Thursday, March 26, 2009

In the Lockeroom

Wow! To say I was overwhelmed by your comments yesterday was an understatement. Thank you to everyone who weighed in on the discussion.

Now on to today's discussion: The lockeroom.

I've never been a woman who's been extremely comfortable with changing or being in various stages of undress in front of other women.

In fact, I remember the first day of 7th day track when I realized I'd be changing in front of everyone and I freaked out momentarily.

I had that feeling recently when I was prepping for a shower at the on-post gym.

Fast forward from 7th grade to me as an almost 26-year-old and I'm still not comfortable with the concept.

Granted I do strip down (towel strategically placed)and I waste no time in getting dressed.

Today I had the pleasure of being in the lockeroom with a whole passel of Italian women.

Let me just say...if you had Americans and Italians in a lockeroom and nobody talked, you'd still be able to tell who was who. Simply with who is more comfortable being naked.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are plenty of American women who are completely comfortable with changing in front of others or being naked in front of others, I'm just not one of them and neither are most of the American women who use the gym with me.

Today I got the show of a lifetime. I've never seen so many boobs in one room in my life. Women naked on the scale, putting on their make-up. Topless drying their hair and chatting with their friends.

I was pretty much in awe because I'm not sure I could ever do that. I'm just too body conscious. In fact, on my way home with Sean this afternoon I told him I felt like the fat girl of the lockeroom. It seems like everybody's legs are this big around. () <------ Seriously that's the size.

I'm a petite girl, but my bone structure is not slim. As hard as I try I don't think it ever will be, that's just my body...but I do wish I could become more comfortable in my own skin.

So today's question...are you that comfortable? Are you more like the bold Europeans or the timid Americans?

38 comments:

J.L.S. said...

Definitely a timid American. It even took me a while to get comfortable getting undressed around my husband. I'm fine with him now.... still too uncomfortable around other females.

Via said...

American. All the way. I completely agree. I'm not too self conscious about being in my bar and/or underwear around other women, but I'm not about to go streaking in their presence. Nope, not me, never.

jlc said...

YES YES YES!!! Europeans are so much more comfortable in their skin. Sometimes I'm envious of this, and then again sometimes I'm embarrassed FOR them!

Like for instance in France, the fitting rooms don't even have curtains. And some women refuse to even GO to the fitting room and try things on in the middle of the store!

I dunno.... should I feel like I'm a prude American when this happens?

The Wife said...

Im sorry, I have to laugh since it's kind of like a right of passage at that gym. I remember the first (and only time, not much of a gym girl) I went in to that locker room and good golly, I got a eye full too. There was one italian chick walking around in just a bra....and it did cover much!

But yea, I am with you there, I am a bit more modest than your typical European!

Honey said...

american definitely. that happens a lot here in germany too. i want to say: there is really no need for you to prance around without clothes on in a locker room. go home and prance. otherwise, wear some underwear at least, the rest of us girls do not want to see your ta-tas.

1 Hot Dish said...

I am definitely a timid and shy American. I am sooo uncomfortable undressing in front of people.

Even here in the good ole' Midwest, I am often shocked at what some women wear (or don't wear) in the locker room.

Jessie said...

American!! And try having to live with those same girls in basic training.. Lets just say I tried waiting until everyone was getting in bed before I hopped into the shower. There is no shame in being modest!

Casey said...

The longer you live here, the more free you will get. The good news is, most Europeans you will see at the spa are old and look way gross naked :) Plus, they don't even give you a second glance. I have gotten much more comfortable naked spa-ing then I ever thought I would.

My favorite is the clear shower doors at our gym. What's the point?!?!

Sarah said...

I agree with everyone else! I won't walk around in my birthday suit in a locker room. Now I will change facing a wall of lockers or something so the few seconds that something might be visible it's only a bunch of lockers getting a show. I don't think your goods should be on display for all to see like that. Who's to say I'm right and they're wrong tho.

And don't worry, I will return to blogging. I'm just not feeling really bloggy lately and I'm tired of staring at the blank text box hoping something will come to me.

Have a good weekend! :)

Mrs. Stilettos said...

