Changing rooms are strange places. They seem to run in a parallel universe where any social niceties and manners society usually goes by, tend to go out the window.
If you follow my Instagram account you’ll probably have gathered I go to the gym 2/3 times a week in an attempt to stem the weight gain that motherhood has brought with it.
When there I’m not much of a people watcher, but the other day I was in the changing room, which was a bustling hive of activity and saw a lady, in her underwear, reach for the (complimentary) box of tissues, take some out and pop them in her knickers. Another couple followed to wipe under her arms, then finally, she used one to clean her ears. In full view of everyone. No-one seemed to bat an eyelid and it got me thinking about:
Changing room etiquette, the 5 types of woman you can expect to meet
The woman with no boundaries
Probably the easiest to spot as she will quite literally be ‘in your face’. Often prancing around naked, she thinks nothing of stretching right across you to reach her locker, rather than say ‘excuse me’.
When not inflicting parts of her body on unsuspecting victims, she chooses to start loud, inappropriate conversations with someone who is desperately trying to keep to herself.
The ‘we’re all girls together’ woman
These women are utterly ‘no nonsense’. The curtained change booth may as well not exist for them. No awkwardly trying to take underwear off under clothes, these ladies march in, strip off and wonder what all the fuss is about?
Just in case you are unsure how to spot this type, look for the ladies with practical haircuts and imperfect bodies, strolling naked with their towel jauntily round their neck, from one side of the changing room, all the way to the showers.
The woman who has mistaken the changing room for a creche
No-one is more important than these women and their child(ren). At least, that is the impression she gives as she and her friends proceed to wheel a plethora of buggies and baby equipment through the changing area with little regard to hygiene or the other users of the room.
They take over the largest, most conspicuous area and are a hive of industry, changing nappies, marching small children to the pool and getting themselves changed.
What they should get the award for is how many words a minute they can speak whilst performing these tasks. Talking is only broken off to give changing room users a filthy look when they try to suggest it’s not appropriate for their unattended toddlers to wander around the room searching through everyone’s bags.
The woman who is proud of her body
Occasionally confused with the ‘we’re all girls together’ brigade and showing traits of the woman with no boundaries, the woman who is proud of her body can be found either, in the gym or under a very quick shower. Pools are forbidden as it may make her self-tan streak. Skin an unnatural shade of orangey/brown, false eyelashes tangling in her eyebrows and fake nails so long, she struggles to handle the key of her locker, the woman who is proud of her body takes every opportunity to show it off.
Marching up and down the corridor of the changing room for no reason other than to preen in the full length mirror and show off, she can be identified as the one wearing the towel around her waist but not her torso, unnecessarily leaning across you to ensure you get a close up of her ‘perfect’ assets.
The woman who keeps to herself
This lady chooses a locker an appropriate distance from other lockers, in order to avoid the woman with no boundaries and the woman who is proud of her body. Should she encounter them, she pops into the curtained area to swiftly get changed.
The woman who keeps to herself wears a towel in the sauna and when walking to and from the shower and wears clothes/swimwear at all other, appropriate times. She’s not interested in other people’s bodies and appreciates privacy enough not to inflict hers on all and sundry. She can most often be spotted batting away nosy questions from the woman with no boundaries, whilst heading out of the changing room and on her way to coffee.