On Sunday March 23rd there was an article printed in the LA Times called “Suit Up, Spa
Fans”. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love the spa. I love what the spa represents- freedom. What came over me when I read this was first fear and then anger. Decisions about whether to mandate the use of swimsuits to cover up are being made by spa managers that have their own issues with
their bodies and those of women they know.
One of the managers uses intergenerational as a reason to not want to see her grandmother naked. I think that’s just an excuse for poor self esteem, judgment and denial. She calls it awkward-and for her it may be. I took my mother to a spa recently where I encouraged her to be naked. Knowing that my mother doesn’t love the way she looks and has been more than slightly disconnected from her femininity and sexuality for a long time, I wanted her to enjoy the freedom of expression that we can only get at a spa
Not only did I have no problem with it, I encouraged it. She felt like a young girl in
the hot tub with us as she found her freedom of non judgment and love-she got to just “be”.
The author, who by the way is not in favor of this movement as she explained to me when we exchanged emails, also sites bridal parties, business meetings, and family parties as another reason why they encourage us to suit up.
I guess because people feel they can do business on the golf course and in a lunch meeting, why not the spa? Why shouldn’t women and men everywhere be made to feel inappropriate and uncomfortable about their bodies and cover up to make it socially acceptable? Since when did the spa translate into business meetings?
As a business owner, what has happened to me over the last 8 years is a transformation from 85% feminine energy to 50% or less. I have decided to play ball with the men and focus. I own and run a business, I do my own marketing and selling, I hire staff and support to build my foundation and I do it very well. But these are all traits of men. Back in the caveman years, men were the hunters and women were the gatherers. Genetically we are different—yet in today’s world we often act as if we are the same.
I am not supporting the idea that women should stay home and only have babies. But we are genetically built differently and therefore need different things. In the age of the internet, we have also lost touch with visiting each other. How much human contact and interaction has been lost because we can all talk to each other faster and more efficiently over the internet? Again, I love the internet but what has it cost us? Human contact.
In the rat race of getting ahead, women practicing being men more than they practice enhancing their femininity, where finding a suitable mate has become harder and harder- what is out there to support women? The spa.
The spa has been the sanctuary where nothing matters. Relaxation, openness, celebration of the body you were born naked with is what the spa is about.
The first time I saw many women in the spa with bathing suits, the first thing that popped into my mind is the fact that they are ashamed. Ashamed of how they look and what they don’t look like. And by them wearing suits it sent the message that it’s not ok to love yourself the way you are. In order to be naked, you must fit a certain mold of “perfect”.
I thought we should outlaw suits in the spa altogether since it sends a negative vibe to everyone in my opinion.
I work with women everyday who do not love and accept their bodies. I fully support the use of spas regularly for women to get in touch with who they are and to accept themselves just the way they are. Women on the path of wanting change first need to acknowledge what they do have before a permanent change can occur.
Below was my email response to the author who did write back and hoped it may have gotten printed. I don’t read the paper regularly so if anyone saw it, please let me know!
I read your spa article and have to say I am outraged! This is truly a movement going in the opposite direction of what it is we SAY we want. Women want to love their bodies, not compare them to supermodels. I work with hundreds of women of all shapes and sizes and the one thing that is missing from their lives ( and most who struggle with body and self esteem issues) is that they don’t love and accept WHO THEY ARE.
Putting swimsuits on at a spa defeats the whole purpose of the spa! It’s like taking your Satan worshipping friends to church- THEY DON’T GO.
Where else can women go in a safe, socially acceptable place and JUST BE THEMSELVES? If you want to put a swimsuit on, go to a public pool. If you want to have a business meeting, have it at a restaurant or conference room. If you want a massage, get your massage and leave. The spa part of the day spa is to relax. By enhancing the fact that ” you should cover up” sends negative body messages and creates and environment that SUPPORTS ANOREXIA.
Don’t ruin the one place women can be free of judgment and practice loving and accepting themselves as they are in the moment. The US is already screwed up with the views we have of beauty- don’t make it worse. Keep the spa a spa. Encourage love not shame.”