Saturday, March 31, 2012

Body Positive

Beauty Comes In All Shapes and Sizes
I spent a large part of yesterday being naked with probably fifty women.  They ranged in ages from twenties to sixties, and of all body sizes and types and of many ethnic backgrounds.  And they were all beautiful.

Now before you go thinking I'm so pervy weirdo, I'm not.  I'm not running out and joining a nudist colony anytime soon.  That's not what I got from this experience.  It's just amazing to me that as body conscious as I am - knowing every lump, bump, bulge and dimple and with "oh my _________ is too big"  or "my ______ is too small" - all of that disappears when naked in a group setting.  And I think it's true for everyone there - there is no place to go, no where to hide as you move from sauna to dipping pool to soaking tubs and back again and there wasn't any slinking or slouching or scurrying from place to place.  Women just were as they were.  There was laughter and fun and talking in the sauna - snack bar recommendations "get the kiwi smoothie".  And there was NOT ONE MENTION of fat, thighs, the latest diet regime - none of the "normal" woman-bonding-speak that one hears.  And every women is beautiful in the sauna.

I wonder how much our body image - especially of American white women - really is cultural? Does our/my "uptightness" with being naked translate to feeling less-than because we don't have a real idea of what other women look like?  Is being comfortable naked the precursor to a positive body image.  And maybe it's not even a positive body image, maybe it's getting to the point where it's not all about the body - that when you've seen one _____, you've seen them all?

This spa  is really cool.  You pay for admission for 24 hours!  And you can buy other spa services ala carte if you want them.  Otherwise, you can spend you time in the sauna and steam rooms, dipping pools etc.  To leave that area, you don a "uniform" - a very comfy almost flannel-like elastic-waisted shorts and shirt and go into the open or coed area.  You can grab food from the restaurant and sit down in the most comfy recliner known to man and watch cable tv or just take a nap.

There are also all sorts of other rooms - nine, I think, where you can go in (in uniform) to rest, relax, stretch, do yoga, meditate - each with a different theme or aromatherapy.  We talked with two women who had come down from Oklahoma after working a late shift - they had been there since 2am - and by this time, it was 2 o'clock in the afternoon.  They were just having a blast.  It really was an amazing experience.  And the kiwi smoothie really was awesome.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Everybody is Beautiful.

-Roxie
142.5

8 comments:

  1. LOVE this post!! And I love that there was no "my ____ is so fat" talk. I think that's what subtly tears us down over years and years of thinking that's the only thing we can bond over. Imagine if, instead of talking about our looks (either negatively or positively) we talked about our passions? What we're reading? What we think about this, that, or the other thing? I've recently been making the effort to not comment on other women's looks, especially in relation to their weight, as in "you look great, have you lost weight?" I've also been steering away similar comments made to me in that regard. Not that I don't say "thank you" but I quickly change the subject to something more...substantial.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with this: "Does our/my "uptightness" with being naked translate to feeling less-than because we don't have a real idea of what other women look like?"

    No...we really don't until we're in a situation like the one you describe.

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    1. Karen,

      It really was a positive experience. I'm glad we did it. And, like you, I am trying to watch my speech as to not perpetuate the way one looks is a value barometer. It isn't. I believe the more positive we can be about who we are, the better we treat ourselves which, in turns, leads to better self-care and a healthier self - physically, emotionally and spiritually.

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  2. Nekkid naked? Ooh. I could not do that. Kudos for having the courage, Roxie.

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    1. Not Topless as I was in Turkey, but buckass Dallas Nekkid!

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  3. We had to shower in groups in the Army... and they said - OH you chicks from the South (Texas is just the pseudo-south) you are all so shy.... like little Divas!
    5 minutes later it was no biggie.
    "And every women is beautiful in the sauna..."
    Pure poetry .. that also reveals your kind and gentle spirit, Roxie!

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  4. I have a friend who has tried to get me to go with her to a spa like this, where all the women run around naked. I told her no way! She swears it is wonderful and relaxing and fun. Just as you've described. It still scared me death...I mean, let someone besides my husband (who is use to this lumpy, fat body), see me!? Oh no!

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  5. Wow, that takes some courage! It amazes me on a daily basis the altered self image I can have of myself... daily struggle to be happy with who I am today, imperfections and all! :)

    You are an inspiration of courage, my friend!

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We'll try this for a while.