Nudity in the Locker Room

I have been swimming a lot during lunch time lately and I have shower after the swim and then change before coming back to work.

Every time I go into the change room, there are a few women totally naked doing something (what, I don’t know because I am too embarrassed to look.) I can’t even avoid the naked women completely because there is a mirror on the wall so even when I turn the other way I am bound to see something.

I know that there are men and ladies change room for the very reason so everyone can be comfortable but I still feel a bit awkward when I see full nudity.  It may not be normal but I am very uncomfortable around naked women.

I feel I have to be polite to all the other women when changing so I always go to the shower with doors and change in cubicles. If it is a communal shower, I shower with my bikini on and then wash my bikini later.

I understand when the women walks 5 meters from shower to the locker one can be naked but it is easy to take your towels so you are not 100% exposed.  I am sure nobody is looking in the changing room as everyone is busy doing their own stuff but I see there are lots of kids, both boys and girls around and I think they don’t need to see naked women like that.

I think we can always try to change in stages and no need to just strip down and prance around the locker room. The easiest way to do is have everything ready and change one article of clothing at a time. If you are heading to the showers, make sure your towel is nearby and ready to do double duty.

I haven’t done extensive research, but when I ask AS about the male locker room situation, it is the same as well. Only a few of the men wrap themselves in towels but most are totally naked.

I know my uncomfortableness might sound like I have body issues but I am very comfortable with my body (most days) but I still think my private parts should not be expose anywhere, even in women’s only locker room.

Obviously, I have no problem with other women being naked but at the same time I think full nudity around kids is not great.

What do you think? Is it OK for people to be naked like this or not? Especially when there are kids around?

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41 responses to “Nudity in the Locker Room

  1. Hello nepaliaustralian, how are you?

    I don’t mean to pry, but I’m curious as to whether or not you have continued to adjust to locker rooms?

    I too was once like you where I thought that there would never in a million years be an occasion where I’d be willing to be nude in a locker room.

    I never used to allow even my own daughter to see me in the nude. If I was showering in the bathroom at home and she needed to pee I would tell her she had to wait until I was done showering and dressing because our shower-door was clear glass and could be seen through.
    There were times where the poor girl almost peed her pants because of my shame of my body

    One day when my daughter was about 7 years old she asked me if it was bad for her and I to see each other with no clothes on, or if it was bad for anyone to see anyone else with no clothes on.
    I told my daughter that there was noting wrong with her and I seeing each other with no clothes on, and that there is nothing wrong with females changing clothes in front of each other in locker rooms. my daughter then asked me why I was afraid to let her in the bathroom with me while I would take a shower.
    Suddenly I felt so silly about not allowing my daughter to catch even a glimpse of my nude body, and I was afraid that I was setting her up for a lifetime of low self-esteem about her own body.

    From that day on I allowed my daughter to enter the bathroom any time that she needed to, even when I was showering or drying off after a shower.

    Several months after the incident with my daughter asking me those questions I signed her up for swimming lessons. Parents were encouraged to join in on the swim lessons too.
    On the day of the first swim lesson I noticed that most of the other mothers who had gone into the pool like I had were showering in the nude in the communal showers, as were their daughters.
    I thought back to my daughter asking me about why I was afraid to let her see me undressed. I did not want to encourage that fear in my daughter.

    So, as much as I had always been positive that there was just no way that I would ever, ever be openly nude in a locker room, I removed my bathing suit and told my daughter to do the same.

    Much to my shock, I quickly found that my being openly nude in front of other females was nowhere nearly as bad as I had always built it up to be in my head.

    Every day for the remainder of the lessons my daughter and I would always shower in the nude like most of the other mothers and daughters in the locker room. I eventually got to a point where I could no longer believe how afraid I used to be about being nude in a locker room.

    It was amazing how liberating it felt to be able to freely shower and change in the presence of other females.

    I assure you, if I was able to get past my fear of locker room nudity, then you can too!

  2. People should get naked its what god wanted us to do

  3. I have no problem now showering nude Im more proud of my body then ever

  4. I can understand your feelings about women not prancing around nude in front of little boys. But I don’t feel that there is anything wrong with little girls seeing nude women.
    I have to agree with a few of the other posters who see there being some benefit to a girls self esteem when they are able to see what female bodies of all sorts of shapes and sizes look like.

