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When we went to the pool our tour guide said, “you men will probably remember the barbaric practice of having to swim naked.” I protested, “it wasn’t barbaric, it was a good tradition.” A couple of the guys in our group, with whom I probably had swimming classes, nodded in agreement.
The guide asserted, “Well, I think it was barbaric.
Men don’t talk about it even if they were comfortable with the practice because the reactions are usually negative.
This photo of a swimming class at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois appeared in photo archive website.
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.
I set this in the broader context of naked swimming in America. This reflects a radical change in social mores today that reflects different attitudes toward nudity, privacy, and the body than were common in earlier times in America.
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 was never a good diver because I was nearsighted and was always worried about where I would land.