 letter to the editor, thinks the likes of CNN might be interested in our little publication. I was mortified when the reading room hygiene story broke, but I also had the good humor to laugh uproariously at it. My friends at home made fun of me to no end, but never was I worried about the effect it would have on our reputation. Why? Because smart people aren’t fooled by that. We’re MIT. Nothing short of declaring all of campus clothing-optional would decrease our application numbers.

This is by no means the first time racy calendars featuring MIT students have been put out, and those were well received for what they were — fun projects by talented artists involving their community in their creativity. I myself was Ms. October in the Women of the West Side calendar that came out several years ago. I was just a model for that project but it was still the most fun I had sophomore year. We all know how intense MIT can be — and how painful — and it’s not always easy to enjoy ourselves. Taking a break from that p-set to go pose for some pictures of your sexy self is an excellent way to restore your happiness and motivation, not to mention the giant boost it gives to your self-esteem.

MIT as a whole underestimates the value of art in its students lives. Photography and design have become my saving grace when the pressures of school become too much, and I think everyone on campus could benefit from more exposure to art even if it’s just hanging some of it in their rooms. The fact that this particular art is extremely pleasing to the eye doesn’t hurt either.

We made this calendar for ourselves, for you, for MIT as a whole, and in the meantime we saw a chance to do good by some needy kids in India. We probably won’t be sending them copies, though. (we’re almost out!)

Clare Bayley ’11

Only good can come from Bad Boys calendar

I completely disagree with Melissa Yan’s November letter opposing the Bad Boys of Boston calendar. This will, if anything, change the image of MIT for the better. For the much better. It’s not ‘quasi-pornographic’ at all; it’s basically just photos of some shirtless guys. Many of the photos actually incorporate aspects of MIT culture — see October, the fire-breather; June, the musician; July, the photographer; December, the MIT gymnastics team. Also, all of the revenue generated from the Bad Boys calendar for Dream a Dream is going to be huge. True, Dream a Dream isn’t actually mentioned in the calendar, but that’s because this calendar goes beyond simply supporting a charity, which is amazing enough in itself. This calendar goes to show that “you can be both smart and sexy,” and that yes, both MIT boys and girls are hot.

Janet Li ’12

No shame in calendar for charity

I find it ridiculous that the Bad Boys calendar could incite such controversy. Melissa Yan argues that it does nothing but stoke the egos of those in the calendar. And so what? It clearly raised >$0 for charity, and what negative publicity did it bring? Is it harmful to MIT’s reputation to suggest that we might actually have students who are comfortable and confident in their bodies and willing to put themselves out there in potentially embarrassing situations for the sake of raising some money for charity? Is there some sort of shame to be had in the human figure?

“Do we want prefrosh and their parents to see this?” This is not a puritanical school. The alternative is to publish a calendar of boys sitting at their desks until 3 a.m. studying. I think showing parents healthy MIT students might reassure them about the ability of their children to lead healthful lives here a bit more effectively than overworked and lethargic students pushed to their limits. In fact, this calendar serves to temper some of the bad publicity we have gotten concerning the cleanliness of our student body in the past year. There is far more arrant and impudent sexual material at MIT than this charity calendar. If you’re really made uncomfortable by things that only mildly allude to sex, you’re probably going to take issue with the fact the MIT provides free condoms and lubricant.

Aaron Thom ’11