I just don't understand it!!! WHYYYY do they need to walk around naked?!? Why do they need to BEND OVER the counter NAKED while they put on their makeup for 20 minutes and chat?! WHYYY do they need to make the rest of us suffer?!?

kd said...

Let's just say there were multiple talks with me as a child about having to put my clothes on. "kd is running around naked in the sprinklers again" was often overheard.

I'm not sure what my mom did while raising me, but I am VERY comfortable naked.

We also vacationed at a nude resort. I think it's just natural, I guess!

Okay, I will probably have scared off a bunch of people with this comment!

Megan said...

One time I was at Filene's Basement and they were redoing their dressing rooms so they sectioned off one part of the store, hung a curtain and had everyone change in the same area. At first I freaked and almost walked out, but then, I just decided to do it. It was nice because women would comment on how nice something looked on someone else and there was no waiting for a fitting room. I faced my fear..so i'm going with European!! hah

Mary Teresa said...

Hmmm. I'm probably a happy medium. I was on a swim team in high school. Once you've jumped up and down on a diving board in a suit that is 2 sizes to small, nothing phases you. You get used to stripping, talking, whatever, it's just easier than being all nervous and trying to hide your pieces parts. I am not skinny...let's say athletic. It's my body to love or hate and life goes on no matter what others think. That being said, if it makes others uncomfortable, I'm not going to wander around naked.

Sarah said...

I'm pretty comfortable with it if other people are. i grew up being naked around other girls in dressing rooms and then in college living with 3 other dancers it wsa always about flashing boobs and stuff - crazy kids-
Prob if they were all doing it i would too but wouldn't wanna be the only one. remember you judge yourself a lot harder than everyone else does. have you ever had one of those tall beautiful thin friends that clothes fit on perfectly , etc... and they STILL point out their flaws? Everyone has the same issue... and if their so comfy with it.. chances are they won't be lookin at you cause its just another naked girl. Maybe you should challenge yourself to do something crazy like be topless for a second in the locker room while putting on your shirt and se that no one cares, and they arent judging you. And hey maybe you'll feel liberated!? lol good luck with all the nakedness in Italy!

Mrs. Not-so-Domesticated said...

I'm not the changing in public type of person either. And naked people in the locker room freak me out too...

Megan said...

I was a swimmer for a long time and spent a lot of my time changing in the locker room with other women. I was always uncomfortable but slowly just got used to it. I haven't been swimming in a little over 3 years now so when I walked into our on post gym and saw 6 German women completely naked, just talking and getting dressed it definitely made me uncomfortable. I guess it's just the European culture.

Dana said...

I've showered in the Post gym before during the Italian-woman-workout wave period, and while seeing them naked doesn't faze me, I wouldn't go more bare than a bra and underwear myself. It's not that I'm not comfortable with the way I look, I just reserve the right to see the "cash 'n prizes" for my husband : )

d.a.r. said...

Yep, as a swimmer I was totally comfortable being naked in the lockerroom. Or, so I thought before I got to college. We had several Europeans on our team, and holy mother....we're talking full on shaving of intimate areas in our communal showers. Lotioning things in front of everyone. etc. etc. etc.

It was unreal!

SassyEngineer said...

I'm totally a timid American! I am super modest and not okay with being nude around other people. Home alone is one thing - a lockeroom is a different story.

Tania said...

Timid American here! I hated it when I was little and my mom made us take a full shower after our swim lessons. No shower curtains! I did the shower at the gym thing for a couple years and yes that towel was always up while I was changing. For some reason I don't have as big of a problem showing my top half as my bottom half :P

And I hear ya on the body confidence. I grew up with a whole bunch of skinny minnies and I'm curvy!

Julie said...

I am with you and I can completely relate to being in the 7th grade. I was mortified to think that I would have to take a shower with other girls much less undress in front of them. Let's just say I am proud to be an American in more ways than one!

Kebi Cedawna said...

I'm def a timid American!
It's so funny that you posted this. Tues when I went to the gym for that BOSU class I was in the locker room getting my stuff and talking to an older (prob in her 60s) woman about the cycling class. Then she just started stripping down and getting her swim suit on. While still talking to me. Complete strangers. I was embarrassed and immediately looked away, I probably even stuttered.
I usually just shower when I get back to my place since it's only 2 minutes away. I'm just now somewhat comfortable with Matt seeing me naked and we've been together 6 years! I'd be so overwhelmed with strangers seeing me naked

Kristen said...

