October 18th, 2006

July 2006

Naked in Yellow Springs

According to NOW, today is Love Your Body Day. This seems fitting since I was recently talking to lilostitch about public nudity. No, not the streaking kind ... more the using-communal-showers kind. We were talking about locker rooms, and camp, and it got me to thinking about Antioch and the effect that Antioch had on my willingness to run around naked.

There are a lot of naked people at Antioch (or at least there were, back in my day). We had communal showers (which are now gone, replaced with individual shower stalls) and plenty of people who just wandered around naked from time to time. There was Bink, who angered the lesbians in his dorm by cooking bread in the nude (I believe the situation was dealt with by creating certain "naked hours" where Bink could wander around naked and the lesbians knew to avoid the kitchen) ... there was the time that Dave and some friends decided to play frisbee naked on main lawn during prospectives weekend (while I didn't actually see then-Dean of Students Steve Schwerner run outside and beg them to put some pants on, I can still vividly imagine what the scene must have looked like) ... there were The Nude Kids On The Block, who went on the radio and performed naked ... and then there was my personal favorite, "Community Swim." Community Swim was a weekly late night open swim, sponsored (and lifeguarded) by the gym staff, where clothing was very optional. I remember going once with my then-boyfriend Scott, who brought swim trunks, even though I assured him that he would feel overdressed. I was right, and the trunks got left behind.

I loved those Community Swims. Far from making me feel more self-conscious, they actually always served to make me feel less self-conscious. There's nothing like being in a pool with a hundred other naked people to make it abundantly plain that everybody's body is different, and nobody's body is perfect.

At any rate, there's my tribute to Love Your Body Day, and a tiny little tribute to the Antioch that I knew and so desperately loved. The college has a new president now who seems hell-bent on making it just like every other liberal arts college in the country, and, if he succeeds, I'll just have to find a new place for my heart to call home.