I cannot change in the privacy cubicles--there is no safe place to put the baby; the "play-pen" (it looks more like a baby-jail, complete with bars!) is out in the open area, and sometimes I need to use it to keep Mr. Squirmy Pants from smashing his head on the (disgusting) hard tile floor by falling (crawling) off the benches.
So I just disrobe and let it all hang out while I'm changing. (I'm no good at "draping" with the towel.)
Do I have a perfect body? Fuck no. I'm 5'6" ish, 200+/- pounds, I had two kids (in my mid-to-late thirties), I haven't exercised regularly for a few years now (but I do try), I like chocolate a little too much, and I don't always have time to shave my legs. I'm lumpy, I'm bumpy, and one side of my cleavage is three times the size of the other side (they just grew that way).
Do I like my body? Honestly? Usually I don't. But, my husband still thinks I'm hot, and his penis concurs, so I've been trying really hard to if not love my body, to at least like and accept it without judgement. I know what I have to do to get it to where I'll love it; I'm not looking for perfection, but I'd love to be more fit.
Anyway, back to the pool. Yes, I'm sure that some ladies are looking at me and they're thinking, "Wow, she's really comfortable with her body!" Um, no. I'm not. Or at least, I wasn't. It's more a matter of "I'm naked out of necessity." The first few times I had to tell myself that "If anyone doesn't like how I look naked, they don't have to look."
You know what happens? If you keep telling yourself that, or something like that, enough, and if you get publicly naked often enough (appropriately--like in the pool's change room--not in the pool itself), pretty soon you are comfortable with your own body. Or at least resigned enough to it that you don't really care, and are, therefore, for lack of a better word, comfortable.
I wish everyone at the pool felt that way about their bodies. I see super-fit and hot mamas struggling with their crawling babies because they're trying to change in a tiny box so that you can't see them. I see beautiful women struggling with draping while they change; you can tell by their posture that they're trying so hard to be comfortable with themselves, but that inside they're failing miserably. I see gorgeous little girls, young girls, who are already so obsessed and uncomfortable and ashamed of their bodies because that is all they see from their adults, that they have to use the cubicles, and that makes me sad.
Seeing all of this tonight reminded me of this post about not believing your own bullshit. (You may also wish to check this one out.)
And then I was reminded of these comics. They're awesome. And so relevant. And they're a perfect example of how easy it is to let other people's bullshit become your own bullshit.
After looking at the comics, be sure to scroll down to the end and view the slide show titled "Meet our Body Image Heroes". These people rock. They've said a big "NO" to believing their own bullshit and/or everyone else's bullshit.
How do these comics make you feel? How do you feel about your own nakedness in public (change room situation), and/or in private? How do you feel about other people's nakedness in public?
Okay, four questions:
Whose bullshit are you believing about your body self-image?