TSA Nudie Show at the Airport: Perfect Dieting Incentive

So let’s say that you haven’t exactly kept up with your New Year’s Resolution of doing 30 – 50 minutes a day on the treadmill, with a little bit of upper body weight lifting every other day. You didn’t think anyone would ever notice, right? Well the TSA will notice, so if you travel, you’ll now have a new reason to get your butt back on track…and as quickly as possible!

According to Yahoo News, “Sky Harbor International Airport [in Phoenix, AZ] became the country’s first to begin testing a controversial new federal screening system that takes X-rays of passenger’s bodies in an effort to find concealed explosives and other weapons.”

Here are four male and female images which were provided to Yahoo News by American Science and Engineering; they are supposed to show exactly what TSA airport screeners “see” with the new machines. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a larger version of this picture, but you can still see that the details are pretty graphic. Never mind that your “privates” are exposed – look at how out of shape these figures appear! ๐Ÿ˜‰

TSA Nudie Show at the Airport: Perfect Dieting Incentive
Photo courtesy of Yahoo News

You know why this screening system is really so controversial? It’s because it will show how lumpy many of us actually are. Do I think people are opposed to a quick means of being screened and avoiding “the pat-down” when they set off the x-ray machine? No. But I also don’t think anyone wants their most intimate curves to be perused by a total stranger, either.

Men might not care as much, but I bet most women shudder at the thought. Even those of us that are in good shape.

But it gets worse! As revealing as the “line drawings above were, they are evidently not nearly as detailed as the real thing will be; these are the actual x-ray pictures…

TSA Nudie Show at the Airport: Perfect Dieting Incentive
photo courtesy of CBS site


All I can say is that Susan Hallowell, the director of the Transportation Security Administration’s security laboratory, is a brave woman for allowing herself to be scanned and to have her pictures posted on the internet. I would not be so eager to share my curves (even in this diffused state) with total strangers! ๐Ÿ˜›

TSA Nudie Show at the Airport: Perfect Dieting Incentive
photo courtesy of LiveScience

This quote from the Yahoo News article says it all:

“The more obscure they make the image, the more obscure the contraband, weapons and explosives,” said Barry Steinhardt, director of the Technology and Liberty Project at the ACLU in Washington, D.C. “The graphic image is a strip-search. You shouldn’t have to be strip-searched to get on an airplane. Millions of Americans would regard them as pornographic.”

I guess we are supposed to feel better about it, because…

The security officer who works with the passenger going through the screening will never see the images the machine produces. The pictures will be viewed by another officer about 50 feet away who will not see the passenger, the TSA said.


Here’s a shot of some guy…

TSA Nudie Show at the Airport: Perfect Dieting Incentive
photo courtesy of Engadget

Never mind the fact that he’s packing a gun – the TSA now also knows that he wears his britches a size too tight.

Passengers who set off the metal detector because they forgot to remove their wedding ring or necklace, and who don’t want to be scanned will still have the likewise attractive option of being felt up patted down by the TSA. But honestly…is this really a choice?

Now don’t get me wrong here – I have always said that nothing would make me happier than walking through the same type X-Ray machines as were featured in Total Recall. But the bones and weapons shown by the scanners in the movie were closer to my idea of what this type of x-ray should reveal.

TSA Nudie Show at the Airport: Perfect Dieting Incentive
photo courtesy of OSU site

So my fellow weary travelers, I guess there is only one option for those of us that don’t want to be seen at our worst: get back on that treadmill!

Thanks go to Engadget for reminding me that I wanted to say something about the TSA’s new toy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

9 Comments on "TSA Nudie Show at the Airport: Perfect Dieting Incentive"

  1. Well, I think they could program the machine to block out the naughty bits or even not show the persons out of shape body… just show the objects on the display screen. But then I suppose people will try to argue that its not them on the screen. ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. What is even scarier to me is having the job of looking at the X rays! Can you imagine seeing misshapen bodies all day? That would make me diet for sure!

  3. I have yet to see any comments about the radiation dose you receive when this thing scans you. Yeah, it’s “low”, but how many times in our history have we assumed something like that is safe only to find out later we have a bunch of people with far higher cancer rates? Look at the history of x-rays and radioactive material to see the trail of bodies. I’m already uncomfortable enough getting my dental x-rays, no freaking way am I going to let airport security dose me at their will.

    Remember you saw it here: if these machines actually gain traction, 20 years from now we’ll be looking back talking about how idiotic we were for dosing all those people with the airport security x-ray machines in the 2000’s.

  4. I guess I have a different perspective on this.

    Frankly, I really don’t mind if they want to zap me and have a quickie view of me. I travel – a lot. I guess I’m at the point where I’ve lost all dignity and don’t really care what they do so long as I have a reasonable since of security when I get on the plane.

    What I’m REALLY hoping is that they will enact the Frequent Traveler Program here in the US. Under it, you go through a pretty extensive background check and then get to bypass most of the security at the airport. This I would pay for in a heartbeat and they can nudie scan me until their hearts are content. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. my eyes are bleeding…

  6. That’s one job I would never want…

  7. I think it’s highly unlikely that anyone would get a cheap thrill out of seeing me naked through a scanner, but if they do and it’ll speed up the security lines at airports, then they’re quite welcome to it!

  8. Hmmmm… based on everyones comments, I guess my idea of them offering the x-ray scan pictures as souvenirs of your trip through the airport wont be received too well. Oh well ๐Ÿ˜›

  9. Oh Alison – they would probably ask you for your number!

    Allen, that was classic. Yeah…I want a keychain made with mine, and maybe a coffee mug! ๐Ÿ˜‰ heh heh

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