To The Woman At Equinox Who Blow Dries Her Hair While Topless:
Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. Generally, when I’m in the gym locker room, I pass by people quickly, avoiding eye contact and any other forms of personal interaction. As a policy, I like to “smile at the room,” or to maintain a universally targeted, generalized, friendly-but-unspecific smile of acknowledgment, just to reassure everyone that I’m not, you know, weird. Because, to me, the gym locker room is among the most uncomfortable of places in life to spend time. It’s a necessary evil, but I don’t care if you’re 13 or 63, it’s just plain uncomfortable to undress in front of strangers. I’m sure some people enjoy it. I’m sure because I’ve seen them. Enjoying it. But for most of us–generally speaking, again–it’s kind of embarrassing. I would even go so far as to say that society has been designed this way, to encourage this uncomfortable feeling whilst being naked in front of people you don’t know. Because if it were more fun, we would want to walk around naked all the time, right? And that could lead to a lot of unnecessary cases of frostbite. Or sunburn. Depending upon your local climate.
I digress. Back to the gym locker room: so there’s nowhere you can go to avoid this uncomfortable nudity. Nay! not only must you engage in it, you must also pretend to be OK with not only your own conspicuous nudity, but the unfortunate nudity of others. Because unless you want to walk into one of the bathroom stalls, there’s no way to change into your workout gear in private. And going into the bathroom stalls to change would mark you as a freak, let’s face it. So the whole process of getting ready to work out is a kind of tightrope walking situation for all of us. I get that.
So anyway, what I do is, I find the least-populated cache of lockers, and then I put my stuff away, and proceed to engage in the undressing-in-a-locker-room dance that I invented and quickly perfected back in Ms. Mueli’s sixth grade PE class. This is a specialized dance in which all precautions are taken to ensure that the least amount of skin and cellulite is shown to the smallest number of people. Sure, the dance has been changed over the years–I don’t, for example, remove my bra through the sleeve of my t-shirt anymore, and obviously I don’t refuse to shower after working out anymore.
But, all that aside, I’d still rather not show you my bare naked ass if I can avoid it. No offense.
This brings me to my original point. You. Dressed from the waist down in mom jeans and ballerina flats, and completely naked on top. Nary a bra to be found! What’s that about, I wonder? See, if you wore a bra while you were blow drying your hair, I might let it slide. I’d still be uncomfortable–sure, call me a prude if it makes you feel better–but I’d be willing to accept the possibility that maybe, maybe you were doing it to keep your shirt/blouse/top from getting wet. Even if said shirt/blouse/top is a sweatshirt with licensed characters on it, I would still extend you that courtesy, because that would at least make logical sense. But the complete lack of clothing, including support wear on top, contrasted with the completely dressed bottom, is what makes this explanation difficult for me to swallow.
Why? Why? do you do it? Your boobs are really not all that great, by the way. Not that it matters. You could have the best boobs in the world and I’d still wonder. Because it’s not like we’re in the men’s locker room. Now, it’s true that roughly 10% of the population in the women’s locker room is likely to be interested in seeing boobs in a non-utilitarian context. I will give you that. But you’re still playing for a 90% uninterested crowd (at best).
And don’t talk to me about comfort, because regardless of size, I refuse to believe that having your boobs flapping in the wind with each round-brush stroke is comfortable. You see, I have boobs myself. And the reason they had to invent sports bras was because of the specifically uncomfortable feeling that having your boobs bounce around gives you.
So, what gives? And–more to the point, how would you like me to deal with you? Should I just pretend to not be embarrassed about the whole situation, like I do with the full-frontal women, the ones who gratuitously who walk around totally naked? The women who think, “Oh, I need to wash my hands, better walk down to the sink completely butt naked to do so”–those women? Do you class yourself with them? Because, yes, they are embarrassing–horrendously so, in fact–but at least I know what to do with them. You are confusing to me, you see. They don’t usually try to have conversations with me. They are just in it for pure exhibitionism. But you, you expect some kind of interaction, and I’m not sure I can give it to you. Until you put a shirt on.
Thank you for your time and prompt attention to this matter.