How can I keep from being embarrassed in the locker room?
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- Realize that the fear of being seen in one’s underwear is extremely common. In fact, one survey showed it was the number top fear of kids going into middle school. In other words, you’re not the only one!
- Know that you’ll get used to it very quickly and the discomfort will quickly leave.
- Remember that nobody is really looking at you because they are all trying to quickly change into their clothes too!
- Get to the locker room early if possible.
- Change quickly.
- Change while facing the locker or in a corner.
- Consider changing in a shower or toilet.
- Respect others’ privacy and they’ll tend to respect yours.
If someone teases you, either have a sense of humor about it or tell them to knock it off. It depends on your personality, but don’t let it get to you. Do something about it.
Just for Girls
- Wear a long tank and put your shorts on first.
- Don’t wear anything tight or hard to take off and put on.
- Wear a sports bra, which provides more coverage.
- Wear a tank top or camisole.
- Chat while changing—it takes the focus off the task at hand for everyone.
- Wear your PE clothing under your regular school clothes. (Seriously!)
One girl wrote about her changing routine this way: “I bring a big shirt that will go down to like my mid-thigh. Then, when it’s time to change, I take my school shirt off (under which I have a cami on so no one will see me), I take the oversized shirt and put it on. After the shirt I take off my pants and put my gym shorts on. If the gym shirt is long enough no one will see your undies while you’re putting your shorts on, because the shirt will cover them. Oh, to make your shirt a normal size after you change, tie it up with a hair tie.” —Jessie B.
Just for Guys
- Wear boxers instead of tighty-whiteys. Tight underwear tends to outline your private parts, which is not helpful in the locker room.
Good news! Thankfully, fewer and fewer schools require showers after PE class. But that means you need to use deodorant—males and females
Joshua thougth Aaron’s childish prank demanded a response
by Joshua Boyak
Vengance! That’s what I need, I thought.
Hot tears streamed down my face—tears of rage. I stormed up to the principal’s office. Aaron will pay for what he did to me!
Along with a handful of students, I had been selected as one of the recipients of the Outstanding Sixth Grader Award and the President’s Award. I had earned almost straight A’s.
Excited for the end-of-the-year awards, I felt as though I was moving up to the big leagues and leaving all things childish. I soon found out that my classmates weren’t ready to grow up.
“Pantsing” people was a popular prank. Usually the victim, an unsuspecting boy wearing loose shorts, got his shorts or pants pulled down.
One day about a month before school let out, I stood on a jungle gym ladder, not more than a few inches from the ground. Suddenly I felt someone jerk my shorts. This time I was the unsuspecting kid! Everyone within 15 feet saw me with too-bright tighty-whiteys.
My shorts were down for maybe three seconds, but it felt like an eternity. I would never be able to live this down. After pulling my shorts back up, I turned to see Aaron, my classmate, running and laughing.
Though we had never been close friends, I had no reason to hate him—until now. I watched helplessly as he ran back to his group of friends, who were doubled over in laughter pointing at me. I didn’t have to hear what they were saying—I could guess: “Oh, man, Josh wears tighty-whiteys? What a loser!”
As soon as I had reached the front office, I asked to see the principal immediately.
I didn’t want a teacher. I didn’t want a security guard. I wanted the person who ran the school to deal with this matter personally.
“The principal’s not here,” said the vice principal. “How can I help you?”
“I just got pantsed,” I said. “I know who did it, and I want him dealt with.”
We walked back toward the playground, the vice principal’s strides matching my own furious pace. I doubted that she was even half as distressed as I was.
When we got to the playground, I pointed to Aaron. She told me to sit and wait on a nearby bench while she went over to get him. I watched with smug satisfaction as the vice principal approached Aaron and walked him to where I was sitting.
That’s when I discovered that the vice principal was not just mad about the incident—she was furious. “I cannot believe a student would ever do something so blatantly disrespectful to another student, a classmate no less,” she said.
What really upset her was that Aaron was up for the same honorable recognitions as I was. “I want to take both of those awards away from you and call your father,” she fumed.
Aaron was in tears.
I thought, Now you know what it feels like to be utterly humiliated. Who’s laughing now? In fact, no one was.
The vice principal looked flushed with anger. Aaron begged for mercy. I felt vengeful and wanted him to lose the awards. He obviously did not deserve them now.
He wasn’t begging to keep his awards or for the principal not to call his dad. His plea wasn’t even addressed to the vice principal—he begged me.
Part of me really wanted to say, “No. You deserve this!” But then I realized that’s not what Jesus would do.
Even after Jesus had been battered, bruised, beaten, nailed to the cross, and publicly mocked and humiliated, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). And if Jesus could forgive all of that, I could forgive Aaron.
“Don’t call Aaron’s father, and let him keep his awards,” I said finally.
“All I ask is for an apology.”
Shocked, the vice principal agreed to my request.
“I am sooo sorry! Please forgive me!” Aaron said sincerely.
Once the vice principal had seen that there was nothing more to be done, she walked back to the front office.
Aaron gave me a guy hug and said, “Thank you, Josh. You’re a good friend.” And he really meant it.