Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Nude Year.

I suppose since January's almost over I could write a little something about the new year and resolutions. And I suppose since I'm a 20-something female with a pulse that my resolution would have something to do with working out, eating healthy, and the like.

Well. It does. But it's also about NUDITY. Yes.

This past October, I ran the Chicago marathon. Some people (actually, I think most people) run marathons and find themselves addicted to running, racing, marathons. I, for whatever reason, was not one of these people. I stopped at the finish line and haven't run a step since. But alas, food is a hobby of mine and this city is chock-full of it, and not the low-fat version. So, in November, I joined a gym.

It was at the gym, not in the spin studio, but in the locker room that I learned an important lesson about social mores, and my resolution was born.

Equinox, king of gyms! My first gym, ever. Never spent a whole lot of time in a gym before - as a runner I never really needed to, and could never stomach the thought of paying to work out. It seemed elitist and wrong. Plus, I'm cheap.

But lo and behold, and who would have thought, I love the gym. From the glittery front desk full of smiley people to the chilled eucalyptus towels next to rows upon rows of sparkling equipment, it's like a trip to the spa. The sweaty, smelly and very naked spa.

For it's in a gym locker room, and no-where else in the modern American social sphere, that it's okay, nay, encouraged! to be naked in public.

I'm not talking about wall-facing, changing discreetly, get-out-of-the-locker-room-as-soon-as-possible nudity. I'm referring to casual, strolling around absentmindedly, holding in-depth conversations with equally naked friends, all-out nudity.

It's here in the locker room, at the very center of all self-consciousness at the temple of the insecure, that nudity reigns. Somehow, I had absolutely no idea that this was the case. Also, it's some sort of unwritten law. I was expected to know, despite the fact that it wasn't pointed out to me in my tour - "and here is where people are naked!" - and nudity is a punishable offense elsewhere in public. And yet there it is.

I'm embarrassed to admit that it makes me uncomfortable. Apparently I'm more prude than I thought - damn you, America, and your stodgy, stuffy ways! I cower in the corner as I change into my workout gear at lightening speed, like a frightened child who's never seen other naked humans en masse before. Is that who I am?

Apparently so. And as weird as it still seems to me, I envy their unabashed freedom.

So, resolutions. On top of the fact that Sir and I are revamping our diets, doing an (almost) entirely alcohol-free January, and hitting the gym like crazy in an effort to lose my NYC fifteen, I resolve to go naked in 2011.

I do mean that metaphorically - strip down to my core, be myself first, foremost and always, etcetera, blah blah blah. I also mean it literally. It is my goal that at the end of 2011, I am able to bare it all in the locker room without batting an eyelash. I don't know how I went twenty-five years without knowing that there was a place in this country where public nudity was accepted, but now that I know, I will not be left behind.


Health, wealth and nudity in the new year, and all awkwardness be damned.


  1. Although - when I encounter naked women in the locker room they are usually old, slightly saggy women who then make me feel awesome about myself - when I choose not to consider the fact that I am roughly 60 years younger than them and look only slightly better.

  2. Hahahaha sadly, the people in question are young and in phenomenal shape, with nary a sag to be seen.

    But please feel free to continue to choose not to consider that fact. Also, let's start a gym class where you make up choreographed routines to things. Lion King music, for example.

  3. It is so incredibly liberating when you get to the point that you can comfortably walk around the locker room without a stitch on!

    My sister and I shared a bathroom as kids and teens that had a completely clear shower door. I was even shy about my sister being in the bathroom with me while I showered, although it never bothered her for me to be in there while she showered.

    Shortly before my freshman year of high school my sister told me that it was a rule that everyone shower after gym class in high school. I totally freaked out when I heard that.
    My sister told me not to worry, she said that it's not as bad as it sounds and that I would get used to it.

    Of course, I didn't believe her when she said it. I was so nervous leading up to the first day of my freshman year over the thought of having to shower in front of other girls.

    I was convinced that I would never get used to showering in front of others, no-way-no-how.

    Much to my shock, after the first few days of gym class it really was becoming easier and easier to do without being nervous. After a couple of weeks I lost all of my shyness in locker room situations.

    My lack of shyness in locker rooms comes in handy as an adult too. The women's locker room at my gym has two showers that have stalls and curtains, and the other ten showers are all out in the open like at school with no stalls, dividers or curtains of any kind.
    If you want to use one of the shower stalls you sometimes have to wait in line. But you never have to wait to use the open showers. And there's no way that I would be able to wait in line to shower after my workouts and still make it to work on time.

    It's no like anyone is staring at anyone else in the locker room, anyway. No one has anything that the others don't have themselves.

    Good luck on your intended goal! It will be a lot easier than you think!


  4. Thanks Jessica! I'm already pretty much there. Naked city at the gym, nowadays! Good stuff.

  5. Who woulda thought an innocent google search on "make chilled eucalyptus towel" would have such implications... Was just looking for a recipe! I am an Equinox member too but in SoCal. Nakedness in the men's locker room is not quite as liberating I don't think. You women enjoy yourselves! In the meantime I will reserve my nakedness for the steam room...