One place I will NOT take my new camera....

...is the ladies locker room at my gym.

Shudder.

Maybe I'm just a prude, or royally insecure about my naked body, but seriously? Since when is it socially acceptable to strip down naked and gyrate your flesh in front of total strangers? Yes, I said gyrate. Bear with me.

Ever since I succumbed to the cold weather and joined the gym a few months ago, I chant a mantra in my mind: "Soon, it will be warm enough to run outside and I won't have to deal with this madhouse. Someday, when the ice melts, the road will be my friend and I can tell the stupid treadmill to suck it. I hate paying money to run indoors. And meat heads flexing their muscles in the mirror aren't even entertaining anymore." So I'm already not a huge fan of 'clubs' or 'gyms' or whatever the hell you want to call them but when people start exposing their nude hoo-has to me, I basically lose my mind.

Tonight, I was minding my own business, changing clothes the way I thought most people do it: discretely and quickly. As a former athlete I learned the very sneaky regular-bra-to-sports-bra maneuver to avoid any nipple exposure: you just put the sports bra on over the regular bra, then unhook the regular one and pull it out from under the sports bra. It's easy, and everyone should do it. But instead, this chick whipped out her ta-tas so quickly that I didn't have time to look away. A flash of light reflected from her saggy areolas...and....wait a minute.....was that.....it couldn't be.....freaking nipple rings! Ah, my eyes! My eyes!

And if that weren't enough, I spun around to face the other direction thereby avoiding nipple ring lady and instead I found myself face-to-face with a new gem: large, naked woman who is applying lotion vigorously. One foot up on the bench, bent over, with her offensive bum pointed directly at my face. I think it was smiling at me, you guys. Seriously.

It's just one of those things: do you blatantly look away, possibly staring at the ground to avoid all views of naked flesh? Or do you play it cool and if you accidentally find your eyes drifting towards an unknown flap of skin, act like you are totally unphased?

I completely respect this extreme act of self-confidence, really I do. I mean, obviously you have to feel pretty good about yourself to walk around butt naked in front of strangers. In fact, I think some of the naked ladies strut around, more so than walk, just to prove a point. Some of them dry their hair in the nude, talk on their cell phones nude, and apply makeup....in the nude. It's like they are trying to maximize their time sans clothing before they leave the confines of the locker room and enter the real world, where all the rules change. It's not okay to be naked in a public space...unless there is a little plaque on the door that says 'locker room', apparently.

There are little kids running around in this same locker room, probably staring as much as I do, and I think I saw a stray boob pop one of the little children in the face one day. It might have happened, I don't know----because I get so disoriented when I'm in the locker room. SO MUCH NAKEDNESS! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Does anyone else find this horrible and stressful and down right awkward? Or maybe I'm just overly inhibited or something, I don't know. I'm just not used to such nudity or perhaps I haven't been in enough locker rooms in my life.

Ick, now I'm thinking about nipple rings and unidentifyied womanly pieces again.

22 comments:

  1. I don't know if I've de-lurked yet, but I've been following your blog for a while and I had to comment on this hilarious post!

    I am totally on the same page with you about the locker room nakedness. Not pleasant and certainly not something I look forward to during my time at the gym! I have started trying to avoid the locker room altogether so I don't have to see exposed lady parts!

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  2. Oh, I am SO with you there sister! Seriously, it skeeves me out. What is WRONG with people?!?!

    And, nipple rings?!?!?!?! SERIOUSLY? EW! Gah!

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  3. Julia you make me laugh everytime I read your blog and this is NO exception and TOTALLY and UTTERYLY TRUE!

    I'm not gonna lie, I think that I avoid locker rooms on a sub-conscious level because the thought of waking up early to go to the gym scares me because I would have to shower there as well. That's NOT gonna happen every morning.

    You are right on with your observations. I get that it's a "locker room" and people should be able to strip down if they want, but puh-lease.... can't they be more respectful to the people nearby who aren't comfortable with it? Haha... okay I think my comment is way too long.

    Julie

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  4. That is TOTALLY the reason why, unless I was alone in the change room, I would just go in the big stall and change my clothes quick. Nobody needs to look at my business and I don't need theirs.

    Shudder.

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  5. ummm,yes. I used to work in a health club and am VERY familiar with the locker room nudity. My favorite move was the lady blow drying her hair in front of the mirror with a towel around her waist. Seriously, pull the towel all the way up, woman!!

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  6. OK, I'll go out on a limb and say you might be a smidge prudish :) But while nudity in general doesn't bother me, I still don't like naked bits flapping in my direction. I just try not to look, and be as discrete as possible until I can leave!

