Just about every magazine you open from mid-april on has a special guide for how to dress your ‘unique’ body type come swimsuit season.
I always find them ridiculously confusing.
First of all, it’s two scraps of fabric. I’m quite sure no amount of strategic ruching is going to hide a heck of a lot.
Second of all, I feel like i fit almost all the categories: bottom heavy, top heavy, athletic build, petite, tummy issues, pear shaped . . . . .am I only supposed to have one issue? I tried to conglomerate all the suggestions into one perfect suit. By the end of it, I was convinced a mumu was really my only option.
Since I had my son in January, I was forced to bathing suit shop this summer. You’d think that as an advocate of loving your body and all that jazz, I’d practically be dancing around the change room. I was not. It possibly started with having to shop in the special section for tops. In my case, special means yes-i’m-still-nursing-don’t-look-at-my-huge-boobs. I was able to find three tops with the special D+ tag. They were seriously the size of my cereal bowls at home. Then i had to find matching bottoms that would hide cellulite but not look like i was trying to hide cellulite (so no bike shorts or weird mini skirt thingys). Did I mention that I also shared with every staff member working in the store that I had recently had a baby? I mean, i didn’t want them to think this was what I really looked like.
Anyway, I finally made it to the dressing room and promptly had a nervous breakdown. It didn’t help that i was standing like every textbook diagram of the human body I’ve ever seen: legs apart, palms awkwardly floating next to me, expressionless.
I mean, who looks good like that? No one. But I was determined to make a purchase. My newly formed curves had left my old suits looking, um, a tad scandalous. So i snatched the two least hideous options, pretended extreme elation to the prepubescent salesgirl and ran out of there.
I will admit, I did not seek out opportunities to flaunt these new suits. But the few times I had to I felt like a plaid encased sausage next to my girlfriends in their wisps of string that sewn together into a mass would still not cover one of my boobs.
But my 30th birthday was coming up.
And I wanted to go to the waterslides.
I suppose I could have chosen something that didn’t involve being half naked. But darn it, I wanted to go. So I threw caution to the wind, gathered a few other brave souls and headed out on a cloudy Tuesday.
Somewhere between hiking up my 400th flight of stairs and getting whiplash on the Valley of Fear, I realized i wasn’t paying attention to what my body looked like. Perhaps it was because I hadn’t taken the time to strike my frozen anatomical pose. Or maybe it was because I just didn’t care. Because we were partying like the 12-year-old girls in line with us. Giggling as we skipped our way up to the next slide, shivering as the wind tousled our hair, squeezing into the hot tub with every (and I mean every) other person at the park, wrapping our hands around steaming hot drinks, and just savoring the moment.
Just savoring the moment.
It was the bestest possible gift my giggly inner 12-year-old (and outer 30-year-old) self could have received.
Happy birthday to me.