Women really need to get over our shame in wearing a bathing suit.
Why do we beat ourselves up by feeling self-conscious when all we want to do is take a cool dip in the pool?
It's summer. It's hot outside. We don't get too many chances to do a cannonball off a pier into a lake, run through a sprinkler in the backyard or jump off the diving board into the pool.
Or maybe you just want to sit outside in the sunshine, tackle your summer reading list and drink lemonade. In your bathing suit.
Well do it.
My friend Lonna recently posted the following:
That moment when you go from
feeling pretty good about yourself
and then you put on a bathing suit
I'm never going out in public.
Well, I am not going to let you get away with this, Lonna.
Look at you.
You gave birth and raised four incredible boys, volunteer for every cause in your neighborhood and help new mothers get a break by offering "baby time" because you love holding newborns. Everyone who knows you, loves you. You are generous, funny and kind.
And now you are not going out in your bathing suit because you feel badly about how you may look to the general public?
Damn the public, put on your bathing suit and dive right in.
I stopped feeling comfortable in a bathing suit when I was about fifteen. I used to wrap my beach towel around my waist and scamper to the edge of the shallow end. Drop the towel and hurry in before anyone could see my jiggly flesh.
Did I have jiggly flesh when I was fifteen? No, probably not.
So why did I feel so embarrassed to be seen in my bathing suit, out in public, like Lonna did?
From the time we are young women why are we made to feel like our bodies are on display in the most negative and humiliating fashion while wearing a bathing suit? Is it because we don't resemble air-brushed models on magazine covers that are subsisting on 500 calories a day?
The tiresome jokes about trying on bathing suits in dressing rooms with rear-view mirrors are no longer amusing.
The endless ads starting in March about getting out bodies ready for "bathing suit season" are loathsome.
The Miraclesuits that make you "look ten pounds thinner in ten seconds" are demeaning (However, I just purchased one. Sorry).
Women get pregnant. Give birth. Get law degrees. Fly jets. Sew Halloween costumes. Nurture the world.
Invest in blue chip stocks. Snowboard. Have stretch marks. Prepare Thanksgiving dinner.
Breastfeed babies. Do the dishes after that Thanksgiving dinner. Become astronauts.
Sit with friends during chemo. Have cellulite. Own technology businesses. Know how to use bleach properly.
Patrol dangerous streets. Have battle scars from surgeries. Play the cello. Serve in the military.
And we worry about what our bodies look like in a bathing suit?
Shame on us.
The beauty of growing older is you no longer care about what others think of you. Especially something as petty as how you look in your bathing suit.
No longer timidly entering the pool wrapped in my beach towel, I plunge right in.
Take a good, long look and snicker if you must.
I no longer give a rat's ass what you think of my body.
It's the only one I have. And it's been awfully good to live in all these years. I wear it proudly, without shame.
Lonna, put on your bathing suit and go for a swim.
You have nothing to feel self-conscious about. No woman does.
We are fierce. We are strong. We are so much better than that.
And if you're lucky, you may even find a new one on clearance after the Fourth of July.
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