Modesty Vs. Nakedness

9 07 2008

This is a concept that has different meanings in different cultures.

There are cultures where women cover every part of their body and there are some that have all out in the open.

I don’t have an issue with the naked body, but I have an issue with having to show it when I don’t want to.

I have been going to the gym… I know… good for me! 🙂 I visited a number of gyms before I could find one where I felt comfortable joining. Modesty was one of my issues, as well as cleanliness and friendliness.

I went to a local gym where the showers did not have curtains or doors, and there was no private place to change clothes. Everybody was walking around naked andthat is not for me, I am more modest; people looked at me funny because I covered myself and changed in the stall.

I found a great one that offers the privacy that I need, although most people walk around naked anyway. It is their culture and I do not care, I am happy to have my changing area.

There is a contradictory side to this, I see people that walk around naked in the locker room and then cover themselves with a towel when the get out to the pool. They cover themselves before they get into the water and as soon as they come out. I, on the other hand, do the opposite, I walk around covered in the locker room and I don’t cover myself in the pool.

I do not understand their ways, and the probably don’t understand mine…

I know that in my country we have this contradiction, that I find funny. We cover ourselves in the changing room and then we come out at the beach with bikinis, thongs, and tiny swimsuits. I guess there are some parts of our bodies that we don’t want to show. 

I can hear it coming, who can understand women?…

I think that we must respect the customs of different cultures, especially when it comes to modesty. Sometimes we can make small arrangements to make everybody comfortable without making the rest uncomfortable. It is easier to get used to getting dress in a closed dressing room than having to get naked in front of strangers.

I really do not know how muslim women manage, here in the US, with all the restrictions that their religion have for them. I imagine it is not easy.




3 responses

10 07 2008

Re: your comment in my blog: The point I was covering in my blog wasn’t so much about women who prefer to be modest (if that’s your preference, no pb) but rather about women who still feel shy about undressing in front of other women because of fears of judgment (a la high school mentality). Many people are still afraid that others will stare and judge about their perceived physical flaws when in fact, often others just don’t care, especially not in a pool changing room where the air is cold enough that you just want to get out of there ASAP after swimming. 😛

I see your point. Usually nobody is looking at others and they are just trying to go about their own business.

I also think that is you are attending a gym, or swimming to improve your health, that should be commended instead of judging what the person looks like.

Where I grew up, we don’t have the locker rooms and gym class like here. It is completely different, so I can’t relate, but I understand the fear of judgment aspect of it.

I would hope that we all get to the point of not judging and of not caring about other’s judgment of us.
Thanks for your comment,


6 09 2008

I have to admit that I’m a little surprised about what you said about Latina women being modest in locker rooms, because my experiences have been the exact opposite.

A few of my closest friends from work are Latina women, and we swim together a couple of nights a week at a local high school. In the locker room after our swim my Latina friends are anything but shy about walking around nude in the locker room and showering nude in the open showers. I always shower in my bathing-suit and they tease me about being “uptight.” And they’ve said that Latina women are usually more proud of their bodies and are much more open to public nudity.

And on a separate note, my sister lives in L.A. and the Latina actress Constance Marie from the George Lopez Show is a member of the same health club. My sister has mentioned how much she admires how Constance is able to comfortably walk around the locker room totally in the nude and carry on conversations and sign autographs while she’s nude.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that just because Constance Marie or my friends are comfortable with locker room nudity that it doesn’t mean that every Latina woman is equally comfortable with it. And in the case of Constance Marie and my friends who can blame them, their drop dead gorgeous! But I’m still a little surprised to see you say that Latina women are usually shy in locker rooms.

My guess as to why some of the women at your gym cover up at pool side but not in the locker room is that their embarrassed to feel that their on display to men, but don’t feel the need to cover up in front of other women? I wish that I was as comfortable in locker room situations as many other women seem to be.

Love your website.

Take care.

Thank you for your comments. You bring up a good point. We might have had different experiences, but there is also another aspect of this.

There are two main things, one is that Latinas born and raised in the US have a very different culture than Latinas born and raised in Latin America; the other issue could be generational.

I know Constance Marie was born and raised in the US and has a different ancestry, she is actually from my generation, but I did not grow up here. So we have totally different experiences.

I wish we did not care and we did not judge our appearance and the appearance of others.

But you brought up something that I may need to emphasize. I talk about my own experiences and maybe should not generalize to entire ethnic groups or generations.


8 09 2008

Yes, my friends were also born and raised in the United States, the same as Constance Marie was, so maybe that does play a part in it?

And in the case of an actress like Constance, maybe acting helps get rid of inhibitions?

Now if someone can tell me how to get my butt to look like Constance Marie’s I’d be a very happy woman!

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