I’m all for undressing with abandon at the gym – I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never again have the body of a childless 18 year old and I don’t mind being surrounded by those who do. (Their time will come – mwahahahahahaha!)
But I recently had an experience that made me have an uncomfortable conversation with myself. There I was, towelled off and semi-dressed after a satisfying weights session, when in walked a fellow gym member.
Carolyn: Oh no, stranger! Quick, bum to the wall!
I probably should explain here, I was wearing one of the ugliest pairs of knickers you could ever hope to see. They are massive and baggy, and they used to be white before they were washed with a new pair of dark denim jeans. Now they are the colour of that big layer of lint you pull out of your dryer once every few months when it stops working.
These knickers are left over from when I went to the hospital to have my third baby. They were supposed to be thrown out soon afterwards but I never got around to it, and they are kind of comfortable. But they’re saggy and flimsy and, well, you can see Champagne Bumcrack right through the almost threadbare fabric. I bought them in a pack of 10 for $10. They’re super sexy – I’m sure you probably get that by now.
Carolyn: Oh no, she’s looking….Act natural…*smile*…Quick, put shirt on – it will come down and cover the top of the knickers…Even better, put on your bloody pants. Duh. Do you think she saw?
Carolyn (back to Carolyn): Yes, yes, I think she did. But more important than that, why do you care? And why is this a big deal, but you have no problem walking around looking like this at home – in front of the one person you’re supposed to have sex with for the rest of your life? What about that poor schmuck?
It’s easy to ‘let things go’ a bit after you have a baby. And of course you should. There are other things to think about and comfort is king. But sometimes you forget to reel things back in again later on. And it can affect how we feel about ourselves and how we present ourselves to the world.
Am I a bad feminist for thinking we should make an effort? I don’t think I am. This isn’t really about being cute for your partner, this is about feeling good for yourself. It’s about self-respect.
I have some new knickers now. They aren’t leopard print g-strings or anything – but they’re a bit nicer than what I would normally buy. And when I get dressed in the morning, I feel better about myself. I feel dressed and done and like I am well put together.
So here’s your homework this week: go out and buy yourself a new pair of knickers. Nice ones – ones that make you feel a bit spesh. Then tell me you don’t stop and have a secret little smile to yourself during the day. Go on, dare you.
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