Recently, I have been discussing the coming swimsuit season with my girlfriends and many of them are self-handicapping their search. This happens every year, but for some reason, it really bothers me this summer. Women hate shopping for bathing suits. Well, not all women. I am sure that there is a small percentage of women who have low body fat percentages (except in certain, strategic areas, mysteriously) and high self esteem (at least, evidentlly), who find the process beautiful and self affirming. The rest of women hate those women. Not really. Just kidding….
But, as I said, this year feels different. Maybe it’s the battle I’ve been through, or maybe it’s the beautiful child that I grew in my stomach, but this year, I am going to buy a suit that I like. I am not going to worry if it “makes me look fat” or is “age appropriate” or whether it confirms my “mom” status. It is just going to be for me. I didn’t get stretch marks while I was pregnant, and sometimes I cry about that. Unfortunately, Jack came 10 weeks early and I didn’t gain that much weight. I would trade a stomach full of scars for a healthy child, but I can’t. That experience does give me some perspective, though. While I was pregnant, I began to see my purpose on Earth was to raise Jack, and it made the changes in my body beautiful and meaningful. When I see the rare woman, covered in stretch marks, yet brave enough to don a bikini, I silently revel in her bravado, and envy her healthy children, whom she carried to term.
Now, I understand that some men may look at women in bathing suits and make judgements or even comments. But I believe that the biggest problem is from women judging each other. One friend said she stopped wearing bikinis at age 37, because it was time. I will be 37 later this year, so I guess I get a little leeway this year. She is now looking for the “one piece with the skirt” ensemble so popular with middle aged women. And she is gorgeous! So why are women worried about the suit?
Who knows? Some of it is that they want to hide body imperfections, or appear responsible enough to have children, or even just to be comfortable. But whatever the reason, buy the damn suit you want, ladies. And let the 400 pound “adonis” who is looking at you worry about the stretch band on his own suit.
I told my friend last week, when we were discussing the little black bikini I was searching for “don’t hate the player, hate the game!” It was a joke, but I am working hard on a body for health reasons, and it allows me some latitude, in terms of the suit I wear. But I WILL NOT be self handicapping my bathing suit search in order to avoid attention or make others comfortable.
Just say NO! to the one piece with the skirt!!!!
Unless that’s what you really, really want to wear…..