It’s a Women’s Locker Room, Not a Streaker Training Camp


towelsLet’s take a Delorean back in time for a moment, shall we? We’re all 12-year-olds in a junior high locker room. Some of us genuinely need bras, some of us need them just to remind ourselves we’re not 12-year-old boys. Regardless, there’s one thing we’re all dreading: getting naked. 

Okay, set that flux capacitor to 2011 and book it to present day. We’re all STILL in a locker room -- this time at some gym we pay way too much for to have a freakishly fit woman in hot pants yell at us. Not much has changed -- some of us still need bras more than others -- except for the fact that, well, EVERYONE is naked ... and loving it.

Yes, yes, of course we’re all more comfortable with our bodies as adults than as pre-pubescents. But there’s gotta be some kind of locker room etiquette for time spent in the buff. It’s a locker room, not a nudist colony.

In the past week, these are the locker room activities I have seen women do in the nude: have a 15-minute business meeting conversation on a cellphone; the complete beauty routine: brush teeth, blow dry hair, apply full makeup; and just wander around (where are you possibly going?).

I don’t even wander around my own apartment naked (if I am naked, it’s because I’m en route to clothes). And I don’t say this because I don’t want to look at naked women. It’s a nice reminder that there actually are real bodies -- with curves, with cellulite, with floppy boobs -- out there in the world.

But I don’t want to think about your bare ass touching the bench I just rested my hand on. And I’d rather not mistakenly bump into you while you’re wandering around -- chatting it up, getting just one more Q-tip -- with your ladyparts all out in the world.

Really, you don’t need to air dry. There are TOWELS. If there aren’t towels, there’s a nice lady who will get you one. Heck, I’LL get you one. Really, it’s not a big deal. Chances are, I’ve already put my clothes on.

How long is too long to be naked in the locker room?

Image via Flickr/Ross Catrow

body image, exercise, gym spy


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nonmember avatar Sara

AMEN! I agree with you 100%, even though I'm rarely in a locker room. Wrap a towel around you if you have to attend to personal business and don't want your clothes messed up. And don't sit your bare ass on the community bench- ew!

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

There's really no need to be naked at all. The majority of women at my gym do not get naked at all. Most of us prefer to just shower when we get home. The ones that do wear a towel from the shower to one of the cubbies with curtains. The most you'll see is the occasional bra or undies when someone is changing from gym clothes to street clothes.

nonmember avatar Alexa

I think you have the problem with nudity, not everyone else. Why are you so scared of the human body?

Nraw2011 Nraw2011

I've never seen anyone sit on the benches bare bottomed, yet.  Eww.   The nudity doesn't bother me at all.   When my daughter took swimming classes the water aerobics class for seniors  would be ending and all those ladies would be in there naked as jay birds and no one batted an eye.  

I don't remember too many girls being uncomfortable about changing in the locker room back in Jr high or high school. 

SicTr... SicTransitGlori

Totally agree. I have no problem with the human body. I'm totally comfortable with mine and how it looks, but I don't want to see yours. I don't care if you're a Victoria's Secret model or Frankenstein's monster- cover it up. Seriously, there is no need. Have some respect for my eyes.

Thankfully most of the women at my gym are discreet and respectful... but every now and then there's a "WHOA!" moment. *shudder*


Emerald Sabrina Barrett

I don't chit chat or wander around nude, but you might see me nude for about a minute in there.  I change in there, but that's just a quick bra #1 off, bra #2 on kind of thing.

nonmember avatar TDR

This is a major problem with the current state of affairs.

Speaking of changing at 12 years old... I was recently talking with a friend of mine, and she said at the beginning of the school year, her daughter was the only one changing in the locker room for gym class. ALL the other girls waited for the two toilet stalls to change, and never showered. Some even said, "ewwww... why would you shower and change out there?" She responded with something like she thought it more disgusting to change next to a toilet, that a body is a body, she didn't want to smell, and waiting was a waste of time. As time went on, more girls joined her.

While we should teach our kids that their body is their own, etc... it seems it is going too far and creating shame where not necessary. This blog post just perpetuates it. There is nothing wrong with being nude where appropriate... locker rooms are an appropriate setting and no time limit is needed.

Veal Johnson

Wow! Somebody really has poor body image issues. There is nothing wrong with the nude human body. Why we've been trained to be so self-concious and uncomfortable with plain nudity has always amazed me.

Brekke Ferguson

TDR, your comment made me smile. I HATED changing in junior high and middle school and even into adulthood was NOT okay with nudity and some of that was because of body issues and some of it was because of the way I was raised. My girlfriend has helped me relax. Seriously, it was a triumph for her to get me to go to bed in just my skivvies and not full pajamas. Through all of that, I've been trying to raise a daughter to have a much healthier body image than I had/have. I want her to be comfortable in her own skin and I want her to not look at the human body as something "dirty." We ALL have one and we should all be okay with that fact. 

Your daughter sounds like a brave kid and I hope you can tell her that a chick on the Internet thinks she is awesomesauce for not only accepting and sticking up for her own body but convincing other girls to do the same. 

Also, I totally agree that posts like this help perpetuate some of the negative body image issues that women have. It's a LOCKER ROOM. Yes, there are towels; however, when I am sweaty and wet it takes a little bit more than a towel before I am ready to put my street clothes back on. There is nothing worse feeling than still being damp when putting clean clothes on. A locker room should be a place where women can feel comfortable doing the things they need to do after they workout or swim or whatever. It should not be one more place to feel self-concious and worried about body image. 

nonmember avatar Jennifer

To the author and a couple of the commenters--are you serious? While I am with you on the bit about sitting on the bench without placing a towel in between you and it, I can't believe that you want to drag all the shame and body-image-garbage society drops on women into what is supposed to be a private space. Why shouldn't women feel comfortable taking a bit of time before getting dressed? I know that I hate rushing from shower to clothed.

Thankfully the gym that the author goes to appears to be a better place than she wants it to be! More women should feel comfortable in their own skins; not fewer!

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