Swimming is one activity that every Icelander is required to know how to do. That’s being said, they are many skolavegur (equivalent to YMCA) in town.
Second night in Iceland, I went swimming at Sundlaug Kópavogs. I paid roughly $13 for the entrance fees and a bathing suit rental.
It was extremely cold, yet everyone was outside swimming in the hot pools. I could tell it’s something Icelanders enjoy doing.
On my way to the locker room, I was told that I needed to remove my shoes and put my phone away.
When I got inside, to my grand surprise, everyone was butt naked.
There were no changing rooms, no showers with closed curtains.
Some guests were taking showers in a big open area. No closed doors. No privacy. You read that right, Americans.
Others were blow drying their hairs. And the moms were all over the place chasing after their kids…all naked.
Coming from America, where privacy is something we demand, I must admit I felt a bit weird.
However, when I looked around, everything felt normal. They were just doing things that all women would normally do at a locker room. They were just clothed in nudity. It didn’t take me too long to join the club!
Though I am athletic built, I’ve never felt so comfortable with my body as I did then.
Showering naked in a room full of women, talking, and laughing has slightly changed the way I see my body.
For whatever reason, I felt like these women were not judging, or body shaming each other.
I felt like they weren’t comparing themselves to each other.
That was a great feeling and an empowering experience.
I believe that unless we can be accepting of each other, the world will not change for the better.