    When I was a young child my best friend was my neighbor girl who was a year older than myself. My mother and her mother were also good friends, and we used to go swimming at a local pool one night a week for a few years. The showers in the women’s locker room were open communal showers with no cover of any kind. My friend and I and our moms would always shower in the nude after we swam.

    My friend had repeated kindergarten when she was six years old, and as a result, she and I entered junior high the same year, which was a couple of years after we had begun swimming together at the pool.

    We were in the same gym class together, which was fun.
    The school required students to shower after all gym classes. It was those same open group showers like the ones at the pool.
    Some of the girls were quite embarrassed by having to shower nude in front of other girls. But my friend and I had no issues what so ever with it, because we had adjusted to locker room nudity early on. I’m so grateful that we had been exposed to female nudity at a young age, both that of our own, and of other women and girls.

    I certainly don’t mean to lecture to anyone else. Please don’t take it that way!!! But you might want to consider trying to shower in the nude in the locker room one of these days. It can actually feel quite liberating. My current best friend of mine now as an adult used to be very shy about showering and changing in locker rooms, but we started working out together a few years ago, and she enjoyed the liberating feeling of being able to shower out in the open in the women’s locker room after the first couple of times.

    Just remember that nudity does not equal sex.

    Please let us know if you are able to feel more relaxed about showering and changing in the locker room in the future.

    Best of luck!!!

  5. If you are so freaked out by nudity in the locker room there is a simple solution — stay out of the locker room.

  6. My belief is that to be worried about nude bodies is to be filled with shame. We are born nude, clothing is a way for the ego to comfort itself. I do not believe in the “purity” aspect of protecting others from seeing you because then you are impure. Also, I think it is healthy for children to see their parents being comfortable in their own skin.
    That said, I was never exposed to this public nudity growing up. So, when I moved to my new city, where everyone does this in locker rooms and public bathhouses, even on the beach, I was shocked. However, after two years I am used to it and it feels better than being surrounded by prudish fear all the time.
    I never want my daughter to be self-conscious. I want her to know that bodies are beautiful, in all shapes and sizes, and that there is nothing wrong with nudity. If you are uncomfortable being nude in front of others, then it is your personal choice and I would never suggest you do something that makes you uncomfortable.
    However, I feel that it is 100% acceptable and even preferable for people to stop suffering from delusion that nudity is bad. It is not bad. Shame is bad, fear is bad, self doubt, self hatred, self mutilation are ALL bad. Loving your body enough that you are unconcerned with what others think, that is good. Knowing that you are in a safe place, where you can take a shower and change your clothes is a good thing.
    As for children, even more so it is good for them. They learn what they are raised around. If they are raised knowing that not all bodies look the same, but they are respected anyway, will let them know they can expect respect.

    • After reading many comments for this post, I realised that nudity issue me more of a culture and how you have been bought up. If I have seen the similar scenario since my childhood, I may have been comfortable with it by now but coming form country like Nepal where they encourage you to cover up, it was not easy to adapt to new situation. I have been living in this country for a decade now and I am definitely getting better at reacting to this but saying that still at time nudity makes me uncomfortable.

  7. If it is somebody I know, like a friend, then I’m not so uncomfortable. But if it is a stranger, I feel totally uncomfortable, like I need to keep my eyes down or something!
    I go swimming too, so it is my pet peeve…

  8. I spent last summer at home in Central Asia. My mom and I signed up for swimming. Changing rooms only had communal showers. I first became surprised when I noticed that there were only two changing stalls. I then realized why. Almost everyone changed in front of each other without bothering to cover up. It is interesting, because these same women wear long dresses on a daily basis. http://www.thelovelyplanet.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/turkmen_women_nathan.groth_.jpg At some point I started changing like everyone else, but tried to stand behind a locker door. I wore my swimming suit while taking shower, while almost everyone were completely naked. I always had to make effort to stare at the floor or ceiling, because some of those bodies were quite unpleasant to see.

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  10. nepalilovestory

    I agree that can be uncomfortable. But, playing devils advocate, I think it also displays a healthy body image. If children are exposed to this nudity and seeing all sorts of bodies from an early age it could be more beneficiary than getting there idea of a healthy body image from the media and pop culture. It could possibly give the children some liberation about there body and allow them not to feel ashamed and something worth hiding away. But it is a grey area. X

  11. it is again a case of cultural differences. i know that we in india and nepal are told to cover up and not put our and bodies on display to anybody except to our husbands. under these circumstances, i see how it would be so shocking to you. perhaps it will get better with time – i hope so. .

