May 16: National Naked Showering Day!

Showering Naked – Give it a try!

“You’d be amazed how many people have been showering naked lately, and finding it refreshingly different – and better for them!” – Dr. Gretchen Narnlinger, Clinical Hygienist

psycho_headerScene from a 1960 Paramount Pictures movie by Alfred Hitchcock: lots of people have been secretly showering without clothes for many years. (Paramount Pictures publicity still).

Every single day of the year is a Day for something, but I was astonished to learn that this May 16 is not only Debra Winger’s birthday, it’s also National Naked Showering Day, apparently established six years ago to promote a “cleaner, more full-bodied hygiene experience.” The driving force behind this is Dr. Gretchen Narnlinger, of Akron State College’s School of Clinical Hygiene. I had a chance recently to catch up with her by phone to dig a little deeper into this issue, and she could hardly wait to press her point of view.

“It makes more and more sense these days to shed those tee shirts and shorts and skivvies and PJs before hopping into a warm, satisfying shower. Modesty has always been an issue, but all too often people forget that, in the shower, they’re usually alone.”

“Old habits die hard,” I noted.

“Cleansing and soaping under garments isn’t efficient, and however good it feels to have those warm, wet cotton fabrics clinging close to your skin, it really slows down the cleaning process and wastes energy. Not to mention after the shower, when you need to remove the clothing, and it needs to be wrung out and run through the dryer. More waste!”





Could this really be almost over? A shot of Cary Grant enjoying a normal shower of his era, from the 1963 movie Charade, Universal Pictures.


I’ve always understood the appeal of hopping into a hot shower with your PJs on, or shirts and shorts and socks after a hot tennis game, but I could also see there was another side. I asked her if her group had a slogan for their effort.

“Yes. It’s ‘The Complete You. Wet.’

“Kind of catchy.”

“We had another one, but nixed it: ‘If you skinny-dip, why not skinny-shower?'”

“I like the first one.”

“We’re reaching out now to health clubs and gyms and Y’s, where lots of showers are shared and open and not private, with our messages of better hygiene and less energy waste. But these are public facilities, not private shower stalls, so because of the modesty issue it’s going to be a longer, tougher road.”

“But for individuals? Is there progress?”

“It’s huge, Ned. We don’t have numbers, but we have cards and letters and emails, and so many people suddenly just feel… liberated.”

Gretchen couldn’t give me any stats on how her movement might be growing, but I sensed it could prove appealing to more and more of us about to jump into a shower. Time will tell.


(April Fool’s is a bit late this year. And so it may always be…Please be aware, none of the above ever happened, and shouldn’t. – NW)



Ned White

About Ned White

Ned White is a writer, novelist, crossword puzzle constructor, traveler through 49 states, and at times a danger in the kitchen. He lives with his wife in South Thomaston.