The Naked Truth

I have a problem with public nudity. There, I said it. At my gym there are 4 “privacy stalls,” I guess you could call them, in the women’s locker room — curtained-off areas where you can change without exposing yourself to a room full of strangers. You better believe I make use of them.

But each time I do, I feel a little bit silly about it. I mean, what’s my problem? We’re all women. I don’t have anything they haven’t seen before. Plus, I have 2 small kids, so I’m used to having an audience at all times, even in the bathroom.

I certainly wasn’t raised to be ultra-modest. We lived in Europe for a while when I was little and public nudity was the norm there. This did cause a traumatic episode at swim lessons when I returned to the States, however. I went parading out to the pool with no top on. What?! I was 6, people!

Still, it naturally caused a huge commotion and I was humiliated and forced to wear a smelly, too-big one-piece from the lost & found and still blame my mother to this day. Hmmm, maybe we’re getting somewhere on this nudity issue…

Part of the problem is that I go to the same gym as some of my son’s classmates’ moms. I don’t want to be standing around in my birthday suit talking to a naked acquaintance about who’s bringing what to the PTA picnic. It’s just awkward.

Since my kids are 4 and 1, it’s not like they have any problem walking around naked. In fact, they prefer it. That’s all well and good at home. (Although it does lead to some interesting rules I never thought I’d have to spell out, such as, “You’re only allowed to touch your own pee-pee.”)

But what about when we’re in the locker room at swimming lessons? More than once I’ve had to clamp a towel around my 4-y.o. to keep him from doing naked gymnastics 2 ft. away from the seniors getting changed for water aerobics. Not cute.

As for those brazen women who have no qualms about strutting around buck-naked even when there are kids around? Fine, but don’t act surprised when a short person in a swim diaper gets up close and personal. He’s just curious. This is doubly true if you have any cartoon characters tattooed in unusual places.

I swear the baby was pointing and laughing at some old lady’s bosom the other day. What am I supposed to say? “Sorry, he’s never seen boobs that look like that before. Carry on!”

Let’s all do ourselves a favor and cover up, OK? Think of the children.

PIC O’ THE WEEK: I have tons, but even I know better than to put naked pictures of my kids online. Your loss, Internet!!


Angie Mizzell said…

I'm okay with doing a quick change in a gym locker room but I always consider the audience first. This summer I started taking D to the private family changing area at the water park for the same reasons you described in this post.

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said…

Oh boy. I can't believe some of the unabashed nakedness I've been forced to witness in the women's locker room at my local Y! It is SO creepy. I had to change in there a lot when I was taking a pregnancy swim class, and every time I did, I had flashbacks to junior high gym. I'd change as quickly as possible and avoid eye contact with everybody around me! Why do so many women not do this?!? It's bizarre.

Loukia said…

I'm not a huge fan of public nudity, either. I never take showers at the gym. I do undress publicly, though, but I'm always in my bra and panties, so it's okay. I am not one of those girls who can stand there blow-drying her hair completely naked in the change room! No thanks!

Anonymous said…

This reminds me of a particular occasion when I was in the 6th grade.

For one week when I was in the 6th grade my class went to a near-by high school to take swim lessons. The lessons were taught by the high school's swim coach, with the assistance of two girls from the girls swim team.

After each days swim lesson we would go back to the locker rooms and rinse off in the showers before changing back into our regular clothes. A few of the girls in my class showered nude, but most of us just chose to rinse off in our swimsuits.

The few girls from my class that did shower nude hadn't reached puberty yet, so their bodies didn't even register with the rest of us. The two high school girls also showered in the nude, and since they were several years into puberty, things like boobs and pubic hair DID catch our attention. But that was nothing compared to shock of the fifth and final swim lesson.

We had been bugging our own 6th grade teacher to go swimming with us the whole week, but she kept saying no. But on the final day she agreed to get in the pool with us.

After the lesson that day we all headed back to the locker rooms. Much to our shock as soon as we got into the girls locker room our teacher stripped off her swimsuit and proceeded to shower in the nude. Then she stood there showering and asking us what we learned in the lessons and if we felt we were better swimmers from taking the lessons. It seemed surreal with our teacher standing there carrying on a conversation with us while she was completely naked.


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