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Maybe it was because in swimming we shed those school-issued shorts that accentuated skinny legs.Reasons for this Blog Article Why would I even be interested in responding to the issue of naked swimming in the schools in the old days with a blog article? First, here was a practice most men experienced as recently as fifty years ago, and is a living memory for many of us, and people don’t know about it.

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The guide asserted, “Well, I think it was barbaric.When we got to the gym our guide pointed out that the climbing poles and ropes had been removed and climbing was no longer a part of the school gym curriculum. I was sad to hear that the ropes and poles were gone because I had actually done well in climbing in the 7th and 8th grades and did it in the boys gymnastic show in P. We were often shirtless in elementary school gym class, which was a situation in which adolescent boys were often insecure because our bodies were developing at wildly different rates.Ironically, I felt less self-conscious being naked in 9th grade swimming class than being shirtless in 8th grade gymnastics.So this article is an exercise in social history to discuss what was standard practice in America until the 1970s.Boys swam naked in American high schools and sometimes teachers or coaches were naked too (although my swimming teacher always wore a swim suit). social history that a practice that millions of men experienced as boys has been suppressed in our collective memory.Today youth use steroids and consume protein shakes to bulk up in order to compare more favorably with ideal models.

But many remain dissatisfied with their bodies because the results are never quite as perfect as they desired.

(I actually first broached this topic of swimming naked at the YMCA in my “Frank Answer About Being Naked Before God.” It was written before I went to my class reunion, so the issue was probably on my mind when our class reunion guide brought it up.) Philosophically, I don’t think that the body is just something that we have, as if the real me is something other than the body (like the mind or the soul).

Rather, I was created as a body—a body with a mind and a soul. So it is a serious thing if the body becomes a source of shame because then we’re talking about my shame.

A fifth reason for writing this article is that religions have played a role in inculcating negative attitudes toward the body, for example, by their emphasis on modesty in dress.

Whether intended or not, people picked up from this the idea that there’s something not quite good about the human body.

I don’t know what the rationale was for such a practice.” I didn’t press the issue, although I thought as a retired teacher he probably should have found out what the rationale was for the practice of nude swimming if he was going to comment on it. Updated September 27, 2017 People who didn’t experience this find it hard to believe that boys swam naked in the YMCAs and in school physical education classes from the time pools were first installed in these institutions in the late 19th century until the 1970s.