    • I have been to change room for years especially in gym and I didn’t see that many nude people. Here in swimming pool, it is so different and most of the women are naked all the time :). I am better already, I just ignore and mind my own business 🙂

  12. I’d be uncomfortable. College stripped away a lot of my modesty, so too marriage, but bottom line I still prefer to be clothed.

  13. It was weird the first time I went into locker room. There were girls drying their hair naked and moving around from showers to lockers. And then there were some, like me, who prefered to move around with towel wrapped and then change while standing in a corner with our backs towards everyone else. I must say I am more comfortable now than I was before. I am not sure (because never faced such a situation) but I think I won’t mind getting nude if I don’t know anyone there. And I never changed even with my sisters in the same room.

    • I never change in front of anyone, not even hubby (he finds that funny). I don’t mind people changing and all but there are some who just love being naked and does tasks like brushing hair or just talking with someone. Must be those who love their body but for me it is bit too much.

  14. I don’t have a problem with others nude, but I prefer to cover myself! I think it is a personal feeling!

  15. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Wow, interesting post! I don’t have a problem with nudity, and in fact don’t understand people who are embarrassed by human beings in natural form. From my experience, everyone just keeps their eyes down and it’s no issue, so this is very interesting to me. I never imagined I could offend anyone by being my natural human self for 10 seconds. You’ve had me see your side, even though I don’t understand WHAT it is to be embarrassed by. Upstairs, downstairs, same same different. Just human.

    • You are funny dear. Our course we are same same and 10 second nudity is not my issue. I have problem with people who parade in locker rooms full nude for longer time. But I am getting used to it and mind my own business these days. 🙂 Take care

  16. Well still you have genuine concern. My wife won’t tolerate nudity even in mind — my mind!! Talk about spousal encroachment.
    This is true for every locker rooms irrespective of the gender.
    We came up with some suggestions to curb it but none could fly without implications

  17. I hear what you say and understand your point. Personally though, I don’t agree. I am comfortable being naked with other women around and I have no issue if they are naked in the changing room. It is true that there are children present, but my personal philosophy is that there is nothing wrong with the human body and when presented in a ‘normal’, every-day situational way (such as showering or changing), then there is no need to be prudish or afraid of the body. I cannot, will not and do not condone any display of nudity that has a sexual undertone or connotation.
    Having said all of that, when I am in a changing room, I too try to be respectful of others preferences and I do not ‘parade’ around without a towel or some form of covering simply because I know that others do not feel the same way I do.

    Rose

    • Hello Rose,
      I fully understand what you mean and I don’t mind people changing or showering. But I have seen people naked for extended period of time and that does make me uncomfortable.
      Then each to their own so I m ind mind businesses and leave 🙂
      take care and thank you for visiting my blog 🙂

  18. First time I and my hubby went to a swimming pool here, he came out frustrated saying men were moving around naked. Sadly they only had communal showers there (but still they had a choice of putting something on). But there are separate showers for women with shower curtains and hangers, so you can take your clothing inside and not risk them getting wet. But even I see women moving around naked for more time than they need to change clothes, which I do find a bit creepy.
    Besides that, I want to say hi to you M. I’m a nepali girl living in nz for about a year now. I’ve been reading many nepal-foreign mixed blogs for a while. Though I don’t comment much, I’m quite an avid reader these days.

    • Hello dear, thank you for reading my blog and nice to meet you.
      I think it is our culture that made us this way. I have never seen a naked women in Nepal so definitely different way of life here.
      Do follow me on twitter so we can message each other :),
      Where are you current living in NZ? Any plan to come to Sydney at all?take care

    • I want to admit my perception on this has changed today. After I read this: http://brokendaughters.wordpress.com/page/3/
      And I’m glad I did :). I think there is no better world than the one which gives you the freedom of choice, when it doesn’t harm others. I always stand by “live and let live”, and sometimes I fail. So I just wanted to acknowledge my mistake.

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  20. Pardon me friend, I think you should mind your own business–unless there is a sign that says no nudity. Otherwise, you should just do what you have to do and leave. Also, you should determine what these naked women are doing before you blog about it.

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