Coming upon this U.S. soldier in Afghanistan at the end of Lynsey Addario’s NYT Lens slideshow/interview, I was surprised my reaction was so utilitarian. So I decided to look up “utilitarian.” I admit, the fifth definition at The Free Dictionary did make me smile:
designed for use rather than beauty.
I’d say the times, they really are a-changing. In this case, the caption is fruitful for the knowledge this was taken in ’09. Reinforcing Lynsey’s point in the interview, how this looks now versus then (as least, to me) — as much about routine as it is about gender — could be measured in lightyears.
(photo: Lynsey Addario. caption: Lt. Amy Zaycek, a nurse attached to the Marines in southern Afghanistan, shaved her legs between shifts at a field hospital run by the military in Helmand Province, December 4, 2009.)