Flashback Monday: The Naked Truth

by Abby on January 16, 2012

Both kids have off from school today, giving us a whole extra day of togetherness. Oh, joy. (Yes, that was sarcasm. We’ve been cooped up inside all weekend while Dad watches football and the boys tackle each other because the other took the toy they had first. Insert screeching and hair-pulling here.) To pass the time, I will be taking them to the gym with me, even though the gym in January is only slightly preferable to refereeing sibling squabbles. With the influx of New Year’s Resolution gym-goers, it seemed like a good time to reprint this post from my archives. Enjoy!

The Naked Truth

"Modern Family" - Jay & Cam's "moon landing"I have a problem with public nudity. There, I said it. At my gym there are 4 “privacy stalls,” I guess you could call them, in the women’s locker room — curtained-off areas where you can change without exposing yourself to a room full of strangers. You better believe I make use of them.

But each time I do, I feel a little bit silly about it. I mean, what’s my problem? We’re all women. I don’t have anything they haven’t seen before. Plus, I have 2 small kids, so I’m used to having an audience at all times, even in the bathroom.

I certainly wasn’t raised to be ultra-modest. We lived in Europe for a while when I was little and public nudity was the norm there. This did cause a traumatic episode at swim lessons when I returned to the States, however. I went parading out to the pool with no top on. What?! I was 6, people!

Still, it naturally caused a huge commotion and I was humiliated and forced to wear a smelly, too-big one-piece from the lost & found and still blame my mother to this day. Hmmm, maybe we’re getting somewhere on this nudity issue…

Part of the problem is that I go to the same gym as some of my son’s classmates’ moms. I don’t want to be standing around in my birthday suit talking to a naked acquaintance about who’s bringing what to the PTA picnic. It’s just awkward.

Since my kids are 4 and 1, it’s not like they have any problem walking around naked. In fact, they prefer it. That’s all well and good at home. (Although it does lead to some interesting rules I never thought I’d have to spell out, such as, “You’re only allowed to touch your own pee-pee.”)

But what about when we’re in the locker room at swimming lessons? More than once I’ve had to clamp a towel around my 4-y.o. to keep him from doing naked gymnastics 2 ft. away from the seniors getting changed for water aerobics. Not cute.

As for those brazen women who have no qualms about strutting around buck-naked even when there are kids around? Fine, but don’t act surprised when a short person in a swim diaper gets up close and personal. He’s just curious. This is doubly true if you have any cartoon characters tattooed in unusual places.

I swear the baby was pointing and laughing at some old lady’s bosom the other day. What am I supposed to say? “Sorry, he’s never seen boobs that look like that before. Carry on!”

Let’s all do ourselves a favor and cover up, OK? Think of the children.

PLUG O’ THE DAY: Speaking of kids and funny and/or embarrassing incidents, did you hear I wrote an ebook? It’s short, sweet, and sometimes silly, just like the people you love best. Here’s an excerpt: “You might be a new mom if… you consider a trip to the dentist your special alone time.” Available in PDF and e-reader formats.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou Mello January 16, 2012 at 6:53 am

Love the pic from the Modern Family, that was hilarious.

Guys don’t normally worry about walking around in the locker room or shower although the norm is to wrap a towel around the waist. But, rules are loose and no big deal. I imagine there are just as many women that prefer to be toweled as opposed to walking around in their birthday suit and agree that with kids in the locker room, the cover up is the way to go.


N Trick Steinbach January 16, 2012 at 10:58 am

I live in Europe and I love the freedom. My little guy is 6 months old and if I tried to change him, change me, and ensure that both of us survive AND tried to keep my good bits hidden….shudder…wouldn’t happen. 🙂

But do what is good for you! It makes me uncomfortable when other women are uncomfortable. 🙂


Malia January 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Ha! “This is doubly true if you have any cartoon characters tattooed in unusual places.” I think tattoos are put in place to invite people’s gazes, so I’m sure said tattoo owners don’t have a problem with the attention. 🙂 I’m with you–I try and change in the curtained stalls, and get in and out as quickly as I can. Mostly because the locker-room views give me an up-close image of my backside’s future in 50 years, and it’s depressing.


jetts31 January 18, 2012 at 11:00 am

All I always thought the women’s locker room was like a cheesy 80’s movie locker room. Lots of steam, laughing, lingerie and nudity. I could be wrong though 😉 That being said, I’m w/your boys. I would totally be giggling.


Storm March 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm

That’s way more clever than I was extpneicg. Thanks!


Lisa January 26, 2012 at 4:44 am

Two years ago, my daughters sixth grade class had a field-trip to a nearby YMCA. A note had been sent home ahead of time asking that if any of the mothers were available to do so, that they too go on the trip to the Y so as to help aid the teacher making sure that all of the children got on and off of the bus safely, and that no one would drown or anything. I agreed to be one of the supervising mothers on the trip.

We were told to swim as well if we wanted to.

There were four mothers in total including myself that went on the trip.

The female locker room had nothing but “shower-trees” that were completely out in the open, no stalls, curtains or dividers.

I was quite surprised when we went back into the locker room after the swim to discover that my daughters teacher and all three of the other mothers were stripping down completely nude to shower. I thought to myself that if I didn’t to shower in the nude that I would look like the strange one to them, so I reluctantly got naked myself.

The other surprising thing to me was that probably half of the girls in the class also chose to shower in the nude. When I was in junior high we hated mandatory group showers in gym class, and here were all of these 11 year old girls choosing to shower in the nude. I guess times have changed?


Kaitlyn November 22, 2020 at 11:40 pm

Wow, this thread brings back memories, some good some bad.

My middle school required all students to shower after P.E in grades six through eight. My eighth grade class was in 1994/1995 and it was the last year that our school system required students to shower in P.E. There were threats of lawsuits going on at the time so they stopped forcing kids to shower after that. That was the bad memories.

My freshman year of high school they stopped requiring students to shower in P.E
As much as I hated showering in middle school P.E, ironically I joined the girls swim team in the tenth grade. If you were on the swim team you were expected to shower nude before entering the pool, and from what I heard they were still allowed to enforce the showers in that case because it had to do with health regulations.

Everyone was so used to showering before practices and meets and changing in and out of swimsuits that everyone lost any inhibitions, so everyone showered nude after practices and meets as well. It was common for some girls to even do things like blow-dry their hair standing there naked.

As much as I hated the group showering in middle school I kind of grew to enjoy the casualness when it came to nudity in the locker room on the swim team. It was kind of liberating. For the record I’m heterosexual. But it was kind of cool seeing what other girls bodies looked like and also me being able to be nude around other girls without any shame or embarrassment! So, those are actually the good memories.


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