Monday, August 8, 2016

The Women's Locker Room

I'd like to take a moment and talk about the womens' locker room at the gym. I find it fascinating, and not just because there are always the token older ladies who don't give a damn and just walk around everywhere completely naked (can I please be you when I'm older?).

I went to a class at 6am before work this morning which is out of my norm. And I say "out of my norm" to emphasize the fact that I am not normally this ambitious; I'm much more of an evening workout person when I go. But it's interesting to see the difference between the pre-work and the post-work locker room buzz.

There is something unique that happens in the morning in that locker room: bodies of all shapes and sizes and so many morning routines come together. Fresh-out-of-the-shower faces and wet hair seem to be a portrait of vulnerability; you see the face behind the face that everyone sees on a day to day basis. We all spend so much time getting ready in the mornings, putting ourselves together for another day out in the world. What does that entail exactly? Well, it's different for everyone.

As I stand at a long mirror blowdrying my hair to "Katie standards" (7 steps below actually dry but 3 above "I fell into a fountain"), I'm next to a woman meticulously curling her perfectly dried hair. In the mirror across the way, another girl does spiral curls with a straightener. Which I will someday teach myself how to do from Pinterest. Other girls just wrap their wet hair up in a bun (you go, girl).

Then comes the makeup. My makeup includes my staples from Target, nothing fancy. I don't really notice anyone else's makeup but what I do notice are the blank slates that everyone presents to the mirror. I can feel the vulnerability myself as I perform a routine typically performed alone in front of my own bathroom mirror. Not insecure, but aware of all of the different approaches we take to the day. It almost feels like we're all bonded together by that experience before taking on the day; we've all seen each other sans makeup as strangers, wrapped in a towel with hair undone. We ourselves are undone, but in a comfortable way. A liberating way.

And I really appreciate that about the women's locker room.

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