Thursday, 5 March 2009

Naked Ambition

It’s been almost two months, and I must say I quite enjoy going to the gym even though waking up on some mornings can be a bitch. The workouts leave me feeling refreshed, less agitated and less aggressive in general. After the workout I usually shower at the gym before I head straight to work a few kilometers away. The allure of the gym I go to is that there aren’t hordes of people around and the place immaculately clean. I do however believe that they should have a manual or brochure regarding the use of the gym’s showers and locker rooms especially for those people who don’t seem to have any restroom etiquette.

I remember a holiday with Tweets back in 2005. We were in Gibraltar, the south of Spain and decided to lounge on the pool deck overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with a bunch of other holidaymakers. In the midst of my reverie, this boy (well he was a pre-pubescent youth around the age of 12 or 13) took off all his clothes including his underwear and stood with his fists on his hips, stark naked, chest puffed out like he was Julius Caesar manning the ocean for his lost Roman fleet. Coming from a relatively reserved and conservative home, community, society and religion with a defined code of conduct…we were both shocked and amused at little Caesar’s undaunted stance as he paraded around his family jewels.

I find that there is a similar sentiment at the gym locker room. Now I’m no prude, but I am modest and have certain principles and standards which I pride myself on. At the same time, I do understand that it is a locker room and of course it is unreasonable to expect everyone to be fully clothed all the time. BUT there are limits. I have no objection to those women who are getting dressed or those in their towels, or those who are in their underwear on their way to take a shower…because all those actions serve a PURPOSE.

Personally, I’ll never get undressed in front of people. I’ll take my clothes to the shower, hang them up on the hooks provided outside the shower door, and then proceed to undress whilst INSIDE the shower with the door closed. I get dressed inside the shower too. My own sister has never even seen me completely naked, maybe in my underwear, but never starkers. Maybe that’s just the culture ingrained in us.

I contemplated culture for a while, but then realised that it was only a specific group of women that didn’t have issues with nudity. I’m talking about the Cleopatra’s who parade around the locker room, with NO PURPOSE. There was one in particular. Cleo undressed, every inch of clothing discarded while she proceeded to wander around the locker room seemingly aimless. She then went into the steam room sans mandatory towel, at which point I was seriously disturbed, but thankfully she didn’t sit. She stood there, just like little Caesar had, demanding respect for her lumps of flesh, the mass on her backside, the stretch marks that ran like railway tracks on a map and what I can only describe as an Amazon jungle. It was unsettling in that, all this was visible in the 2 seconds it took to cross my line of vision as she continued to flaunt her bits to all and sundry…her dark flesh screaming “look at me” lol. I couldn’t stop laughing as I lowered my gaze and went about my business. I’m not used to people exhibiting parts of them that only their doctors and husbands get to see.

I can’t imagine what it must be like in the men’s locker room since it is a well known fact that men have considerably less qualms about staggering around Caesar style. I also can’t help thinking that it’s this lack of diffidence that results in the most scandalous incidents like for example, the fact that the late Marlon Brando and equally dead James Dean; both Hollywood icons and posthumous alumni of the movie scene…completely straight men as evidence from their conquests and mutual interest in women would have it; once did the nasty TOGETHER, WITH EACH OTHER! Yeah, true story, Marlon even documented it in his memoirs. I suppose they probably spent one too many days together in the steam room lol. Shit like that is bound to happen when one goes cavorting around in the nude.

I’ve learnt to lower my gaze from before I even enter the locker room. Interestingly enough you’ll never see women who are blessed with bodies straight out of the Kelloggs Corn Flakes adverts walking around completely naked. It’s just those women who have a point to prove. In my opinion, I think it is somewhat disrespectful. And I’m aware that everyone is entitled to their beliefs etc…but when did we abandon basic morals and values? Whatever happened to modesty? And it’s not a cultural issue because if one goes back into history, women were more modest and reserved in general, regardless of race or creed.

I’m convinced that every time Cleopatra makes the effort to intrude in my visual capacity that she infringes on a few of my human rights. I want to tell her to cover herself because I really don’t need to see her tits bobbing up and down under the dryer, or her jelly bits as she bends over to pick up her towel or the uncultivated expanding forest that she nurtures, taking global warming to a whole new level. I really don’t need to see mass amounts of flesh wobbling about, threatening to touch me and the sweat that emanates from her most intimate parts, its enough to make me want to puke. I guess that’s why people lose weight so drastically in the place, because no one has an appetite after witnessing that monstrosity.
I wish someone would tell her to use a towel.


  1. Lol that is disgusting. So true that it's always the ones with the most jelly-like bits parading around naked. I think it's so damn weird. I have major issues with showering/changing at the gym.

  2. WIP - know, I have no issues with her size or weight because we are all not perfect. I also have stretch marks and boobs but I'm not shoving them in her face lol.

  3. LOL!!!
    It's the same in the locker room where I go! It's pretty disturbing that people walk around starkers without a care in the world.

    I too walk into the locker room with my gaze never know what sight might greet you...

  4. I hate the mens locker room, or any kind of change room, I try to avoid at all costs.

  5. I agree, I hate when ppl are parading around naked without reason. Last week there was this old man standing up on the bench naked drying his hair...i mean why? why?

    I always have to go home to shower, unfortunately the gym I go to has a shower wall instead of stalls :(

  6. if i may add.. this grossed me out comepletely!!!
    ohh yea we have traditions deeply rooted in us.. i am yet to be at a swimming pool side and strip but i think i wont b doing that!!! sucks for me.. and always has.
    dont really find it at all appealing. even the thought they share as 'you've got what i've got', so what is the biggie... ewww!

  7. brilliantly written; so much so that reading is like being there :(

    this is kudos to u for the way u write; bad for the vision and pukability stats :((

  8. oh dear - im visiting an island off the coast of spain soon. thanks for warning me!

  9. oh and i adore the mast head pic. very "lost in fairytale land"

  10. hahahaha azra, i loved this post.. i cant believe the 13 year old boy!!
    as for the cleo and her nudity..thats is awkward and i agree its not just about culture or religion..its basic common sense and basic morals :s

  11. LOL...jelly bits hahahahaha.

    Like the revamp - very promise landish

  12. It's the same in the Men's. Really. But I have to use it when I swim. Otherwise, if I just workout, I go home to shower, since I live close enough.

    I don't know, but maybe it's worse here in the Mother city vs other places especially in the male locker room, cos I know for sure the male versions of Cleo, are all batting for the other side.

  13. This post of yours has uncovered long-hidden, filed-away-in-the-attic-of-my-mind, trauma-inducing visions of my first encounter of the obscene kind wayyyy back in the day - I was too young to even know bout furry parts and i remember my aunt briskly covering my eyes with her hand - kinda like the saudi black-marker censored magazines! I'm gonna need therapy after this!!!

    BTW - Love the new look!

  14. TCQ and Waseem - lmao. so you know what I mean :)

    Geekisiddiqui - lol, I know! Why? Thats what I always say too :D

    AD and KS - Yeah, yuck I know...but its the truth lol :P

    Prixie - Thanx :)

    Mubi and Trinity - I can't stop laughing when I think of it :P

    Antonio - I don't get the men either lol!

  15. fart in their open faces
    OPEN FACES, know what i mean right!