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  7. Ick. I totally got too good of a visual. Thanks a lot. By the way, the sports bra move was, and in my mind still is, the only way to do it!

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  8. This might be the first time I laughed out loud all week!!! Thank you!!!

    And yes, locker rooms are icky. I had a horrible horrible experience once. I was blow drying my hair and I had my head upside down. I flipped it up and when I looked in the mirror, in the reflection I saw....oh my gosh...such painful memories...I saw a girl bending over. Like totally bending over...drying her feet or something. And her back was to me so I saw what I could only imagine to be the feature on a centerfold in a dirty magazine.

    My eyes! My eyes!

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  9. LOL! I totally agree with you! It's so nasty. They're usually the same ones that choose a locker right next to mine when all the other lockers all over the locker room are open. I don't need to see old lady nips or hips swingin around in my business or get a glimpse of some chick who hasn't groomed in years. Nasty!

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  10. Totally laughing out loud about this. Mark had a similar experience at the Korean gym he joined. In addition to the gym, there's a sauna and he said that the men literally strut around and plop down totally naked. He said it was awkward and there's no way. He's just going to run, lift, and jet it out of there. Can you imagine the stares he'd get with his huge pasty white body strutting around the sauna?!??!

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  11. I totally hear you...how do people become so "free"?? I am a personal trainer and I avoid the locker room whenever possible...and I feel that the regular bra to sports bra transition should be taught in middle school....

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  12. Yeah, that's definitely awkward. Not wanting to see a bunch of strange women naked doesn't make you inhibited... that's why clothes were invented in the first place! :)

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  13. That skeeves me out about the gym, too. I change in the little curtain areas and then stuff my things into a locker.

    Also, don't they get cold?

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  14. You make me laugh and laugh. I could have written this post. (and think I actually might have written one similar back in the day...)

    I will NEVER understand why so many people are so blatant about their nakedness in the locker room. You're right, it's like they're TRYING to show off and make other people uncomfortable. Almost challenging people, like yeah, you want to look? Have at it.

    And it's rarely the people with decent bodies who do it - you'd think those would be the people who'd want to show off more! But no, they (we) have some modesty and discretion.

    It's always the fat, hairy, nasty bodies that are on display. And report after report from my husband tells me that it's the same in the men's locker room.

    ::SHUDDER::

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  15. P.S. I just read Andrea's comment and laughed out loud again. YIKES!!!

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  16. I don't really have a problem with it. I think it's great there's somewhere women can feel so "free". Then again, I've never been in a situation where it was crowded or there was flaunting going on...
    Andrea, I sympathize. That WOULD be traumatic!
    Other than that, try just going with it a little bit. Nakedness isn't shameful.

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  17. J, terrible!! i actually had an experience about a month ago at my gym. I walked into the locker room to grab my coat out of a locker. as i turn to corner, there is a woman (quite robust) just hanging out on a bench COMPLETELY nude. literally, she's just sitting there and as i walk in, smiling at me. of course, she is blocking my locker and i did NOT want to reach over her naked body so instead i went into the bathroom stalls. i did not need to go so i just stood there hoping she would put some clothes on! after about 2-3 minutes, i braved it and luckily she now had a bra and pants on. i grabbed my coat and RAN out of there!!! sick!!

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  18. oh.

    my.

    go.

    this is not acceptable.

    ughhh

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  19. You mean it isn't normal to blow dry your hair and do jumping jacks naked in the locker room??? I thought that was totally appropriate behavior.

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  20. Hiya...i've also joined a gym for the first time after a long, long time as I didn't really like the smell of men inside a gym...ewww.

    Plus, living in New Zealand makes you feel guilty about joining the gym when the whole country is an outdoors paradise! You can run any time, any day, any season. We rarely get snow at sea level so we can still do outdoorsy stuff (like running!) even in the winner.

    Anyhoo, the point of this is yes, i finally joined a gym but it's a gym exclusively for women and they gym is quite strict about nudity in the changing room which is good lol

    I don't envy your poor eyes! Nipple rings, saggy boobs, what else? :P

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  21. I thought I was a prude...I am so glad you posted about this. It is sooooooooooo gross. I usually change in the bathroom, to avoid people looking at me. I just do not understand why people who should not be strutting their stuff feel comfortable doing so. The same thing happens in those group dressing rooms...not quite as nasty, though. I am with you, completely.

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  22. I love this post and I want to print it and hang it on the bulletin board at my gym!

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