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What this Curvy Girl Learned at the Public Pool and the Locker Room

Chrystal Bougon

Posted on June 11 2015

plus-size-lingerieTalk about a SLICE of HUMANITY! I love it.

It’s been so long since I spent any time in a locker room or at a public pool; I have been swimming a lot these last 2 months and it’s been so amazing. I mean, I see half naked bodies all the time, but the naked bodies I see at Curvy Girl are typically size 12 to size 28. When you go to a public gym and a public pool, you get to see bodies of all ages, shapes and sizes.

EYE OPENER!

Since I opened my boutique in October 2012, I have really not made any time to exercise and I have been missing it.  I want to get my wind back and my endurance back… if you know what I mean.    I like to exercise for stress relief and haven’t been making the time.  I love to walk and haven’t spent much time doing any walking or much of anything besides working these past 2.5 years. So I took up swimming and walking in a local pool and it’s been great and it makes me sleep like a baby… which is so good for my stress level.

Tonight, in the PUBLIC shower, I was just thinking about all of the various women that work out at this pool and how they all are so beautiful and all so unique and varied.  There are women of every variety… old, young, fat, thin, … women covered in bug bites from her camping trip… thin women with stretch marks…. fat women with no stretch marks… women with big boobs… women with small boobs….women with lopsided boobs… women who’ve had a mastectomy…. women with moles and freckles and women with tan lines… women who are in their 80’s.. and women in their 20’s. Women with loose and extra skin… women whose skin is toned and tight… women with brown hair.. black hair… blonde hair… gray hair and almost no hair. One woman was swimming in her capri pants and her t-shirt and tennis shoes.  Another woman who wears a long sleeve t-shirt over her bathing suit… TRULY everyone and everything you can imagine under the sun! And all beautiful.

It’s been amazing and beautiful and a good reminder that we’re all in this together. Some of us are shy and modest. Some of us strip down naked in a public shower with 10 shower heads and don’t think about it for a second even when we have fat bodies. Others of us are thin and athletic and stay covered up until we’re in the privacy of the changing booth.  Thin, athletic women are not immune to the shame we internalize about our bodies. Some of us LOVE our bodies and feel zero shame or embarassment. (Their confidence is awe inspiring for me! I have a lot of confidence in my clothes or lingerie – but buck nekkid in the shower in public is a whole other story for me. YIKES.) And some of us don’t feel shame about our bodies – we’re just modest – like me.

I have been wanting to start swimming at this pool for about a year and kept putting it off due to the “gym intimidation” a lot of us fat women feel.  I even bought the new bathing suit like a year ago and never even wore it until March this year. I KNOW. I am a goofball.  (And, here is a cool blog about Gym Intimidation from Ce Ce: The Plus SIze Princess. I follow her on facebook and her blog and she wrote a great article on the topic of gym intimidation.)

I just wanted to share that and then soon we need to have a dialogue around that weird feeling you get when your friends congratulate you for exercising. And then they tell you how proud they are of you.  I know I am not the only person whose panties get all twisted up when my friends or family say shit that feels very condescending, but we’ll save that for another blog.

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