Jun 3, 2012

You Know You're In Israel When...

By: Jessica Hochstadt, MS

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take this time to give a virtual standing ovation to the show stoppers here in Israel. The people who make us smile, just by looking at us. The ones who could say anything and make us blush. The ones who break our hearts left and right, and we just feel lucky to have known them. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to congratulate Israeli men (and I know you would like to also), whose thick accents make us giggle, and whose smoking bodies make us melt. Gentlemen, consider this a formal round of applause.

Hopefully without sounding too crazy, I’ll admit that I can spend an entire day looking at Israeli men the way that art critics spend their days in museums. They look sexy while they argue over cab fares from the sidewalk. They look sexy while they order another round of Goldstar. And they can’t help it, but even when they cut in front of you in line to get on the bus... they look sexy.

The beach is an inherently sexy place. Men and women soak up the sun while beads of sweat roll down their almost naked bodies. Musicians play the guitar, wearing next to nothing. Athletes play volleyball, wearing next to nothing. And the lifeguards yell at you from their thrones, wearing next to nothing. What can possibly ruin this image?

A discreet shot of men in their naughties. 
One thing, my friends, and one thing only: underwear. I don’t know why they do it, but Israeli men seem to think that underwear is a sufficient covering for the beach. In theory I guess it makes sense; they cover the same regions, and very little is actually covered at the beach anyway. So, why not? I’ll tell you why not.

Firstly, boxer briefs and swim trunks are just not the same. Wearing underwear to the beach is like wearing sneakers with a ball gown-- it’s obvious you forgot something. The beach, although incredibly casual, does have a dress code. That dress code calls for beachwear! Also, bathing suit material is slightly thicker than underwear material and clings to the body in a more structured way. Underwear material not only makes it look like you just relieved yourself in your pants, but it throws whatever was left to the imagination out the window. We see it all, gents. And in some cases, our imaginations were more enjoyable. Don’t ruin our fantasies. Finally, swim trunks just make men more approachable. Do you want us to talk to you or not?

I have traveled to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world: Miami Beach, Bahia, Tel Aviv. The underwear phenomenon is something that only surfaced in the waves of the Mediterranean. I have asked other ladies to elaborate on their thoughts regarding this fad. Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird?

No. I am not alone in this. There are social constructs that we must keep in mind. Society decided that one piece of clothing is meant to protect you from your jeans. The other is to protect you against jellyfish and UV rays. (The latter point also has me concerned about your general health, boys.) While you can wear a bathing suit as underwear, reversing the roles if far less appropriate.

Israeli men, you are beautiful. Close to nothing can ruin this beauty. But one thing always will- wearing your underwear on the beach. Cover up, boys. And ladies, if all else fails, at least consider the situation and remember the next time you see a man in his undies on the sand... at least you know you’re in Israel.

There's one of them out there somewhere...


  1. hahaha, while great points, being allowed to go to the beach in underwear does allow for a lot more unplanned/spontaneous dips in the sea/beach trips.

    1. This is an excellent point. Be spontaneous, but know that you look off.

  2. Okay, laughed so hard I cried - you are hillarious!!!

  3. This makes me thankful for men's underwear on the TLV beaches.