Getting naked


Are you one of those blessed people who feel completely at ease during moments of public nudity? I’m soooo not.

I’ve finally made my peace with my kitchen kit-off sessions, while availing myself of the delights of Mel’s (Spray) Tans. But I still squirm around under a towel while struggling into my undies in public swimming pool change rooms.

I’m surrounded by all creatures great and small during those weekly sessions, most of them gamely displaying their flesh without compunction. But I slink off to shower in my cossie, then do the Houdini thing under the towel. Always have, always will.

(I copped ire once for writing a story for ivillage about how off-putting it is when 8-year-old boys stare at you when you’re getting dressed in women’s swimming pool change rooms.)

I thought my attitude might have changed following my divorce diet and strenuous gym sessions. I’m probably in the best shape I’ve been in decades. But the shame isn’t in my body, it’s in my head. Much like a visit to the gyno, I still blank out those moments when I’m in the nuddie: If you don’t think about it Alana, it’s like it’s not happening.

I’m always a little fascinated – and slightly confronted – by people who don’t share my phobia. After the kids’ swimming lessons this week, their swimming teacher walked into the changerooms behind me, whipped off her cossie and started soaping herself in an open shower cubicle, while continuing our animated conversation.

I did not know where to look. So I looked into her eyes, which was unsettling in itself because I’m not a prolonged looker into other people’s eyes. Waaaaay too intense for an extroverted introvert.

I admired her youth and confidence. She was completely at ease in that shower cubicle, facing me, chattering away, buck naked.

How does one acquire such ease? Do you need to be born with it or can it be taught?

Doesn’t nature throw a spanner in the works pre-puberty? My eldest’s favourite way to spend her days was lounging around the house in a pair of undies. That stopped a few years back. It’s all closed doors and hysteria if someone walks in on her in the bathroom now. Her after-swim changing takes place in a toilet cubicle.

The youngest is about to cross that line too. She still lounges around the house in her undies, but only among family. She makes a pretence of wanting to get changed beneath a towel in public, but stripping off in a changeroom doesn’t really faze her yet.

It wasn’t my mum’s fault I turned out this way, she doesn’t share my shyness. If she was having a bath, you were welcome to perch on the side for a chat. She was always quite comfortable in the buff. So I can’t blame her.

I wonder how I’ll go posing in the altogether for the life drawing session I (ironically) won at the Girls Night In the other week … that’ll be…  interesting … as will the results.

Eeeek, chest  getting tight … just don’t think about it, Alana.

How do you handle moments of public nudity? 

Song of the day: (an old, swoony fave) Mark Seymour “Throw Your Arms Around Me”



6 thoughts on “Getting naked

  1. My boys (as teens) would wander around the house in their jocks which bloody horrified me. One of them even took the rubbish out one day in his jocks. The height of bogan-ity!
    My cousins came from a family of three sisters and they had no qualms about nudity. I’m with you. No way would I stand in a shower starkers and have a chat to someone while soaping myself. But I don’t care if other people do it. I’m sure it’s the way you were brought up.

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