It’s time for another serious chat (somewhat personal and intrusive maybe):
How comfortable do you feel naked?
I’m going to assume that I have a normal comfort level when it comes to being naked. I don’t purposely go around naked, but if I’m in my own apartment, alone, I feel no shame. I’m definitely nothing like Tobias from Arrested Development and his “never naked” phobia.
However, yesterday my co-worker asked me if I wanted to go to a bathhouse. In all honesty, this is like the most dreaded offer I could have received. A Korean bathhouse, also called a Jjimjilbang room, is a unique experience. It’s basically a spa but you’re naked the whole time. Like literally always naked. Well, naked in the bathing area..so not always (yes I’m exaggerating! I’m FREAKING out here people!!)
There are other areas too, like massage and things, where apparently you wear clothes that are provided to you. For those interested, I’ve fond a handy 5 Step Guide to Jjimjimbangs. It seems sooooo relaxing, but um hello….naked?
Like I said, and probably how I’ve portrayed myself through this blog, is that I’m pretty comfortable in my body, even though it is in an extra-large size. Life is way too short to be worrying about that. I’ve spent a few years building up my confidence and now I basically just think I slay it every day. Of course this is all in my own head and I may be completely wrong, but at least the gummy bears and unicorns in my head tell me I’m slaying it – and they seem to be pretty reliable, if you ask me 😉
Even with all of that confidence and self-love that I have for this body that God has given me, and that I have embraced, I’m still like panicking over this invitation. It was an open invitation, but I’m not exactly sure if I could do it – walking around naked in front of lots of Korean women….omg….if I was the type of person to get hives over stressful situations, just thinking about having to experience this would break me out in hives. As comfortable as I am in presenting my clothed body to the world, I’m not exactly sure if I could present an unclothed version.
Then of course, there is the tattoo issue. In South Korea, tattoos are still technically illegal. There is an “underground” market of course, and a lot of South Korean artists are getting recognized for their amazing work. The co-worker who asked me to go, she has a tattoo on her back, so I think that I would be ok. My tattoos are relatively small, except for my shoulder which is just a Thai word about 6 inches long. Comedian Margaret Cho went to a Korean Spa in LA and was actually asked to cover up (she is pretty much covered in ink though) She just had to wear a robe in the bathing area (the full naked area), but she was really upset about it, especially since she was in LA. You can read about that here. Now I’m sure that my 4 little tattoos wouldn’t cause that much of an issue, but it’s still something to think about.
Now my question to you lovely folks: would you strip down for a Jjimjilbang? It’s definitely something that hypothetically I would love to experience. It’s definitely something that I wouldn’t be able to do back home. But omg…naked…..
Tobias understands me…
Random thought: how could he have had a kid if he’s never naked?!