The 5 Types of Weirdos You Meet in Women’s Locker Rooms
There’s been a huge shift by the masses towards health and fitness in the last few years. Fitness ‘experts’ have become a ubiquitous presence in the world of blogging and social media seemingly out of nowhere. Of course, people have been squattin’ and flexin’ forever, but they either started talking about it more or the abundance of big asses and six packs on Instagram has influenced a lot of people to hit their local YMCA. I’d definitely rather hear someone tell me what they did this morning in the gym over of how many drugs they did this weekend (just because I’d be much more jealous of the latter than the former) but there’s also a thin line between knowledgeable and know-it-all-able. Please, learn the difference (which you can have spelled out for you with this previous post).
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to drink all night (or at all) on a weeknight and go to the work the next day, or eat a really greasy, deep fried, delicious, heaven-sent meal without keeling over in pain while still chewing the last bite. You know what that means? V-Block is getting OLD. After a few years of denial, I’ve finally decided to give this ‘new craze’ – based around living a healthier and less awesomely fun lifestyle by eating better and, sigh, going to the gym – a try.
Don’t let the sigh fool you. It’s actually been a [mostly] pleasant process. I have so much more energy throughout the day and the pride you feel from knowing you’re finally being a [mostly] responsible adult is a perk of its own. But you know what’s [mostly] not a perk? Having a stranger’s bush in your face. No, I don’t think it’s ok to walk around a locker room rockin’ your bush like it’s 1979 and you want to show off your new perm. Nor is it okay to eat spaghetti and meatballs next to me while I’m trying to awkwardly put on a sports bra. The basic rules and etiquette of society don’t magically disappear because you’re in a locker room. You leave your coat at the door, not your manners.
In my modest 6 weeks or so of consistent gymmery, I’ve concluded that there are 5 different types of locker room occupants, varying from mildly inconveniencing to flagrantly intrusive. Here they are, in no particular order, as they’re all equally annoying.
1. The Free-For-All-er
This person’s personal motto is ‘No F*cks Given.’ If you’ve ever been bent over tying your shoes and wondered what that flash of darkness you noticed out of your peripheral was, it was most likely the aforementioned ‘70s bush flying by you without a care in the world. I think it’s inspiring that in our hypercritical, shallow, aesthetically-obsessed society some people still find enough peace within themselves to ignore it all and wiggle, jiggle and hang like it ain’t a thang. Seriously, I can dig that personal philosophy, that there should be no shame in being proud of the skin we were born in. 100%. You go girl.
With that being said, you can enjoy that bush like it’s nobody’s business while still respecting that we’re sharing a very small space. There is NO need to be spread eagle on a bench, spreading lotion over your entire body like you’re auditioning for a Silence of the Lambs interpretive dance troupe. The other day I walked into the shower area and a woman was going to town lathering herself up in the shower… with the curtain open. I wasn’t offended, just confused. There was a curtain, but she didn’t use it. Again, no matter how comfortable you are with being naked around strangers, it’s just POLITE to behave like perhaps, just maybe, there’s a small chance that not everyone wants to watch you rub soap between your no-no folds. Just think about it. I beg you.
2. The Multi-Tasker
Hey, good for you. You’ve taken a stand against laziness and waste nary a minute of your day. You spend every moment being productive and getting your shit done. Good on ya. But can I maybe suggest that perhaps you eat your dinner in the waiting room-esque portion of the locker room? You know, where there are chairs and a couch and a TV? Hey look, there’s even a table! It would almost be like eating at home, actually. No naked bodies ruining your desire to refuel or anything. It’s just really hard to try and get past you to my locker when you have a 3-course meal set up on the bench. Oh, you’re done eating? Great. Thanks for moving – wait, what? What are you doing now? YOUR HOMEWORK? ARE YOU SERIOUS?
