Hopefully someone else will come around: it has been decades since I was in a school locker room (rather than one in a gym with adult women), so I have no idea what those norms are right now.
However, they probably vary. In other words, just like in adult locker room, there are probably some girls (and boys, in their locker room) who are comfortable being more nude, while there are others who are not. And what you're okay with is always going to be up to you: if you feel a need for more privacy than you find you have, then that's what you seek out.
One thing I do remember from locker rooms in school (and still have as a skill) is learning how to take one shirt off while putting another on with very little skin shown at all. It's a very handy skill in situations like when you spill something on a shirt in the car but are en route to somewhere where you shouldn't show up with fruit punch stains.
By the by, you may actually find that the experience of a locker room actually helps with your body issues: sometimes having a better sense, even if it's vague or half-hidden, of what diverse bodies really look like can be great for body image.
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 65598 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
| IP: Logged |
It's been about 11 years since I've used a school locker rooms myself but can only remember positive experiences. (I do remember looking around and deciding I wanted a bra/halter top of some sort at 12, however. ) I do sometimes hear teens talk about their experiences at school in the locker room and I have heard no horror stories either. People were debating whether or not to shower; apparently, some girls do and some don't.
I actually always liked the locker room comradery in school; all of us were in there chatting and that had a nice communal feel and friendly vibe whereas a lot of high school can feel a bit fractured socially. I was on the swim team for a year in college and kept taking PE classes, and enjoyed that togetherness vibe, too. Like Heather said, different people have their different styles of changing and, while I'm saying there isn't gossip, I only experienced respectful situations. Everyone is kind of "vulnerable" in this way so people are a bit kinder than usual, I think. (And by the time you're in college, I think people seriously are beyond worrying or being mean about locker room stuff.) In middle and high school, there was generally a female teacher in her office in the locker room; she wasn't watching us change but was there in any we had any questions (a lot of sex ed questions came up then!) and to keep an eye on things.
Do you change in locker rooms in middle school because I think it's probably very similar. What about before and after sports practice? Do you know any girls in high school you could talk to about this? Does your high school have an orientation or visitation day where you could check it out yourself and ask a student guide or a PE teacher?
Would you like for us to move your thread to the main area of the message boards where more high school age users can share their experiences?
Well, I used a locker room as recently as two weeks ago, so maybe I'll be able to shed some light on the matter currently
The summer before my freshman year of high school (Summer of 2008), I took PE to get the credit out of the way. I don't know how the locker rooms at your school are built, but ours have four rows of tall lockers, separating the benches, and it opens out into the shower room, which goes out into the indoor pool. For the first two weeks of locker rooms, everyone was pretty quiet as a whole, except for with the girls they knew already, and everyone was modest. A lot of girls took to having their friends hold up a towel in front of them while they changed in the corner. After that, though, some loud, extroverted girl started talking louder, and dressing less shamefully (it was me ). I bantered with my best friend, and pretty soon everyone loosened up a lot.
After the original encounters that everyone has in freshman year PE, I've found that most girls have gotten over their anxiety about the locker room. Of course, some girls are still modest and choose to go into one of the two changing stalls anyway, and that's okay. Those girls were just modest by nature. We didn't do a lot of walking around naked, but by the time I was friends with the rest of the girls, I would walk to another row of benches in my underwear if I had forgotten my deodorant or something.
Basically, everyone is anxious about potentially being naked in front of a bunch of other girls. Chances are they'll be so focused on speed dressing that they won't even notice anyone else around them. It gets better and easier the more you do it. We all have insecurities about our bodies; the other girls will be just as worried as you are.
One thing I have learned, though, is that the whole movie locker room scene is way over hyped, and very fictionalized.
When I was in highschool (2 years ago), the showers were individual and curtained, but in the locker room, everyone changed in front of everyone. I don't think anyone ever took off their bra or underwear though.
Personally, I was shy and private, so I changed in the bathroom stall. No one ever gave me trouble about it.
Posts: 433 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009
| IP: Logged |
I haven't taken a gym class since middle school, which was 1997-1998, but I bet my experience is mostly the same.
Real locker rooms are nothing like they are in movies. In all the time I spent in the locker room, there was not one girl who walked around naked or topless or in any major state of undress. We tended to change pretty fast, revealing as little as possible. Nor did anyone use the showers, which were individual and private. Granted, the biggest reason for our expedience was probably that we had 6 minute passing periods, and time is of the essence when you're changing clothes. But I doubt anyone would have drawn it out if they had more time.
All told, locker rooms are pretty mundane. It was a little nerve-wracking on the first day, because I didn't know what to expect, but after that you realize everyone's in the same boat and it gets a lot easier. And luckily, it's nothing like the opening scene of "Carrie."
Posts: 59 | From: Anywhere, USA | Registered: Dec 2004
| IP: Logged |
At my high school it was all open, showers and all. That is when I learned that if you put your clean shirt over your dirty shirt and get your arms out of the dirty shirt in to the clean shirt , you can wiggle out of the dirty shirt with little to no skin showing. Also changing pants with barely any skin showing is done using a simple towel around the waist. I was a senior when I took my gym credit and that was last year.
Posts: 14 | From: US | Registered: Jan 2010
| IP: Logged |
I graduated high school a few yrs ago and at my school you had the lockers and a bench and people could change there, their was no one ever topless you would just take your shirt off and girls would have a bra on and then change your pants and obviously you wear underwear under that.
I was insecure with my body as well at first I started getting there early and changing when no one was there yet but then I just started changing in the bathroom stalls which were in the locker room, and that was a lot better for me.
So if you don't want to change in front of people you can always use the bathroom stalls I'm sure they will have them in your locker room. But honestly no one really pays attention to people changing too much you just change and thats it, I don't remember anyone ever saying anything about anyone's body.
Posts: 108 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2009
| IP: Logged |
When I was in middle school (in in high school now skipped a couple of grades ) We had shower, lockers bla bla bla. But we never got naked or stuff, we just switched clothers quickley b4 the bell rang. Only the guys on the sports teams used the showers.
-------------------- War. War never changes... Posts: 8 | From: FL | Registered: Apr 2010
| IP: Logged |
Copyright 1998, 2013 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.