Thursday, August 20, 2009


I have never really been shy when it comes to being nude. As a child I loved being naked and even as a teenager would often wander around in my undies (much to my brothers' horror). It didn't take me long however to realize that many people, particularly in North America, did not share my level of comfort with exposed flesh. By high school I understood that one could only really be naked in the privacy of their own home. One of the girls who I went to school with used to shower naked after gym and everyone made fun of her. Secretly I envied her apparent obliviousness to the social rules.

Now I'm that lady at the gym who showers naked, as the young teenage girls go to ridiculous lengths to hide themselves. It took a bath house in Korea to re-awaken my comfort with public nudity and I've never looked back. (Never look back when naked in public - it makes people nervous.) I've also noticed that the same comfort with nakedness that existed in Korea is extended here among the Asian population. Usually the only naked people in the showers at the Y are me, and all the Asian immigrants. White people have waaay too many hang ups.

In a mildly related note, I was showering last week when a dozen 6-year-old day campers were ordered to stand in line right in front of me. There I was, vulnerable and exposed with 24 little eyes staring at me. And the weird part was, because none of those eyes belonged to MY kid, I felt blissfully, peacefully alone. How things change.


amourissima said...

It's so true- though I haven't traveled much in my life I do have that human instinct that naked is a good thing. I've come to terms with it a bit as I now live downtown and need to shut my drapes when I'm doing my thing. I have had similar experiences in change rooms where I'm respectfully nakie as a jay bird (now that I think about it- that term doesn't make much sense to me. I'll have to look into that.) Showering or putting on my clothing. I catch those side ways glances that speak "I can't believe you're naked." and I wonder to myself what it is that I've done wrong. It's not as though I am doing naked yoga in front of them all. One has to get/ be naked to put some clothes on.

Sarah said...

"White people have waaay too many hang ups."

LOL - I don't think they come much whiter than you!