This morning on Instagram, my friend and model in Denmark, Mikael posted a photo of himself in a communal shower at the gym with a long comment. The story goes that the Scandinavian news has reported that teenagers are skipping showers after sports etc because they are feeling anxiety associated with being seen naked and showering by friends. Now growing up here in Australia, it was perfectly normal at my school for people to just get changed after P.E. and not shower, but for the Scandinavians to be reporting that is sad. They have such a long and rich history of communal bathing and an natural ease when it comes to the human body and nudity
I would argue that teenagers are not a good barometer of the general population when it comes to anxiety. We all remember feeling that every little slightly bad thing was the worst thing to happen in the history of the world and if you felt mildly uneasy about something then it was extreme anxiety. We are becoming overly delicate about feeling anxious. Sometimes it’s actually healthy to let yourself feel that discomfort or anxiety and face it head on rather than avoid it all together. That leads to a situation where you just can’t deal with something that could easily have been sorted out early on by just getting on with it.
If people have body image issues, which most of us do then surely exposure (no pun intended) to a wide variety of normal body shapes and sizes is going to be a healthier option than everyone covering up so that the only people we see are models with ridiculous bodies and porn stars with appendages that we can’t and shouldn’t aspire to having, because we can’t do anything about the size of our cocks. Let’s get rid of all the shower cubicles and revel in our ordinariness, whatever the shape or size we are.