I needed a job to help pay my way through college in Chicago, and the Transportation Security Administration's callback, for a job as a security officer at O'Hare International Airport, was the first one I received. It was just a temporary thing, I told myself — side income for a year or two as I worked toward a degree in creative writing. It wasn't like a recession would come along and lock me into the job or anything. I hated it from the beginning. I confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security. I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots — the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying.
They also killed an endangered crocodile by accident , thinking it was a caiman. That has resulted in protests from animal rights activists. As a vegetarian and a person who buys cruelty-free toothpaste with the bunny logo that ensures no animals suffered so I could have clean teeth, I find this protest to be ridiculous. But I digress.
Each day I had to look into the eyes of passengers in niqabs and thawbs undergoing full-body pat-downs, having been guilty of nothing besides holding passports from the wrong nations. As the son of a German-American mother and an African-American father who was born in the Jim Crow South, I can pass for Middle Eastern, so the glares directed at me felt particularly accusatory. The thought nagged at me that I was enabling the same government-sanctioned bigotry my father had fought so hard to escape.
One of the celebrities participating in the programme was former Love Islander , Megan Barton-Hanson. Choreographer Ashley Banjo kicked off the programme by asking the celebrities to go on stage and reveal how confident they are. This was when Megan took to the stage and revealed that she felt more comfortable naked than clothed. After being asked to take to the stage to reveal her confidence, she ended up going closer to confident that unconfident. Have we really got to bare all?