It’s that time again…time for bathing suits! Last weekend, during our family’s first trip to the town pool for the season my husband turned to me to commiserate. For the first time in our nearly 13 years together he acknowledged how weird it must be for women to walk around in bathing suits, which amounts to little more than being naked. Agreed. 100%.
I was beyond pleasantly surprised that he came to that realization. It brought me a strange sense of satisfaction that he recognized how bizarre it is for women, of all shapes and sizes, to get almost entirely undressed and hang out with their adult peers. In any other situation- at the playground, shopping at the grocery, working in the office, it is completely unacceptable to walk around in an undergarment, but at the pool or beach, it’s to be expected.
This absurdity is compounded, of course, by the insane beauty standards that our culture pushes on women (and men). Kudos to the UK (not for the Brexit…sidebar, who thought of that clever name?) and the Advertising Standards Authority, an independent regulator of advertising across all media, now including marketing websites, for removing an add about being “beach body ready” due to concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims made in the ad including, the promotion of an unhealthy body image. Not only do these unattainable body standards promote poor body image, they also fuel a beauty, diet, and fashion industry that makes millions off of women’s insecurities.
Since that first trip to the pool, I’ve been to the beach and every where I look I’m surprised at how many different types of bathing suits there are for women. No two women have the same suit on out of hundreds of women. And yet, there are the men, all with knee length shorts. True, the colors and patterns may vary, and yes there are the occasional hipsters wearing slightly shorter swim trunks (snark intended), but for the most part, men are walking around in shorts as usual.
I don’t know about you, but I find that regardless of the bathing suit type-one piece, bikini, tankini, I always have that moment before the cover up comes off where I hesitate, wondering if I can get away with keeping it on for just a few minutes more. For those who know me, this might seem like a bizarre blog to write because I work out quite a bit, eat healthy, and look pretty darn good (if I do say so myself) in clothes! But, when it comes to bathing suits, I have a ton of insecurities-stretch marks, love handles and THO’s to name a few. But this year, I am determined to put those insecurities aside and rock it.
I’m writing this in the hopes that others will join me in saying F-it. Life’s too short to be focused on what looks wrong in a bathing suit. So, lets just acknowledge that its weird that we wear what amounts to little more than a bra and underwear in public and move on. I’ll use a favorite mantra of ctworkingmoms.com, “let’s love more and judge less”, ourselves included. Time to enjoy the sun and a good book, the water rushing through your hair as you swim under water, and the joy of chasing waves with your kids. Live it up ladies!