Nakedness

My husband and I have talked in circles about the differences between men and women.  Everything from why we think differently to why we act differently, as well as the differences in what Hollywood portrays as truth versus reality.

Let me just get to my point {spoiler alert for the guys}: Girls locker rooms are nowhere near as exciting or sexy as they are portrayed on TV. And nothing kinky has ever happened at any sleepover I've ever been at in my life. 

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I remember the first time that we had this conversation- I told my husband that most women have never seen their friends naked.  A girls' locker room is mostly full of self-conscious ladies who open their locker door and turn their front towards it, while skillfully changing their clothes to show the least amount of skin possible.  I remember being YOUNG when I learned to change my undies {from undies to swimsuit} by putting one pair on top of the other and then carefully removing the pair underneath. 

I mean, for a culture that is incredibly sex crazy, we are actually really prude.  Look at the debate and conversation that has been started over breast feeding in public!  {That is a topic for a whole other day, but it certainly drives home the point}. 

Growing up, I didn't think twice about hiding my body.  I was taught to cover myself, to stealthily change my clothes in the car so no one would see, and to avert my eyes if someone else was trying to change. You quickly learn not to stare in the locker room and you certainly didn't ask any questions.  So where does that leave us some 20+ years later?

For me, it makes me feel sad.  Sad because the only thing that we as women have to compare ourselves to is magazines and movies.  Everything we have to compare ourselves to is FILTERED. It is why we struggles with self-love, self-acceptance and REALITY!  Because we haven't been exposed to reality. 

When I got my husband's perspective on locker room culture, he told me that he had seen about 90% of his {male} friends naked.  From what he tells me, the way the guys locker rooms are portrayed on TV is pretty much real life! {This is where my jaw dropped}

This- I believe- is why guys are much more comfortable in their own skin than women.  They hold more self-love and acceptance than we do, without having to work as hard for it. That is not to say that no men struggle with body image and self-confidence, but I do believe that "most" guys are much more comfortable with their bodies than women.

After having our first baby, I was terrified for my husband to actually SEE me.  My body didn't look the way it used to, didn't feel the way it used to.  Truth: I have nothing to compare it to, because we as a society don't promote or accept a NATURAL body. I didn't know if what had happened to my body post-birth was normal, because I rarely saw other women in their natural state.

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In fact, for many of us our reality growing up was constantly hearing our mothers talk about diets and their own flaws.  Always harping on the "last 10 pounds" they need to lose.  Or even worse, mothers who were sitting on the sand because they didn't want to be seen walking down the beach in their bathing suits.  We LEARN our self-doubts. 

Let's make a pact. Let's start complimenting each other's "flaws" and teach our girls to love themselves.  Let's show them it is okay to be REAL.  As parents, WE are the only influence they have to learn this from. Change isn't going to happen overnight, but I want to do my part to teach my daughter that she doesn't have to feel ashamed- whether she's a size 2 or 20, she can feel confident in the skin she's in.