The First Bikini
Ever since I can remember I spent summers out at my family's cottage, swinging on hammocks, roasting marshmallows on the fire, swimming in the lake. But for most of my teenage years being in the water was a source of stress. Not because of the swimming, oh no, I'm a water baby at heart. Because of the required swim wear and how much it exposed. Looking back on photos I can see that I wore a t-shirt in the water for too many years to cover up my body.
I think that most women have complicated relationships with bathing suits. Shopping for a bathing suit is even worse than bra or jean shopping. I'd have to be in a pretty good mood so that I just may find something that I don't hate, but not in such a good mood that I'd want to ruin it by seeing all my bodily flaws in florescent lighting.
I'd see women at the pool and lake frolicking in the shallows, seemingly unaware of their fabulous bodies, while I sat on my towel painfully aware of my sugar belly and thighs and boobalas.
Lately, I have been living in a tropical climate. I go to the beach nearly every day and in that time I have seen women of all shapes, sizes and ages. And you know what? No one is perfect. Most people have cellulite and jiggle when they walk. All are beautiful in their own way.
So this year I decided no more bathing suit body hate. I have had enough of trying to hide this gift of a body. I bought a bikini. The first bikini, really.
bikini: Sea Folly
I was nervous walking into the store. What if there wasn't any my size? What if I saw judgment in the saleswoman's eyes?
I told her what I was looking for and she was so excited for me to find the perfect suit. She couldn't understand why I'd never had a bikini before. What reassurance!
When I got down to the beach and stripped off my dress I expected to feel the familiar feelings of fear and shame. I expected to want to jump directly into the water and then get covered up as soon as possible.
I felt the sun on my skin, in places that have never known that warmth. I looked down at my exposed sugar belly and polka dotted suit and thought "cute!".
I stretched out and read my book. Then I leisurely walked to the water for a refreshing swim.
Today I am thankful for bravery and cute suits to enjoy! I am thankful for my little sugar belly and learning to love it a little more everyday.