As I’ve already said in my last entry, this is gonna be the Summer of Glam. Since we last left off, I have indeed upped my Glam Game and have been making the effort to just look as fly as possible whenever leaving my house. And it’s working. I already feel more like myself, I’m feeling less negative and blase, and I’m taking some fashion risks too.
Today I ordered a two-piece bathing suit. Not a one piece, not a tankini, but a bikini. This one to be exact.
In my ongoing journey to achieve the highest amount of positive body image for myself that I can muster in this very judgmental world, I found the swimsuit site Swimsuits For All, which offers cute, sexy, functional bathing suits for women who can’t easily find suits that fit them. That’s my subtle way of saying plus-sized women. You know, the women who are as frequently dismissed as they are fetishized, the women who are constantly being told out loud or subliminally that they shouldn’t be wearing bikinis by most everyone in the world, the women you call “curvy” or “voluptuous” if you’re being polite or “fat” if you’re not. Frankly, the group of women I belong to.
I have owned 1 bathing suit in the past 10 years, and I only bought it 2 years ago. The number of times I’ve worn that black, one piece? Three times. Once at a beach last year, once going sunning in a park also last year, and once in a sauna this year. Each time I wore it, I was half-covered with a towel for basically 99% of the time spent in said bathing suit.
I (usually) have no problems with my body if I’m fully clothed. In fact, I quite like the way my body looks in whatever I’m wearing, because if I didn’t, WHY WOULD I WEAR WHAT I’M WEARING? I also think I look pretty good when I’m just in my lady skivvies, but a bathing suit? Jesus Christ, no thank you. What it boils down to is when I’m wearing clothing, I can control most aspects of how my body is seen. Spanx, pantyhose, doubling up on bras to give my tig ol’ biddies maximum lift, shape and cleavage, I have found every trick in the book on how to fully play up my natural hourglass figure. I may be fat, but I know I’ve got a great shape, and I love it (usually). But you can’t do that when you’re wearing a swimsuit. Every lump, dimple, stretch mark is displayed for the world to scrutinize and you have no control over it. Even though two-piece swimsuits are just waterproof bras and undies, I find bras and undies are only ever seen in specific contexts by specific people. If someone sees you in that state of undress, you want them to be seeing you like that. They are probably gonna see you in even less, am I right? But a bathing suit is public and anyone can see you. Therefore, strangers can/do/will judge you completely based on your physical appearance in a way you can’t control.
Control. It’s all about control for me. Fucking obviously, I’ve used the word 1000000 times already in that last paragraph alone. I hate to feel vulnerable or helpless, and bathing suits are the very embodiment of those words. Your whole body is vulnerable to the watchful gaze of society and that’s a very intimidating or even scary thing if your body does not conform to whatever body shape is on trend at the moment. Also bathing suits have ZERO support or control in their material alone. I hate not wearing a bra because it hurts and no swimsuit I’ve owned has ever given proper support for my two below-the-shoulder-boulders. Everything just hangs. But I can’t control everything and I need to learn to not only accept that, but be okay with it. First step? Buying a cute bikini and just live by my two favourite rap-based acronyms: YOLO and IDGAF.
YOLO – You only live once, so why not live in a cute two piece for a few hours so you can work on your tan? Becoming a Tanned Tahitian Treat doesn’t happen over night nor does it happen when you’re wearing long sleeves because you hate your arms.
IDGAF – I DON’T GIVE A FUCK that someone might find my stretch marks, cellulite, love handles unsightly and ugly. Instead of fucking looking at me and hating on it, why don’t you look within yourself to find the reason for your own self-loathing that you’re trying to distract yourself from by judging other people.
Is this super aggressive? Yes. Necessary? Honestly, who cares? I’m doing it, aren’t I, so what are you gonna do about it? Which is probably the exact mentality it takes to wear a bikini regardless of your size. I just want to wear a really cute swimsuit with an over sized hat and a sassy see-through caftan this summer so hopefully all this bravado will quiet those nagging insecurities and fears that are inevitable long enough for that to happen. I bought it, but the jury’s still out on whether or not I’ll actually leave my house wearing it.
I’m never gonna look like that model in the picture, and I’m fine with that. The part I have trouble with is accepting that people are going to both hate and love that I will never look like that model, and their opinions (good or bad) are inconsequential. It might take my whole life to not care, but I gotta start somewhere and I’m starting this summer.
Or at least when my cute bikini gets shipped to me.