When I was thinking up some things to do for my get together with girlfriends in Toronto two weekends ago I immediately thought: spa.
Last summer I went on vacation to Tobermory and Collingwood. My sister, friend, and I decided to go to Le Scandinave one afternoon. I had read about it and heard good things and even though sitting around and doing nothing all afternoon is the bane of my existence (I always want to be doing something) I was willing to try it out.
The premise is 15 minutes in a heat source (steam room, dry sauna, or jacuzzi) followed by a plunge into a 60*F cold pool, followed by 15 minutes of lounging in a hammock or muskoka chair by a crackling fire. Then repeat as many times as desired.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that this water treatment was responsible for making me feel the best I have ever felt in my life. Honestly, I still dream about it sometimes and I always crave going back and feeling that good again.
Of course when I googled “water spa Toronto” and came up with Body Blitz Spa I was more than excited to offer the idea to my girlfriends, so I e-mailed them my suggestion.
Are you fucking crazy? I’m not going to no naked spa! (or something to that effect) was the response from one of my friends.
I didn’t even notice that the spa is “bathing suit optional”, but I hardly cared since it’s a women’s only facility. People walk around the change room at the gym naked all the time, it’s not really a big deal. And besides, it’s not as if the place is “nudity required”.
Today I read an editorial in the Globe and Mail about this very spa, and more specifically about the nudity (or lack thereof). The writer and the naked spa-goers that she interviewed labelled the swimsuit clad twenty-somethings who frequent the place as prudes whose self-esteem is too vulnerable to allow their imperfect bodies to be seen by others.
“For their mothers, nude bathing was empowering; for them, it’s objectifying.”
Is it true? Are we really prudes?
I’ll admit that had I gone with my friends to Body Blitz I would not have bathed naked. Maybe because I know they wouldn’t done it have either, but mostly because I think it would be awkward to be naked around people I know and try to ignore the obvious. “Hello! Here are all those parts of me you’ve never seen before.”
Had I gone to the spa alone, it would have been a different story. I like to get the full experience of anything that I try. And plus I get undressed in the gym changing room all the time in front of women I don’t know, and I don’t think twice about it. The veil of anonymity is a powerful tool.
This whole thing got me thinking about females and nudity, in spas, in change rooms, and in locker room showers. The more effort we put into covering up our imperfections by hiding our bodies from other women then the less real, unaltered images of female bodies we are exposed to. Where else can we see real boobs and thighs and bellies on women who don’t pose for magazines or red carpet photo-ops? Do we even know what real women look like anymore?
If we were a bit more open to the idea of nudity then maybe it would be better for all of our self confidence, and our comfort with our bodies.
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