January 6, 2012

Confessions of a Nudi-Phob

I admit to being one of those squeamish types in the dressing room of my gym. If there's a place where I can change in private - a cubby, a restroom, or even the shower - I will find it. I get a lot of teasing for this little phobia of mine. "They're all just women," I've heard more than one well-meaning nudist say as I'm slinking towards the towel closet. "They aren't going to see nothing on you they haven't seen before."

"Unless I'm an alien-earth hybrid with only one breast and a giant belly button," I retort. That usually shuts them up.

I'm just not a huge fan of public nudity. The naked body to me is like a birthday present...not so exciting once the wrappings have been peeled away. Real naked people don't often look like the naked people in the movies. Real breasts tend to flop and hang. Booties are riddled with cellulite. And tan lines are all too visible. I have yet to see a naked body that couldn't be improved with some designer jeans and a really cool jacket. This is probably the biggest reason I've never found naughty movies enticing. While other people are aroused by the sight of naked bumping bodies I'm wondering if the  actress knows her stretch marks are showing.

I give kudos to those people who love their naked bodies, especially if they arent perfect. But I'm just not one of those people. Nudity is areminder to me about the thief called TIME. Nowhere else can you see the circle of life so completely as in the workout dressing room; from the baby girl nursing on her mother's breast to the octogenarian who just finished her water aerobics class. And it scares the bejeezus out of me. I'm not proud of this, but I'm honest. Time marches forward and in the gym I can see the parade of stages I will pass through.

As I age I will be able to dye my hair, paint on eyebrows, and put in my teeth. But my body...there is not much I can do to erase the evidence that time is passing and life is short. And so I cover up and stay in my little curtained nook of denial, undressing and dressing as fast as possible, ignoring the lines, scars, dimples, and pouches that have accumulated on my body over the years. I know they are there but I can pretend. I've made a pact with myself. I won't tell my body it's getting older until it just falls apart one day. It's been through enough already. I don't need to traumatize it with this little bit of information as well.

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