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Posted at 9:41 AM ET, 01/10/2011

No Pants Subway Ride: Because clothes are passe

By Melissa Bell
no pants
People take part in the 10th annual No Pants Subway Ride in New York City. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

When all these flash mobs and Improv Everywhere events started, they were seen as a hilarious declaration of nonconformity. Stripping down to your skivvies and riding the subway was supposed to be a giant slap in the face for drowsy commuters shuffling along on the same path they took every day. Look! There is absurdity in the world! There is wonder! There is change!

But what happens when the act of nonconformity becomes totally acceptable and habitual? What happens when the No Pants Subway Ride is not an act of surprise, but premeditated, well documented and normal? For participants of the 2011 No Pants Subway Ride, the answer seems to be: Who cares about questions of conformity when you're having this much fun?

More than 3,500 people dismissed their outerwear to travel the subway systems of New York and brave the frigid winter air for an underwear party in Union Square touting the message, "Oh, silly New Yorkers, pants are for boring kids."

no pants
(Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
no pants
The yearly prank, organized by Improv Everywhere, was started in 2002. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)
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Participants dance in a department store window. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
no pants
(Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

By Melissa Bell  | January 10, 2011; 9:41 AM ET
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Wouldn't no pants make it a flesh mob?

Posted by: yellojkt | January 10, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

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