10.30.2008

Strange Happenings in the Girl's Locker Room


I was packing my daughter's shorts and tee shirt for gym class this morning when I remembered my middle school days. We had the most HEINOUS one piece stretch gym suits that we had to wear for gym.  

They were the most unflattering article of clothing EVER.  Kind of like a wrestling singlet for girls.  Luckily I was a scrawny little thing, but anyone with a little belly or developing bosom, must have been freaking out every time they put on that nasty little suit.  My problem was it gave me a wedgie.

After gym we were required to go into this big room filled with shower heads and take showers NAKED in front of the all the girls in the 7th grade! It was completely mortifying and not unlike a scene from a women's prison. Our gym teachers would sit there and watch to make sure everyone got naked. We had to parade past them and open our towels before we got in the showers to prove we weren't wearing underwear!!!  A little strange, don't you think?

It's amazing the difference in development in 7th grade girls. One girl, I remember her name, Janet G. (last name deleted to prevent a lawsuit) She was built like a grown woman at the age of 12. She came strutting into the showers, with no shame at all, the room fell silent.  It was shocking how womanly she was.  Finally she yelled "WHAT IS EVERYONE LOOKING AT?!!!" It was awkward to say the least.  (I'm still convinced she was held back a few years, NO ONE that young has boobs that big.)

Do you think getting completely butt naked and showering in front of everyone was mandated by the state? Or were our gym teachers just weird and sadistic? I wonder to this day.

And of course the whole bra thing came up at that age. EVERYONE had a bra, so even though I was flat as a board I insisted that my mother take me to the mall and get me one. When we went in the store, I asked her to just stick it in her purse, rather than put me through the torture of having the lady a the register know I was getting a brassiere. She refused to shoplift the bra, and I still remember how red my face was as the old lady behind the counter rang up our purchase.

I am so glad I'll never have to go through the humiliation of parading nude in front of 50 other people ever again. Unfortunately my daughters will have to endure the right of passage that is the girls' locker room before and after gym class.

I hope I can help make it as painless as possible for them.  Maybe I'll get them spray tanned. :)

(To all you male readers-I hope this post didn't freak you out too much. I'll warn you when I decide to post about getting my first period. I'd hate to send you over the edge.)

Footnote:  I am so glad to hear that they got rid of the required public showers after gym class.  I wish I had been born a few years later, so that I hadn't been forced to do it.  Oh well, stuff like that builds character.  (Or scars you for life, whatever.)


23 comments:

Scarlet O'Kara said...

O.M.G! I would have had nightmares about not just the P.E. uniform, but also having to take group showers and flash the P.E. teachers.

I always scheduled my P.E. classes for the last period of the day...so that I didn't have to shower.

Mrs.D said...

They don't make kids shower anymore where I live. I was in middle school 1989-1993 and it didn't happen then, either. There WERE showers, but they were old and no longer used. When my mom was in school, 60s, they had to. I think it's creepy and strange that ever was a regular thing. What the hell did you guys DO in pe that required bathing??? lol. We just played volleyball and dodgeball. hardly broke a sweat. ;-)

Mrs.D said...

Oh, and do you have a photo of these horrid suits??

Dr Zibbs said...

Same situation at Peirce (then North) Middle School. The gym teacher in 7th grade had a check list and everyone had to take at least 2 nude showers. This one dude named Ron was like a grown man. He came strutting in like he owned the place. I swear he was probably 17.

P said...

Let's don't say we remember the one-piece thingy. It shows our age, (but I do remember it) Thank God I didn't have to get naked, though! I think your gym teachers were pervs!

Vodka Mom said...

i wore that same heinous one piece gym suit. jesus christ. that was pitiful.

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I had the laziest PE teacher back in the day. After about a week a friend of mine and I convinced our social studies teacher that she really needed us to help her in her room during our gym time and she talked the PE teacher into letting us go. I bet we didn't go to class 20 times during the entire year and still made A's. It was WAY cool!

Chitown Meg said...

That is creepy about the locker room thing. I think all PE teachers have some sort of sick side....

Mrs. K said...

luckily I never had to go through that- I went to catholic school where they thought it was shameful to be naked :)

Petunia said...

That is so awful! We had showers but NO ONE ever used them. They didn't encourage nudity at my Catholic school! :)

simplynotso said...

Just proves that I am younger then you, they nixed that routine....THANK GOD before I got to middle school:)

greeneyesmcl said...

Middle school gym was the worst, unfortunately I do remember the one piece gym uniforms. Our high school was being renovated so we didn't need to shower which leads me to the locker room story. We were getting changed after gym and I heard this scraping sound, I turned and looked at the wall and there was a hole with an eyeball peeking through it! I was so stunned that I dropped to my knees. The other girls turned to look at me as I was grabbing a pencil to poke through the hole. It was bedlam. The sexy principal came rushing to the girls locker room and when they checked on the other side of the wall (which was the construction zone) there was a board propped up across and drain ditch that the construction guys had been peeking through! Guys are such perverts!

jenn said...

Oh, dear lord, I remember it vividly. My gym teacher did the reverse parade, where we had to prove we were wet and had actually showered.

My daughter's in middle school this year, and they are not required to shower. Nor do they have to wear the horrific little striped singlet that I did. I must have looked like an escapee from "Girls Gone Wild: Prison Edition." Except with teeny little boobs.

Ashlee said...

We weren't allowed to shower. Although thinking back on it I am pretty sure the most straining thing we did was Sweating To The Oldies and a couple of Buns of Steel tapes. I was lucky enough to have the baseball coach during baseball season so it wasn't a physically demanding class

preppyplayer said...

We had male gym teachers in high school. Not only did we try to get out of showering we also tried to get out of gym. All we had to say was "Coach it's that time of the.." and they would quickly cut us off and say, "you're excused!"
I don't think they ever realized that we seemed to have our periods a lot!

K and/or K said...

I know those suits you speak of! Torture!

Mom on the Run said...

We actually had private stalls in our girls locker room (all the visiting basketball teams always thought that was so weird). I only remember using them a few times after volleyball.

None of my kids have ever showered at school. I'm not sure they even have them anymore (we have a brand new high school). Hmmm, I'll have to ask.

linda said...

We also wore weird bright blue bloomer type one peice gym uniforms ( late 60's) -didn't have to shower though, our typical gym class consisted of learning the Virginia Reel ( in NY!).

sltbee69 said...

I think we are around the same age. Where I grew up in the Midwest, mandatory showers after PE stopped when I got to 8th grade. Even in 7th grade when it was required, the PE teacher wasn't strict about it. We didn't have the one piece uniform either. Anyway, these days with the cutting of most of the physical education out of schools, I don't think 30 minutes a class, 2 times a week, you're gonna have much sweating going on.

The Mrs. said...

We never changed for gym...isn't that gross? I remember watching the movie Some Kind Of Wonderful and the locker room scenes and thinking does that really happen? I guess it does!!!!!!!

jerseygirl89 said...

That sounds like HELL. We didn't even have showers at the middle school I went to, for which I have always been grateful. And in high school only the actual athletes used them after school - no one got sweaty in gym class.

Jaina said...

Ick, that's terrifying. We had showers in our locker room in junior high, but you weren't required to use them. There were like, two girls who ever used them. And if we wanted to we were allowed to wear swimsuits.

Thank goodness for marching band in high school, I didn't have to take actual P.E.

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