What type of bathing suit should I wear?
Spoiler alert! Any kind you want to!
If that’s good enough for you, then, cool – if you want to know why I say this – read on!
Summer is coming. Fast! Argh! So those of us who don’t live in perpetually sunny locations (cough, cough, Buffalo, NY) are aching to stretch our Casper the Ghost white legs and get out into the sunshine.
But, with summer coming, it’s also the dreaded shorts / bathing suit season. So, we have a dual faced problem. We don’t want to be pasty white anymore, but we don’t want to put on shorts or a bathing suit to sit in the sun and soak in the Vitamin D. So what do we do?
I’m not talking about shorts in this blog, we can discuss that in another blog, this one is about the dreaded swimsuit. So many kinds of bathing suits!
· One piece
· Triangle top
· Halter top
· Bandeau top
· Enhancer bra
· Bust enhancer pads
· Sports top
· Full bottom
· Brazilian bottom
· Hipster bottom
· Scoop bottom
· Scrunch bottom
· High waist bottom
· Skirted bottom
· Boy shorts
· Tan-thru suits
· Shorts and an oversized t-shirt
If you actually read through the list, you saw the last one listed is shorts and an oversized t-shirt. It seems to be a very popular choice for women all across age groups.
Why is that?
What society says about our bodies.
It’s because society dictates that unless we are fit and have washboard abs, we can’t wear a bikini. If we have a healthy rear end, then we should definitely be wearing boy shorts. Dreaded cellulite (that everyone woman has??) – cover that up with a skirt. Ain’t nobody want to see that, am I right?
Why? Who’s perfect, and who’s deeming what’s perfect? Perfect is being perfectly imperfect and accepting that you are.
The .01% of the population who are runway models don’t – obviously -- make up the majority. The average size of the women’s population is not a 4 or a 6, or even an 8. Right now, the average size of American women, depending on the sources you read, is between 14 and 18.
So, stop staring enviously at the women who wears a size 4 and start loving your own body at the weight it is – and you can be healthy at any weight.
There are so many external factors that dictate what our bodies look like and how they’re shaped. Genetics, autoimmune disorders, pregnancy, hormones, eating habits, and exercise habits name just a few.
But I have cellulite.
The female body is beautiful and amazing – it is capable of so many miraculous things. We are the sole human vessels for life, and to be capable of doing that, we have hormones and menstruation and extra body fat and cushion to support our reproduction capabilities.
A whopping 93% of women have cellulite. 93%! That’s like – all of us! And cellulite is not prejudice. It affects every size woman, from size 0 all the way on up! It’s not exclusive to a certain weight or predisposition to obesity.
What is cellulite?
Out of all those butts in the ad, I was the one with the most cellulite. It was so embarrassing.
A quick lesson in cellulite, it’s caused when body fat (that we all have), deep beneath the skin gets pushes against the web of connective tissue around it. That creates that dreaded “cottage cheese” look.
We all have body fat, no matter what size we are and we all have connective tissue, so I’m pretty sure, we all have cellulite. You can wrap your legs in plastic wrap and let them sweat as long as you want to, it’s not going to get rid of the cellulite. (You know you’ve tried it, don’t lie.)
About 12 years ago, I worked for an ad agency and we were trying to create an award-winning ad for one of the local award show books we were advertising in.
Our concept was, Great Creative Comes From Tight Briefs. There were 7 of us who lined up and had a picture taken of our butt and the butts were placed side-by-side in the ad. (We were so cutting edge.) Nobody was supposed to know who’s butt was who’s but when the ad ran, I was mortified. I felt like everyone would know which butt was mine and I was convinced mine was the biggest and I spent the entire awards ceremony fixated on walking backwards so nobody could check out my butt and I didn’t have time to appreciate and enjoy my friends, the competition, the atmosphere and the awards we won!
When we’re so fixated on what’s wrong with us, we are missing out on the joys that are right in front of us.
Put on the bathing suit.
Listen, I know it’s hard to sit on a beach or hang around a friend’s pool and enviously ogle the one woman who has those “supermodel” qualities and compare the size of your thighs to everyone around you.
When I sit in a lawn chair, I always tighten my legs because I don’t like the way my thighs look like a limp, uncooked chicken breast when they are spread on a chair. We’re all self-conscious. I get it. But think about what you’re doing.
You’re sitting there, finding every flaw in your body and comparing yourself against everyone else’s great assets, and you’re not even realizing everyone else there is also comparing herself to you and everyone else there.
Getting over body image issues.
It’s not easy. The way we look at our body has been ingrained in our minds since we were little. I remember being at a swimming meet when I was in 6th grade and hearing my (almost deaf) grandfather, comment very loudly about how that girl was going to empty the water out of the pool when she jumped in.
Those irresponsible, uneducated comments are what make us think whatever our body looks like now just isn’t right. We’ve grown up being completely drilled with the opinion that food and fat is bad and whatever you eat is going to make you fat.
How can we live up to impossibly high standards that seem to be placed on us?
Are the tides shifting?
In 2016, according to business insider, 6.7 million people tuned in the watch the Victoria’s Secret annual fashion show. In 2018, that number dropped to 3.3 million people.
Can we finally start to take the control back in our own hands? What happened if you walked into the store to buy a bathing suit and instead of hearing all the running commentary in your head about the fact that you have extra, wrinkled skin in your mid-section from having a baby so you have to wear a one-piece suit, you saw a cute tankini or bikini you liked and you wanted to try it on.
What if, just because you’re a size 12, you decide that you don’t have to walk over to the rack that has the swim suits with the skirts?
Loving yourself doesn’t happen overnight.
I am not expecting that you’re going to finish this blog, throw out all your old one-piece swimsuits and run screaming to the store that you want to buy the tiniest bikini. Hell, nobody loves bathing suit shopping. But if we can begin to come to a realization and understanding that our bodies will never be something they aren’t meant to be, we can begin to accept the size we are and love the assets we have to flaunt.
We all have our hang-ups and they suck. Confidence isn’t created overnight, but I’m hoping you can begin to see that the default bathing suit doesn’t have to be a big t-shirt and shorts. Don’t cover what makes you – you.
You are special and unique and beautiful in how you were made.
So, woman, with summer just around the corner, pick a part of your body that you want to accent in a swimsuit this year, not cover up. You have great boobs, head out and get a suit that flaunts those. Love your butt, try a couple different styles to show it’s boost and awesome qualities.
Spend some more on a suit that makes you happy. There are women’s boutiques that will help fit you for that right bathing suit. You don’t need to shop off a retail rack. Spending a bit more, to be confident and comfortable when you’re hanging on the beach is worth more than saving a buck and hiding under a towel all summer long.
You are fabulous. Nobody is perfect. Be comfortable with your imperfect perfection. Embrace it and as you do, you will lift yourself to new heights and inspire other women to do the exact same.