This is a post I put together two years ago, but it still absolutely rings true. It seems like the right time to start talking about bathing suit shopping again since New Orleans has entered full on hell-heat. Also, amazing plus-size blogger Gabi Fresh has just launched a super gorgeous line of swimsuits that are made for more than just one body type. See the original post here.
Two Piece or Not Two Piece
I started planning a beach vacation with my husband last week, and it reminded me that I only own one bathing suit. I usually keep two on hand, so I am not always wearing the same wet suit to the beach day after day. I mentioned to my husband that I wanted a tankini after realizing how difficult it is to get in and out of a maillot to pee (not to mention the dreaded sand crotch from getting tossed around in waves). He wondered aloud why I didn't just get a regular bikini and started me thinking. Why don't I just get a regular bikini?
I started wearing bikinis sometime in high school or college; it was a sign of my adulthood and womanly body. They weren't skimpy or expensive, and I think one even had Winnie the Pooh on it. I didn't look "perfect" (I've had stretch marks and cellulite since I was 13), so I was never completely comfortable flaunting what I had, but I didn't let it hold me back. I only switched to a tankini when I started gaining weight post-wedding. It seemed like the thing I was supposed to do as a larger woman with a round stomach who was still young.
One pieces weren't cool, and sexy ones were impossible to find back then, so I wore a tankini until two years ago. I bought my first one piece as a potential swimsuit for the gym. After losing weight, I bought my second one with a super sexy low cut front. It made me feel less awkward and more confident frolicking around the beach. I have used that same inexpensive black bathing suit for about a year.
Now, that I once again need to go shopping, my husband's comments make me realize several things. He thinks I am beautiful no matter how much I have gained or lost, and he enjoys the way I look. I don't want to pick a suit based on hiding what I don't think other people want to see. I want to feel good about how I look without that kind of hindrance. Lots of other people I know wear bikinis that don't have "perfect" bodies and they look great and lots of people find them attractive. (No one is ever repelled or puking on the beach.) And lastly, very few people really look good in bathing suits. They don't seem to be designed for the majority; they seem to be designed to make the majority feel bad about themselves.
In the next week or two when I have to go on a dreaded bathing suit shopping trip, I will probably try on bikinis and tankinis. I don't know what I will like the best or what I will end up purchasing, but it will be something pretty that makes me happy. It will also probably not end up on me on the Internet in pictures! What do you guys think about bathing suits and the public perception that the larger people should cover up but still show off? How do you reconcile hiding your stomach but flaunting your thighs?