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.)