Sunday, March 9, 2008
New York Sports Club: Where Judgement Runs Free as Gatorade
Confession: Your faithful author Daisy is a judgemental person.
This is no boast. I am not proud of this fact. I have read books on feeling cosmically connected to all other humans based on our humaneness. I have meditated, I have redirected thoughts, I have committed random acts of kindness. But I still can't shake the little voice in my head that tells me what is wrong with everyone in front of me.
I could blame it on my grandmother- who used to walk behind me and whisper into my ear a running commentary on the faults of every passerby on the street, every actress on television, every boy in a movie. As Free Willy crested the reef in his final, triumphant cinematic gesture she whispered, "good thing that boy is fat, if the whale falls on him he can take it."
But I'm not.
Because the deeper I delve into my own judgemental self the more I realize that the most judgemental people are the harshest judges of themselves.
But enough with the psych 101- being judgemental is just plain fun! You get to be superior and wear a princess crown on your head while little birds dress you and sing a happy song. At least for 10 seconds. In your head.
I started going to the gym because I felt fat. I had fat rolls in places that I'd never had fat rolls. But there were and are a whole host of other things I don't like about myself (this post can only contain my physical complaints- so never you fear TMI haters). I wish my butt was firmer and sat higher up. I wish my boobs weren't starting to sag. I wish the granny wave I've been developing on my arms would slowly disappear. And this is just the short list.
But lo and behold I went to the gym to fix the problems and what do I see before me but a cornucopia of problems way worse than my own- a sea of self-esteem boosters if you will. Now, not only do I leave the gym buzzing with endorphins but I also get to leave buzzing with thoughts like: "Wow! I've never seen areolas that big!"
As you may have figured out nudity is frowned upon in Alabama. After the age of 2 it is no longer acceptable to be naked outside of the bathtub. Before the NYSC gym locker room most, if not all, of the naked women I've seen have been in movies my highschoool boyfriend's friends watched like, "Rumpleforeskin". And despite the fact that these women might have faces worthy of a paper bag, I gotta admit, on a whole they usually have waaaaaaayyyyyy better bodies than little ole me.
I've probably seen a truly naked woman who wasn't in a porno once in my life. It was a one woman show in Charlottesville, I think, where the woman got naked in the first ten minutes and then preceded to give a 1 1/2 hour monologue completely bare. At first I was shocked and the judgemental train was running full steam (she was pretty overweight and into natural hair, if you get my drift) But an hour into staring at her naked body she started to resemble an art piece. A Rococo painting or something. You could see how the fleshy folds could be beautiful, how the body is an amazing thing, how I should be happy just to have the ability to walk and be proud of my ass or my flabby arms. We were all one, cosmically connected by the spirit, forced to walk around in these imperfect, yet breathtaking, skeletal shells. I was filled with such good will towards all people- and then the lights came on and the curtain closed.
Now in the locker room, for the low low price of $80 a month, there are starkers everywhere and instead of a long and moving naked monologue where I admire the female form- I get five seconds to gawk and gape and compare notes, the little judgemental me running amok. Its simply amazing to witness live!! big ole asses, huge drooping breasts, cellulite like you wouldn't believe. Big fat women, tiny little Asian girls, those with huge bushes, and old women with wrinkled thighs, just proud as hell walking around like it ain't nobody's business. And it probably ain't. And if i was a kinder, more gentler person I would be writing a feminist epistle on the beauty of the female body no matter its state- but I'm not. I'm going to say a gigantic THANK YOU to all those women who make me feel comfortable taking my top off in the locker room. For at least another couple of years I can confidently say my boobs haven't started to sag as much as yours.
But wait, I know what your thinking, dear reader- that I'm an asshole. And you're probably right. But please don't judge me too hasty. We have to get our self-esteem from somewhere and I'm an equal opportunity judge. Therefore I offer an open invitation to all the women in the NYSC locker room- If you see me changing like a nervous 12 year old in junior high gym class and get a glimpse of a nip, or a fat roll, or my granny wave arm feel free to judge me up and down. I certainly do every morning.