Why? Why do these women choose the uncomfortable, narrow wooden benches in between sweaty, smelly, nude strangers to complete their tasks? Sure, have an apple while you’re undressing. Maybe snack on a protein bar while you’re getting your stuff packed up. But sitting on a bench to eat a full meal while people are changing within 6 inches of every direction of your face is not normal. You know what else it isn’t? Sanitary. People come swinging into the locker room literally dripping with sweat, and you’re holding your open Tupperware at crotch level because, what? You don’t want to walk 10 feet?
Please go eat your dinner, do your homework and make your annoyingly loud phone calls in the other room.
3. The Private Room User
There’s no clever name for this one. Look, I’m not gonna bash you. You’ve probably got some insecurity issues. Maybe you’re missing a leg or are just really shy. Maybe it’s that time of the month. I don’t know what it is, but there’s some reason that you don’t feel comfortable getting undressed in front of other women. I can somewhat understand that – I still don’t go to the gym at work because I don’t want the people I see 40 hours a week picturing me naked when I’m in a meeting with them (no one said my reasoning was rational). I wish you didn’t feel the need to hide though, because you’re beautiful and unique and should be proud of whatever you’ve got going on under those clothes. But enjoy that private room if it makes you feel more comfortable.
Unless you’re just trying to escape the other people on this list. Then you’re just a stuck-up asshole.
4. The Prom Queen
If you’re like me, the only way you can commit to a consistent gym routine is if you go during your lunch break at work. I hate getting home late after the gym and then having to cook and then basically go to sleep because it feels like it’s 10 pm before I’ve even taken my shoes off. I like to enjoy my evenings. Now the reason I mention this is because The Prom Queen could possibly use the fact that she’s going back to work as an excuse for why she’s doing 4 layers of make-up and curling her hair for an hour in a public locker room. But not bloody likely. This is the type of woman that probably wears heels to go grocery shopping. Sure, I like to clean up before going back to work. I also wear jeans and Chucks to work so I don’t necessarily have to look as office-appropriate as many women do. But there is no office – at least not since 1962 – that requires a woman to have on 13 shades of eyeshadow and salon-grade hair without some sort of serious HR nightmare risks, so there is no need for the beauty marathon.
Perhaps my issue is actually with women who just wear too much make-up and hair products to begin with, but trust me, there are locker room-specific qualms I have with these women. First of all, your make-up bag is the size of a carry-on. You could probably skip the gym all together because you’re getting a workout lugging that thing around as it is. You’re taking up the entire length of counter space that is intended for 3-4 women. Plus, you’re there for an hour. I can understand the times where maybe you have a date or some sort of special occasion directly after your workout, but I see some women a few times a week doing this every time they’re there. It just makes me sad. There is a very thin line between telling yourself you take pride in how you like and admitting to yourself that you’re insecure without your makeup and hair done. I wish more women would learn the difference.
5. The Creeper
This person is actually what inspired this post. I was getting changed after a yoga class a week or so ago and there was a young Asian girl, probably 23 or 24, fully dressed and packed up but still just sitting there. She was attempting to do some sort of action or movement here or there, to make it seem less obvious that all she was doing was blatantly checking out every other woman’s body while they changed. She’d fix her shoe laces. Grab her brush and brush her hair for a minute. Make sure something was in her bag. Then make sure it was REALLY in her bag just in case she was wrong the first time. The only reason I noticed her was because she was sitting right next to my locker and I was trying to get out of there as quickly as possible. You know, like a normal person. She was already dressed and packed when I walked in, and was still there after I walked out. I went back to work thinking – what is her deal?
Now, maybe the Creeper is actually just really curious girl or woman who doesn’t know it’s rude to stare. I imagine she probably grew up in a very conservative household where being naked wasn’t something you did unless you were alone, even if it was just you and your siblings. Maybe all her friends grew up the same way and it’s just what she’s used to. Now, here she is, surrounded by all of these other female bodies, big and small, black and white, young and old, perky and saggy, so of course she might take it as a free anatomy lesson.
WELL IT’S NOT. USE THE INTERNET TO JUDGE AND OVER-ANALYZE YOUR BODY BY COMPARING IT TO SOMEONE ELSE’S LIKE THE REST OF US DO.