I know I have a tendency to not have the requisite amount of body shame. I never have. When I was a little girl my mom had a devil of a time trying to instill a sense of bodily shame into me. It only partially worked and was quickly cast aside later. I remember plenty of times when my mother would angrily shout at me “Don’t you have any shame?” over something or other I’d done that involved not caring if someone saw body parts that were considered “indecent”. I couldn’t find a damn thing about my body that was indecent, but I knew better than to answer my mom with “no” or “why should I?” I simply kept my mouth shut, considering most times my mom was yelling stuff like that at me she wasn’t really asking me anyway. I think my mom thought I was more than a little nuts anyway and it was her job to keep me from running off and joining some group marriage with a bunch of scientists and anthropologists (yes, I almost did that) or joining a nudist colony somewhere (no, didn’t think of that since I didn’t know such things existed). My poor beleaguered mom spent a lot of time running damage control on her bizarrely unashamed daughter with odd ideas of what were cool things to do. At least she wasn’t a prude who wouldn’t even get changed in front of a mirror. She was pretty relaxed about most forms of household nudity. When I got older we’d sit around in our very hot apartment drinking tea and talking while wearing nothing but bra and panties. So far be it from my realm of understanding when I began to meet women who vociferously protested me walking from the shower to my dresser wearing nada but my skin and a smile or refusing to duck behind a curtain in the locker room to get out of my sweaty workout clothes.
My first encounter of the nekkid-fearing kind was with a roommate in Pittsburgh where I attended a travel industry training school. She acted like I was going to sprout weird jiggly bits that oozed slime just because I dared exit the bathroom sans towel. Seriously? The bathroom was in our bedroom, so it’s not like I had to go traipsing through the whole apartment or down the hall or something. She and I had other issues as well – all of her own creation – so this wasn’t a total surprise. She actively looked for things to find “wrong” about me to prove her day one prediction that sharing a room and having all our classes together “just wasn’t going to work”. I ignored her. Completely. When she began to complain and demand I cover up I told her she and I had nothing different. Whatever she saw on me wasn’t anything new she hadn’t seen before. Eventually she made the mistake of attacking me (for an entirely different reason – chica was a bully; we were both fully clothed). That was all she wrote. Soon thereafter, Miss Bitchy moved out. And good riddance, too.
My next discovery of this strange female behavior came in various locker rooms. Women walking around despereately clutching towels the size of king sized blankets scurrying around giving me furtive, displeased glances. I don’t make any comments. I just kinda laugh to myself as women, who as far as I can tell all have the same body parts as every other woman, duck and skitter from one hidey spot to another trying to keep from being seen, all the while looking at me like I’m insane. (It kind of reminds me of women who insist on having sex with the lights off as though your partner has no idea what your body looks like by the time you’re ready to get busy. But that’s a topic for another post.) Meanwhile, I’m not even naked. Ladies, I’m in socks, panties and my sweaty tank top and sports bra. I promise I don’t have an extra boob somewhere nor do I have a secret penis to whip out and chase you about the locker room with. Chillify!
Thankfully, it seems I have come to find women who are a lot more relaxed about the whole clothing thing. So long as no men are present, we all just relax and get dressed or undressed and don’t worry about it. Maybe it’s an east coast thing, since I haven’t encountered any nekkid-fearing women since coming west. Dunno. Or maybe I just quit caring enough to notice. Maybe both.