I don’t have an issue with nudity. You probably know that already, from such posts as naked cleaning and naked sunbathing. It is definitely due to the way that I was brought up. If you look through my childhood photo albums, you’d be forgiven for wondering if I actually owned clothes up until I started school. Thankfully, mum insisted that I start wearing them to go to class. One of my personal favourites is a shot of the three of us riding inflatable ‘pool ponies’ naked in a para pool. (That would be me and my siblings, not me and my parents.)
So… nudity. It’s an unavoidable part of life unless you shower in a swim suit. It just seems ridiculous to be uncomfortable with it. It has only been in recent years that I have realised that some people are. My parents have always lived an incredibly busy life, so when we lived at home with them, in order to get them both in the same room at the same time it was often a case of having to go in and chat with them in the morning while they were having their respective bath and shower. We didn’t blink at the idea. It was just how it was. On the odd occasion that I have mentioned that to people I have had some rather shocked looks.
In more recent times I have been interested to notice how other people try to hide their nakedness. I shower and change at work after the gym each morning. You have to walk through the changing area to get to the toilets, so a relatively constant stream of people goes past. I just do my thing. Other women have complicated systems of holding towels in their teeth or trying to hide behind tiny locker doors whilst dressing. Why would you bother?
I understand that there are cultural implications relating to nudity. There is a fairly high contingent of Asian women that work here. They tend to avert their eyes and look embarassed when confronted with my nudity. That is understandable. The reaction that surprised me the most and prompted this post was from a born and bred kiwi girl.
She walked into the changing room the other morning when I was dressing. As it happens, I wasn’t even naked. I was wearing underwear. She shrieked and covered her eyes. I would have been offended had she not started shouting “Oh my god, I’m so sorry! Don’t worry, I didn’t see anything, I promise. Honestly, I didn’t.”
Uh, great. I told her not to worry. It’s called a changing room for a reason.