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Sorry Ladies, Clothing-Optional Spas Make Me Awkward

03/11/2015 12:50 EDT | Updated 05/11/2015 05:59 EDT
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I'm a feminist, but that doesn't mean I want to see your bush.

Let me explain.

I spent my morning at a water spa in the city. Now, if you're unfamiliar with the water spa situation, let me explain! A water spa is a series of hot and cold pools and saunas to detox your skin, and like your thyroid, or some shit. It's basically like if Lululemon ran roman baths, meaning it's mostly a select group of health conscious ladies shocking their body between boiling and freezing in the attempts to feel something again. It's great. If you haven't done it, go do it. It's relaxing and makes you feel like the kind of lady that drinks fresh pressed juices even if what you're sweating out is just pure vodka. It also is a fun little experiment that I think every feminist should try because an important part of this scenario is that bathing suits are optional. Great! Cool! I'm a modern lady! I've seen Dove commercials! Nakedness is no problem for me. EXCEPT THAT IT FOR SURE WAS!!!!!

Listen up all you Jezebel-article-reading little cuties! I'm on your team. Intellectually I totally understand the beauty of every individual woman's unique body. Physically, I understand what it feels like to not have Kendall Jenner's body but still thinking you're hot as shit. Spiritually, I understand and believe that every human person has the right to feel comfortable in his or her or their own skin. But then I found myself staring a real life vagina in the face and all of those thoughts and feelings and ideas screamed and ran and hid inside a bright orange bikini. I could barely focus on conversations, several times I had to actively concentrate on stifling giggles and I found I couldn't quite relax in to the experience.

Why? Why do I, as a card-carrying vagina owner (yeah fellas, you get a membership card for this equipment) feel so uncomfortable sitting in an 8x6 foot pool with a couple'a beavers? I could talk the Dove real beauty talk all god damn day but I absolutely couldn't walk the saggy tits and hairy downstairs walk! Am I a bad woman, or a prude, or a self-conscious wreck, or all of the above?

Here's a brief breakdown of where I think my fear of the snatch comes from.

1. I have the demeanour of a 17-year-old boy. I'm the little shithead in the corner cracking jokes (I had a really great line referencing old boobs and the SAG awards, it killed!) so obviously the earnest woman stretching and practicing her meditative breathing is gonna be an easy target for me whether she's clothed or not. I'm so actively bad at taking things seriously that when I see others do it I'm already flabbergasted. Starting from that place is weird.

2. I'm fairly positive I've never had the opportunity to truly look at another woman's body completely nude and completely relaxed. Now listen up! I've changed in a locker room, I went to theatre school (where everyone was constantly naked it seems), I've also been drunk enough to agree to being party to decidedly strange strip poker game. But in all of those situations my social awareness has kicked in and helped me keep a soft focus on the world around me.

3. There are lots of situations in my life where I think nakedness is appropriate and awesome. Examples: Chris Hemsworth comes to his senses and realizes I'm the only gal for him = naked in a heartbeat! Doctors offices when there might be an unfortunate HPV related issue = Naked! Theatrical productions that totally justify the need for nudity = Naked. I mean none of these really involve a large group of other women or relaxing, so that's a factor.

Sure I have my own personal starting point that makes me a lil bit uncomfortable with letting it all hang loose (hahahaha) but is there something else going on there? Is it a cultural thing? Like, Canadians are too polite to stare in to each other's business. Or is it a media thing? Did Vogue magazine brainwash me from birth to hate anyone's body that isn't 90 pounds, 5'11" and swathed in Givenchy? Is it an age thing? Like once you turn 30 you're just like fuck it, I better show of my labia before I die!

I have no idea. But next spa day I might just get a mani/pedi.

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