On Wednesday, I promised a witty and insightful post about wearing a bikini. In my defense, in that same post, I did mention I was hopped up on allergy medications, so….
Several years ago I was on vacation in Italy, visiting my friend, Harlow. Her beach home was literally across a narrow lane from the beach and the Mediterranean Sea. (Go ahead, hate me.)
One day as I sat on a beach chair under an umbrella reading a trashy novel, I noticed this woman down the beach. She was quite rotund – practically as round as she was tall – and she was in a bikini.
I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I was so curious how this woman with The Anti-Bikini Body could be – proudly – strutting her stuff in a string bikini. But she was too busy enjoying herself to notice me tracking her every move.
Conversely, I was under wraps – in a one-piece UNDER a cover-up. Now, I was no bikini goddess, but I was also not this curiously confident corpulent creature I was peeking at from behind my trashy novel.
Finally, I drew Harlow’s attention to the woman. She looked up, spotted my obsession, shrugged and said “It’s not like a one-piece was gonna hide all that.”
Oh. Oh. OH.
That was the sound of a paradigm shift occurring. The sound of me being shoved out of my box of preconceived notions.
I was the only person obsessing about this woman and that said more about me than it did about her. She was enjoying herself, playing with her grandkids – oh, yeah, did I forget to mention she was in her late 50s, early 60s? I was 20 years younger and 50 pounds lighter but I was the one dressed in my version of a burqa to prevent anyone from noticing I wasn’t perfect.
These days almost all my time spent in water is for training and I do that in racer-back one-pieces. But I own a few bikinis and, when I wear them, maybe someone notices my imperfections.
But I’m usually enjoying myself too much to care.