Growing up, I was one of the many kids who absolutely loved cold weather season. Not because it meant I was able to wear my knock-off Costco Uggs or that the holidays were right around the corner, but because it meant I could put on my swishy pants over my jeans for second period PE without having to strip down to my unmentionables. Because in my book, if my panties flashed in the locker room for more than 3 seconds before I could hastily get my bright red PE shorts on, I might have had a heart attack and died of embarrassment.
Fast forward to adulthood, and I found myself having the same thoughts when I saw women in the gym locker room stripping down to their birthday suits, boobies dangling in front of my face while I quickly threw my gym bag in a locker and got the fuck out STAT.
Was it not as awkward for them that I was seeing them naked as it was for me? How could two totally different realities exist in one fucking locker room?
During my 3-year tenure at an entertainment studio in LA, I started using the gym on the lot regularly. I would pack up my shit for the day, get a morning workout in, get ready for work, then be a whopping 200 feet from my office when I was done. If I was a lazy ass one morning (many a morning), I could pop in the gym at lunch for a quick workout. It was insanely convenient.
I started becoming friends with the women in the locker room as I got ready in the mornings, most of whom were full on buck-nakeders. We’d be chatting as we were changing into our clothes for the day, me awkwardly putting on my undergarments blindly beneath the confines of my towel. But the person I would be chatting with would be au naturel, free as could be, doing their regular post-shower routine, while I looked like a mangled bird trying to get a shirt over my head without anyone seeing my tits.
One particularly busy Monday after a particularly eventful Sunday Funday, I crawled into work late, missing my AM gym routine. I was unbelievably stressed by work that day and even more unbelievably hungover, and since a little hair of the dog was out of the question as a remedy I figured a lunch time gym sesh was just what I needed to put a little pep back in my step.
I got my workout in, and by the time I was done I looked down at my phone to see two texts and a missed call from my boss. I needed to get back ASAP to do some dumb report for someone who had some big dumb meeting, or something along those dumb lines. I had calmed down and relaxed thanks to my workout, but suddenly my stress-level went from 0-100 REAL QUICK.
Would anybody notice my BO if I didn’t change? Fuck of course they would, I smell like a fucking sock.
I threw my hair up in a bun, rushed into the showers, quickly lathered and rinsed, wrapped my towel around me and ran back to the lockers. I threw my clothes on the bench and grabbed my bra to try to maneuver on underneath my towel. My awkward, scrambled attempts to strap down my tits wasn’t working. I thought, I don’t have time for this shit! And then I had an epiphany:
Life’s too short to not get buck naked in the gym locker room
It was true. These women whose sanity I had questioned my whole life were really the ones who had their shit figured out. Why the fuck did I care if my nakedness made somebody feel uncomfortable in a place that was MADE FOR WOMEN TO BE NAKED?!
And that’s when it happened. There were clouds above me that opened up, a glorious ray of sunshine hit me like a spotlight. My hands turned into fists as if I had just conquered the unconquerable, and as I moved to rest them on my hips, my towel fell to the ground. I stared out into the full length mirror in all my naked glory, Christina Aguilera’s Can’t Hold Us Down playing in my head. Until I heard a valley girl voice behind me say, “Um, excuse me, can you, like, mooooove?”
It was then that I realized I had made my way to stand directly in front of a girl who was using the mirror to do her makeup, my bare ass staring her in the face. I quickly moved out of her way and profusely apologized, but in my head I thought Bitch, Lil’ Kim and Christina Aguilera got my back.
As I rushed to throw my clothes on, I glared, mad-dogging my defeated towel on the floor and singing in my head, Never can, never will, can’t hold us down!
While I wish I had had this existential epiphany sooner, I’m happy to say that I’ve been a changed woman for over three years now. So ladies and gentlemen, if there’s anyone as awkward as me out there who hasn’t gotten buck naked in the locker room, just do it. You’ll thank me later. Bear in mind, though, under no circumstances is it ok to make eye contact with anyone while naked, that’s just fucking weird.