Vermont is a strange state. There is liberal angst in the state, particularly in ski areas, over risque photos of Playboy Playmates on the equipment of snowboarders.
"When you really think about it, it's a young man standing on top of a naked woman's body," said Zarrillo, 38, an office manager for a nonprofit based in Burlington, also home to Burton's headquarters. "I probably could have gotten past it, because I try to have an open mind, but seeing it like that, it's offensive."
Burton Snowboards, located in Vermont's largest city since 1992, cemented its reputation among Vermonters as a progressive company through employee benefits such as matching child-care payments and paying for half of a worker's gym membership.
Yet the company has found itself at the center of a grow ing controversy in the liberal state, with residents, students, and politicians debating free speech and sexism on the ski slopes. The Burlington City Council discussed asking Burton to withdraw the boards, and the Girl Scout Council of Vermont is considering taking concerns to lawmakers next month.
See, "progressive" is just another word for PC and liberal. Burton was "progressive" in offering benefits like matching child care. But photos on boards? This is, of course, the same state that thought teens hanging out naked in the city was fine and dandy.
The nudity began in earnest this year, Brooks said, when one young woman decided she wanted to bare her chest in public, just like her male friends.
Since then, the no-clothes fashion has gained popularity and has expanded to include group bike rides, skateboarding, hula-hoop contests, and a grass-roots music event that the group dubbed the Brat Fest.
In Vermont, it seems, it is quite alright to be naked in public*, but to be seen with a tasteful nude photograph is awful, just awful.
*a law banning the practice was considered, then rejected in 2007.