Sometimes you have to take a stand. And today I decided that I am not an old, naked lady at the gym. Well, not all of the time.
Sometimes I am. But today I had to make a split decision.
I am pro-naked. I blame it on coming of age in a high school theatre dressing room but it really doesn’t matter where it started. I am pro-body acceptance. In my mind the more bodies that you see, real bodies, the less likely you are to hate on your own. I work hard at not picking my body apart and ordinarily when I am given the opportunity to show someone else what an average middle aged woman’s body looks like I take it.
I am not yet one of the gals well beyond their middle years that stand in the locker room blowing their hair dry au naturale, chatting up my lady friends while they strap their aged bazooms in to their sensible nude brassieres. But if I am honest with myself I know that I will be one of those ladies one day.
But not today. Today I showered in my bathing suit.
“Hi! Is Emily here?” said the young girl in the shower across from mine.
I had just turned on the shower, still in my suit, as is customary. I like to wash my hair and let the soap drip on my swimsuit, pull it off and rinse it out while I leave conditioner in my hair. It’s an efficient system and one I recommend. I digress.
Four words made me turn my back on my system. “Hi! Is Emily here?”
“Nope, she isn’t here today, she’s at art camp this week.” I shampooed while we talked. And before I knew it I was rinsing my hair and putting in the conditioner, still in my swim suit.
“Ok. Maybe we will see you this afternoon.”
Umm… you were about to see a whole lotta me, actually. I’d already given them an eye full of an awful lot of tattoos they had previously not seen. And I just wasn’t sure if I could in good conscience be “Emily’s Mom That We Saw Naked At The Gym” for the rest of the summer.
And now I am wrestling with that decision. Did I miss my opportunity to let my freak flag fly in the form of a nudie shower in the community gym locker room? Did I make the right choice?
“Mom, did you get totally naked in front of my friends?”
“Uh. Yeah. Because women shouldn’t be ashamed of their bodies.”
I didn’t want to have that conversation. Not yet.
So, I showered in my bathing suit and now I feel dirty.
I am doing my part to rid my corner of the universe of body shame, I am. I just can’t wrap my mind around chit chatting with my daughter’s friends while I am stark naked. Not yet.
But when I am 60 and they are 30? Game on. Her gal pals will be leaving tennis club and they will roll their eyes as I head towards the showers “There goes Em’s mom. Grandma never wears clothes.”
“And she sings when she wears head phones. She is ridiculous.”
For your viewing pleasure – these are some weird wall stickers in the yoga room at the gym. So, what do you see? Olives? I used to see olives.
But lately… all I see is boobs, everywhere I look. Especially in the locker room.
Phew! I saw boobs too (looking at the stickers) but I am still breast feeding so that makes sense. Right?! :)
You must visit a Turkish bath in Budapest one day! You can even experience swimming naked with others (no touching, no mud)! It would be like therapy for your soul! Trust me! :)
Love this idea!
Bathing in a swimsuit is like swimming in jeans. Cumbersome! Love the olives, or cosmic planets, or good photoshopping!
This picture, these words, just make me laugh and happy…I feel that there are so many conversations that I definitely want to have, but not yet. Just not yet. It’s all good!
You made me smile, yet again! Love it!
I actually find that to be quite an efficient way to wash a bathing suit, as sometimes, I actually do that at home in the shower! lol I see olives, and it makes me want a great big Bloody Mary with a bunch of them speared and ready to eat.
I was comfortable at my overpriced yuppie gym and then made the mistake of changing at the public pool. Ooops. Grandma just brought her (what looked like) 10 year old grandson through the women’s locker room. Too late to cover up — little dude just fully examined my boobs and crotch. I’m not sure who was scarred more, me or him. aaaaaacckk!
HA!! Scarred for life! ;)
Yup. Pretty darn classy moment, too … if I don’t say so myself. Oh, well.
I was thinking about this yesterday… There is a sign on my gym’s locker room doors that says “Infants only in opposite sex locker rooms.” Now that is a little extreme… as if my two year old should go change by herself if she comes with her dad? 10 seems old… but I am not sure where I draw the line..
Exactly. I wouldn’t send my 4 year old through the other side of the gym by himself and expect him to change by himself etc. Now, he is starting to be more ‘aware’ of those sorts of things so I opt to send him with Daddy if I can. Not everyone has not options, though. The boy I am referring to could have definitely gone through by himself.
I gotta admit, I want to do what you do- promote acceptance of the body in all its forms. But there is absolutely NO WAY to get into or out of a one piece bathing suit in a way that is cute. Just no way. No one feels comfortable pulling one on or peeling one off. I know I don’t. So I go into the little curtained off dressing rooms at my gym when it’s time for that.
That last picture is Epic and perfect.
Muchas gracias, love. It showcases my sick photoshop skills.