In locker rooms of gyms nationwide, there is a strict, unyielding rule: do not look at other locker room dwellers when they are not wearing clothes.
I experience tremendous difficulty sticking to this rule.
I always steal glances from the corner of my eye.
First of all, I'm fascinated by how different women's bodies are. I know and you know we all have the same equipment, but really, variety is so vast. I can't believe we have such a narrow concept of beauty when most women look great in the buff.
I'm also quite intrigued by how different a woman looks when she walks out of the shower compared to when she's dressed and ready to walk out of the gym. It's a complete, magical transformation that goes way beyond her appearance. It gives me a disembodied sense of pride that the female species is so gifted at pulling together a look.
Finally, I'm completely shocked by how much longer it takes most women to get ready in comparison to how long it takes me to get ready. I've never had such a large number of subjects to compare myself to, and it's been quite a revelation.
I jump out of the shower, wrap a towel around my head and get dressed. I have short hair and it's curly so I let it be. And, I don't wear any makeup. So, while I'm thorough when I dry off, specially between my toes, and apply yummy smelling body cream, face cream and leave-in conditioner, I notice other women spend hours parting their hair and blow-drying sections of it with brushes of different shapes and sizes. And, they carry around huge bags filled with makeup, which they proceed to apply meticulously – and, to my deep admiration, quite expertly.
I take, on average, about half the time others do. And, I'd be much faster if I wasn't so busy noticing all of this in while pretending not to look.
I could go on with other things I've noticed about large numbers of naked people of my gender, but I think I've gone as far as I can without making anyone too terribly uncomfortable.
(Photo from Sephora.com)