Bikinis, bikinis everywhere and not a scrap of fabric more. Ones with sparkles (yay!), ones with tassels (ummm...), ones with zippers (just... stop), and ones so tiny that if your tah-tahs can actually be contained by them, then you aren't really old enough to be wearing one. I used to rock one, before the Breakers made their appearance. Back when my figure was more Ruben-esque - the painting, not Ruben-esque - the sandwich, I would tie on some triangles and head sand-side to bake to a crispy golden brown. I have never been thin by natural means but I wanted to stop obsessing about my so-called "imperfections" and be comfortable in my own skin. In my mid-ish 20s I found myself myself a Charleston, SC dweller and to my absolute horror this involved a heavy amount of beach time. What was I to do? Everyone went to the beach since it was 100% humidity and about 500 degrees Kelvin for 3/4 of the year... ummm... okay... well... I opted for shock therapy. Just put on the d*mn bikini and strut... shock the hell out of the populous. The first few times were sooooo scary. My inner monologue went something like this:
"Yeek. I am so fat."
"Gawd... I am so pale the sun is going to reflect off of my pasty, cave-fish-white belly and... girl, you are gonna BLIND people!"
"I can feel my thighs jiggle when I walk.... and now everyone else knows."
"Suck in! SUCK IN!"
And on, and on.... But I kept on... with constant encouragement from Hubbs (then boyfriend), of course.
You know what I learned, folks? No one cared. They were all too busy freaking out about their own bodies. I would look around at other beach goers and, yeah... there were some college hard bodies but everyone else looked like me. Pale... more round than not... and nervous. Men who kept their tee-shirts on to hide their bellies, women in strategically positioned sarongs that only came off before their mad dash to the water line... wait... I/WE were the norm?
Shut the front door!
Hand me a beer and lets rock this beach!
Forcing myself walk around mostly naked was one of the most freeing things I have ever done. I felt cute... and I was. Shucking off the bad-body-image-mantle of Cosmo, MTV, and the previous generations's obsession with yo-yo dieting was thrilling. I hoped that by seeing me in my not-much Old Navy that some other girl or guy would feel okay to jiggle their wiggle for all to see. And I was angry. Angry that I had let TV and the ThiNazis cow me into believing that I wasn't just damn fine. Never again fools. Never. Again.
I will admit that I had a hard time adjusting to the change in my body after the birth of my first. He was huge and I am a mere 5 feet tall. There is sh*t on me that is just ruint, ya'll. Then we had our second and, I don't know if it's because I am just so tired I don't have the extra energy to care, or if I finally have come to grips with it all but... d*mnitall....I feel pretty. Pretty in a way I didn't have before my wigglers. Pretty not just on the outside, but a pretty that starts within and works its way out... a pretty pride. Look at my babies. See how they reach for me and burrow into my tummy because "It's warm and snuggly!"? Look at my Husband. See how he looks at me as a wife and now mother of his children? (Tee-hee... giggle.) These are mine and I am theirs and if my butt has a couple of puckers in it that weren't there before and my belly looks like WWIII happened on top of it then so be it. It's not the cute dress I'm wearing (but it is REALLY cute) or its size that makes me pretty, it is the love of my family.
SO watch out bathing suit season! Here I come in all my puckered, jiggly, glowing glory! (Though, I will be wearing a one piece. The girls don't appreciate extreme floppage after breastfeeding two ravenous cubs and require a bit more scaffolding these days. They would just eat a bikini top...)
Either way I'm good. :)