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.