Talk about sexual repression... I tell you!
I also went to a Catholic all-girls school. We had private showers after gym. There was none of this ''girls showering together and walking around naked'' thing that I saw on American TV. We didn't even let our panties be seen by the rest of the class.
Then I became a young woman, and the consequences of this repression came out in full swing. No pun intended. But the mental hang-ups remained, coupled with the whole ''I'm Fat and don't have perfect boobs'' thing that you get from watching TV and reading Cosmo. This resulted in WONDERFUL self-confidence and body image.
Anyway, I moved to Estonia three years ago. A HUGE part of Baltic culture is the Sauna. You might have seen that Britney video where she is writhing seductively in one of them. Naked, of course. Because that's how you do sauna. Naked. With other people in there too. All naked. But they aren't writhing like Britney. At least not from what I've seen.
I'd managed for the most part to avoid getting nekkid in front of anybody other than hubby, until last week. You see, I started taking the Angel to the pool... to swim (duh). And there are no private showers at the pool. Only those prison-break types. On my first day, I was surrounded by so many naked bodies, that my eyes went into shock. In my bikini, I
showered let water run over me and kept my eyes glued to the floor, looking up every so often to marvel at these women who walked around in a myriad of sizes, shapes, textures. Not so many different colours though. Estonia ain't exactly cosmopolitan. But I couldn't get over how they just walked around letting it all hang out! Shocking!! How could they do that??
I had to try it! I would face my fears. Because I am brave and strong and eat my vegetables. Besides, if these old women, with the flesh and scars of life could do it without a care, then my 30 year old body could do it too. I'm no pin-up girl, but what I've got ain't that bad. And besides, it's mine, right? It keeps my baby and husband happy. It looks cute enough in jeans. And it's MINE! I ought to be proud of it. Not ashamed. Every dimple, stretch mark, sag, bump, and lump. Mine, mine, mine.
I'm still trying to convince myself here.
But I did it. The second time we went swimming, I took it all off in the showers. And kept my eyes crazy-glued / evo-stuck / nailed / to the floor. Several deep breaths included. I was in and out in seconds. They probably thought I was a little mad. While they scrubbed each others backs. The next time wasn't so hard. I looked up. Stayed a bit longer. And each time it got easier. Now! Heck, I'm in the sauna, chilling, well maybe that's a poor choice of word. I'm in the shower, the locker room... without wishing the floor would open up and swallow me.
What a big deal over NOTHING!!!!
It helps of course that I don't know anybody there. That helps Big Time. There's still some work to be done.