Columbia students love to get naked. Some enjoy a good nudefest in the privacy of their John Jay singles. Others lazily indulge in nudity during meals at Ferris, or while relaxing on Low steps. A few even manage to get naked during class-yes, even core classes. Haven't noticed this phenomenon? Want to get in on the action? Don't take off your clothes just yet. Instead, step into nearly any on-campus eatery and behold the cornucopia of flavor, taste, and utter nudity that greets you: a colorful case of Naked Juice.
Naked Juice seems to have become a staple of the Columbia diet. Available all over campus, students drink the smoothie-like beverages with, or sometimes instead of, breakfast, lunch, and dinner alike.
The company got its name from the stripped-down ingredients in its drinks. Each flavor holds a pound of 100 percent fruits and vegetables, with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Naked Juice started in California in 1983 as a one-man job. Every morning, the founder would mix juices in his home and then bring them to Santa Monica Beach to sell to affluent beach-goers.
Though the company has expanded greatly, its mission to provide the freshest juices remains. Unfortunately, the high prices have not gone anywhere either. Ranging in price from $2.50 to $3.50, Naked Juice is not an inexpensive indulgence.
"A leopard can't change its spots," said spokeswoman Rachel Kenney. "Naked Juice is definitely elitist."
The Naked Juice wave has not gone unnoticed by Columbia students. Everyone has something to say about Naked Juice, whether lavishing it with praise or rebuking its snobbery.
"I love naked!" exclaimed Emily Jordan, CC '09, whose favorite flavor is Power-C. Aside from its taste and healthiness, Jordan enjoys the image and sexual innuendo associated with the drink. "It's really great because you can say, 'I got Naked for breakfast.'"
Jordan embraces the elitism associated with Naked Juice. "If you carry a Naked Juice to class," she said, "you look really rich and everyone likes you." Jordan, who drinks the beverage almost every day, thinks it is pricey but worth it. "I only have 25 cents left on my Flex card because I bought so much Naked," she said. "Daddy would not approve."
Another habitual Naked Juice drinker, Eric Dwoskin, CC '08, drinks for his taste buds, not his image. Though he recognizes the steep price, he doesn't feel the juice is exclusive. "I don't drink it to project some sort of high-class reputation: I drink it for its taste," he said. "That's just the way a market economy works."
Interestingly, nearly everyone admitted they had, or would be willing to drink Naked Juice sans clothing. "I'd do it at a party," Eric said. "That would be a fun party theme."
As passionately as some love the drinks, others hate them. Joseph Daniels, CC '09, who finds that Naked Juice neither quenches his thirst nor complements his meals, is the quintessence of this end of the spectrum. "It is almost akin to drinking motor oil in its viscosity," he said. "I used it as lube once," he jokingly added.
But it is not the consistency alone that Daniels despises. "Naked Juice panders to our pre-conceived notions about who we have to be-they sell it to us for its image. It's all a little fucked up."
Though Daniels believes Naked Juice to be overpriced and elitist, it is interesting to note that he is an avid drinker of the expensive pomegranate juice, Pom. Daniels has even drunk Pom while naked.
Regardless, Naked Juice is a healthy alternative to many beverages. So, in whichever sense of the word you prefer, get Naked. It might just become a habit.