I don't mind changing in front of girls... 11 years of ballet, changing in a communal changing room will do that, but I definitely don't walk around naked in front of strangers.

lolaberly said...

I'm very much American and very much in awe of how comfortable MEN seem to be naked around each other. Maybe it's the Army and just how they have to deal with it/get over it?

The most bold thing I've done recently was going topless on a nude beach, although I stuck out like a sore thumb because I had horrible tan lines!! haha.

Hannah Noel said...

Hah. yeah. I'm definitely American. Irish-American. Irish-German-American. Nooo Italian in my blood whatsoever.

The only time I'm comfortable showing skin is if I've had too much to drink, and that's only happened once (twice).

It's not that I'm really self-conscious (yes, sometimes I am), but I KNOW we, as women, compare ourselves to others all the time. I compare myself, and others would compare to me. I'd just rather assume I'm way hotter than the other girls without having to be proven wrong by taking our clothes off ;)

Crystal Rae said...

I am so that person who covers up my body. It's weird when I see other women just "hanging out". LOL

Miss Adventure said...

I'm not sure if it has to do with being an American or maybe just being extremely self-conscious, but I do NOT like to bare all in front of anyone. Bra and undies are normally okay unless its someone closer to my age with a nice body. Then I feel like a fatty. Ah well, that is only my fault and I'm trying to do something about it! Either way, way to go for going to the gym! You've motivated me to get up off the chair and put in my work out DVD thanks!

Meg said...

I use to be that way but i think after having a baby I lost it. I don't really care who sees me naked. No one does so I haven't put this theory to test but i think I would have no problem with it.

Miss Adventure said...

Oh and by the way, the flooding we're having here is luckily not in my area. I feel so bad for those who are living there though! I'm really touched that you thought of me. =]
And that is too funny about the hella usage! I guess its more widespread then I thought!

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Haha, Asian women are the same as European! I'm American living in Hong Kong and at my gym, they just wander around doing whatever they want for the longest time - all while naked! I am way too prude for that :)

Jon and Steph said...

Ha, absolutely not! I am so not comfortable with that at all! I am so self conscious about my body and don't want anyone to see it!! ;)

And I seriously doubt you're the fat girl of the locker room!

kd said...

Ok, I officially feel like I just flew my freak flag in your blog comments!

Brittney said...

Oh my... I get grossed out by it to be honest. Especially when older women do it. One woman the other day was drying her hair topless in a thong. Ew. I tend to change very privately, and if I have to do it infront of other women, I do it quickly.

Brittne said...

Put it to you this way, I am SO afraid of being naked around other women that after I finish working out at the base gym I drive the 20 minutes to go home and shower there!!

- Sarah :-) said...

I'm DEF an American. Have been since birth. My best friends growing up were not at all worried about being seen, though, and we had a running joke that they'd never seen my butt, or ANYTHING, really. It always has been an issue for me. My husband had to be patient when we got married - I don't even walk around our house naked! I'm better now then I used to be, but I'm not sure I'd ever fit in in Europe. ha ha... I used to take my clothes with me into the bathroom and undress, shower, redress before the door ever opened again. I sitll find myself reverting back to that sometimes. Too funny!!

Full of Heart said...

I'm a timid American too... Even if my legs ARE () this big around too.
You should see the women in the locker room at the pool I swim at. I think they all must think I'm a total prude compared to them!

BecauseIJustDid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lala said...

i'd say i'm a happy medium. in middle school we took a family vacation to the grand canyon, and i don't remember where we were but i guess it was a pool. when we went to the locker room there was an old lady just sitting on the bench, butt naked, looking bored. and that weirded me out a little bit.

but in college i had no problem walking around in my bra and underwear in the morning while getting; my roommates were very private though, so i felt kind of weird.

then for christmas this last year on our cruise we visited a nude beach on st. maarten and my step sister in law nearly had a heart attack when she saw the naked men and women. i thought it was awesome, and if my mom and step dad hadn't been there, i probably would have stayed and stripped. i mean, no one paid any attention to you and NO TAN LINES. helloooo the Europeans have the right idea! :]]