Bronstein chuckled. "Well, social networking gurus have diagnosed an increasing shift toward transparency," he quipped, "so perhaps the natural is following the virtual?"
The Cow sighed. "Perhaps. Like Ecstasy, which could only have been the drug of the wired yoof, there's a move to greater intimacy, sharing, bonding... transparency and openness. Maybe. But..."
"Even David Cameron is portrayed in the cartoons as a jellyfish, totally transparent and floating on the tide of public opinion..." interjected Bronstein.
"That's as maybe!" snapped the Cow. "But I don't like looking through my body. I prefer a verneer of mystique! There is nothing sexy about that level of visibility!"
"You're not alone!" Bronstein smirked. "Esther Perel, who wrote 'Mating in Captivity', argues that transparency encourages intimacy, but romance - and desire - require mystique!"
"Sure," agreed the Cow, "but it's more than that. There's just something fundamentally unattractive about large acres of wobbly translucent flesh. People of colour don't have that problem - yet, they're native to regions that have sunshine so that advantage is redundant on their home turf!"
"You could always venture down to Liverpool for some brightening up?" suggested Bronstein.
The Cow grimaced. "I think luminous orange is possibly even worse than mottled blue," she said, hesitantly. "But it does explain the success of migration, and inter-marriage. If you had the choice between ashen grey or Caribbean brown, it's easy to see how a sense of aaesthetics would win over any xenophobic taboos!"
"Not to mention the accent!" added Bronstein.
"True!" agreed the Cow. "But it also goes a long way to explain falling fertility rates in Europe - immmigrants aside. I suspect it has little to do with women waiting till middle age to breed, or with rising rates of alcohol consumption amongst young women - and everything to do with competition!"
"Never mind," Bronstein sympathised. "One of these days it will be spring, and then you can lay your African hide out in the sun again..."
"That wasn't what I meant when I spoke of getting laid," the Cow muttered darkly, "but I suppose it's a start!"