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The Naked Truth

March 7, 2011

File under: one of those things you forget about when you have been away from your own country for so long; fitting into Finnish lifestyles

Naked bodies: often seen in a changeroom when one goes to a swimming pool in Finland. Everyone goes about their business changing clothes, showering and going to sauna without thinking twice about the fact they’re walking around in their birthday suits. Squeamish about being naked in front of other people – in Finland? Not on your life. North American society and media have taught people to be ashamed of their bodies and that the sight of a naked one is equal to sex and pornography. WRONG! The fact is that the sauna and shower cleansing ritual has nothing to do with sex…

My attitude on it? From the get go in 1997 when I made my first visit here and had sauna with some of my cousins, I thought, “do as the Finns do” – it won’t do me any good to be shocked about it, and I never looked back. Naked bodies in changerooms – get used to it – don’t worry people don’t stare or check you out.

The motivation for this entry comes from an experience I had in Canada when I travelled there for Christmas to see family. Having been here in Finland so long I didn’t think twice when I stripped down to rinse off after a swim. Evidently the pre-teen girls who were next to me were rather shocked and kept saying to themselves out loud, “Look up, look up, look up…” Then I noticed as I went to get dressed that all the women were hidden behind towels and were doing their best to hide themselves as they got dressed.

I think it is a real shame that the human body is seen as a sex object, shameful, blasphemous and dirty. People come in all shapes and sizes and the media does a great job of telling the world that one is ugly unless they look, dress and act like a celebrity.

The rest of the world needs to learn a lesson from sauna-loving nations like Finland.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Juanita G permalink
    October 4, 2012 11:31 pm

    I have always lived in Canada but i have never really felt at home in my own culture. I don’t see nudity as something shameful and I am treated very awkardly by people for just being comfortable in my own skin. It’s annoying!

  2. Juanita G permalink
    October 4, 2012 11:32 pm

    It doesn’t help that the media says you are disgusting unless you have a tiny, perfect which case being all but naked is just WONDERFUL!

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