bathing, beauty

To celebrate Mo Pie’s upcoming nuptials, and to hit the farmacia and bring back armfuls of prescription drugs to sell to underage children in order to pay for her upcoming nuptials, we are taking a cruise to Mexico. I know! How cool is that? It is so cool. We are sailing out from L.A., and down to some place in Mexico with farmacias, and then back up to L.A., and all the time we will be drinking things with umbrellas in them, lounging in the sun, and wearing bikinis.


Except for the part where there is no way I am stuffing any part of my body into a bikini. You’d think after all my talk of not caring about the squidgy parts of my body, embracing my arms and my thighs and my belly and all my beautifully imperfect imperfections that make me the special shining snowflake I am, that I would embrace this opportunity to seize the moment for body positivity, and prance around the ship half-naked and unashamed, except that there is no way on God’s green earth that I am going to appear anywhere in public in anything less than a parka.


There is something about bathing suits that send me into screaming fits of screaming insecurity. Look at me saying "something about" like I have no idea what it is, and no one else has ever experienced this before. There is so much tied up in the whole idea of being "swimsuit ready," and "bathing suit season," and those stupid yogurt ads that are all about being in bikinis after you’ve spent the entire first 10 years of your life cramming Dannon into your face and choking it down in an effort to not terrify the whole beach and send them screaming into the sweet embrace of the killer sharks in the ocean, because that is what your white and imperfect body will do, if you were to appear in a bathing suit without extensive preparations.


You’d think it would be easier, with a whole crowd of half-naked people surrounding you, everyone in the same situation–we’re all in this together! Except it’s so not easier. It is so infinitely worse, because you have thighs upon thighs upon thighs upon thighs to which you savagely compare your own thighs, your butt, your boobs, your entire life and your value as a human being. There is something wretched about pulling off your cover-up and stepping into the fray to be judged, because you’re going to be judged. Everyone is half-naked, and everyone is looking at everyone else, hoping to find someone who doesn’t look as good as them, half-naked, because it means you’re not the squishiest one in the joint.


Except fuck that. I am going to wear a bathing suit, and in my bathing suit I am going to bathe in the rays of the sun (wearing a very high SPF sunscreen) and in those drinks that come in coconuts and in my beautiful friendships with my beautiful friends who all have better thighs than me but I will not care because I will have just ordered a drink in a pineapple, just to mix things up a little bit, and things are all so very, very good. Group hugs! Squish my fat, and in that way we will bond! And I will feel self-conscious every time I take off my cover-up, and wonder if my friends and strangers and the Google satellite and God are all judging me, and then I’m going to get over it.


The problem now is that I need a bathing suit to wear. I am not fitting in the junior sizes that litter the surf shops where everything costs $1.50 and is only meant to survive one charming high-spirited game of water polo before being torn off that night by the amorous teenage boy with whom you are like, totally in love with, in the back of his mom’s Saab. And then, teenage pregnancy! Wasn’t that the plot of Beach Blanket Bingo? Anyway, the cheap bathing suits do not fit me, and the expensive bathing suits–well, they’re expensive. A lot, a lot. That is so much money for something that does not cover anything. $79 for a square foot of spandex! Do they think we are stupid? Oh, I am so stupid, because I am going to pay $79, and for something that will only fit me for a little while. I have even picked out the bathing suit, from the Esther Williams collection, no less, and its surprising loveliness is such that it may even overcome the horrors of bathing suitiness. Also, Esther Williams! How cool is that? My bathing suit is like, totally guaranteed to make me Technicoloriffic.


But the price has been putting it in my shopping cart, and taking it back out, and putting it in and taking it back out. Jen Wade says it’s because I have subconsciously hated Esther Williams ever since I tried out for my high school’s synchronized swimming team but was rejected and then surrounded by the team, who poked me in my fat and made me run out of the pool, crying. I think maybe it has a little more to do with my checking account, but that is also a good theory. It ties everything back neatly to the Everyone Hates Bathing Suits theory, and also explains why the smell of chlorine sends me into a murderous, choking rage.


Either way, I’m going to have to stop dropping this suit into my shopping cart and abandoning it, and soon. The cruise is coming up, and I will need something to wear to practice being a beautiful snowflake who embraces her imperfections but more importantly, in which to sip drinks skewered with dangerously delicious fruit kabobs. The drinks, I figure, will help with the insecurity.

  11 comments for “bathing, beauty

  1. spacedcowgirl
    July 26, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    I love that bathing suit! Even her two-pieces don’t make me want to run screaming. The light blue fabric with the cherry print is adorable.

    Also consider http://www.poppiswim.com. I hemmed and hawed between Esther Williams and Poppi, and finally decided on the halter tankini top in the Tropical print and the side-tie bottoms in black. It looks really cute, and if it is a hair not supportive enough for my rather saggy bazooms, I’m ignoring that and simply hiking the halter strap up a little higher, because it’s adorable.

    Next stop: one of her retro-cut suits. Or the Esther Williams. I still can’t decide.

  2. anon
    July 26, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    Bathing suits. ‘Twas a horror for me at 215 lbs. ‘Tis a horror for me at 125 lbs. I have no advice.

    But I love the suit. And if you wear it and feel good I will feel good because it will mean that a woman out there is saying F U to all the ridiculous bullshit over bodies and bathing suits and loving herself in all her beautiful Esther Williams glory and actually having a good time with her friends instead of obsessing over silliness and I will be proud of you and admire you forever and ever, amen.

  3. Red
    July 26, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    That bathing suit is adorable and you will look great. On the off chance that you don’t want to spend that much, high-tail it to your local Sears where all the Lands’ End suits are now on sale (or, alternatively, peruse their website). It is from them that I purchased the first suit I’ve had in years that, upon wiggling into, didn’t immediately make me want to vomit or burst out into tears.

  4. July 26, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    That is maybe the best bathing suit I’ve ever seen. Buy it. Wear it. Have a wonderful time with your friends.

    xoxo.

  5. July 26, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    OMG.. someone else who has found the Esther Williams suits! Don’t you love the leopard skin print? I do!!

  6. Shannon K
    July 26, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Oh! That is much cuter than mine. You will look great!

  7. July 26, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    With bathing suit buying, I found that trying on was very important. This was the first year in 16 years that I’ve worn a bathing suit, and I bought 3 (three!!!) of them after trying about 15 on. I found a bunch of reasonable styles & prices at Target, of all places. Go try them on.

  8. Shawn
    July 27, 2007 at 1:01 am

    That suit is seriously awesome and you will look amazing in it.

    I don’t even own a bathing suit, so I am going to have to find some cute sundresses for sitting by the pool (alas, I cannot swim, so no going into the pool for me).

  9. babs
    July 27, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Your average cruise-goer is going to be too distracted by your tats to notice any squishiness. Rock on with your bad self — and the suit’s a winner. I trust you have a HUGE straw hat and some HUGE Jackie-O sunglasses to go with?

  10. July 30, 2007 at 5:04 am

    I curse you for showing us that link. That bathing suit is amazing and I want it.

    YOU MUST BUY IT. It’s hot and you will look hot in it! Do it for all of lusting after it too…

  11. *S*
    August 1, 2007 at 12:26 am

    Ohferchrissakes! It’s a cute suit. Buy it. Wear it. Get drunk in it. It’s not like you are planning to workout in it three or four times a week and have to deal with the pain and agony of watching the ultimate cute suite degrade through the nastiness of constant chlorine.

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