the bathing suit...that so wasn't
Updated: Aug 10
No matter your size, bathing suit shopping is not easy. Every other spring, I prep myself for this daunting task, venturing out to find that elusive suit that will enhance the body I already have via cleverly bunched spandex.
Before I go further, I want to qualify that I have a normal sized body that I’m not unhappy with. I eat a balanced diet, exercise, and live a healthy lifestyle. I do, however, think that anyone can get body dysmorphic under unflattering fluorescent lighting in a dressing room where the mirror seems to depict an image similar to a warped amusement park mirror. Here’s what can happen within minutes: Hello stretch marks, and hey there unsightly cellulite. It’s been a while. A whole winter, in fact. Did something just jiggle on my arm when I moved? That cannot be my ass. Pfft, this mirror sucks. Glad I came. This was super fun.
In years past, I’ve launched a plan of attack visiting select stores and driving home empty handed where the end result yielded a summer in the same suits I’ve had for oh, the past four years. Avoidance is so strong that I have even taken to wearing my sports bra with my bathing suit skirt in my pool. This year was going to be different. This year, I would not end up wanting. The hunt for the perfect spandex that would satisfy my fashion sense and flatter my physique was on. At the mall, I passed by Everything but Water, a boutique shop I swore I would never enter. I can’t reconcile doling out $200 for a two month season. I mean $80 bucks. For a top. For the water. That you wear at the beach, probably covered by a shirt half the time. A suit like that better be second to plastic surgery. Because I waited too far into the season, it was a chore to find the color, size, or style I was seeking. Out of sheer frustration, I reneged on my promise to steer clear of pricey spandex and cautiously stepped into Everything but Water. Maybe they were magic spandex, and if this were the case, well, you can’t put a price on magic. Crossing the threshold, my mind did this: ooo, eeee, ahhh. They really did have everything but the water! Admittedly the suits were high quality, but nothing resonated enough for me to make a purchase, and I left deflated.
A week later, I saw my girl Sonia in a suit that I thought I could absolutely pull off. Fun and daring, I asked her where she got it, and if she minded that I copy her? Of course not, she said. I spent a week looking at images of the suit online before I went to try it on. Here’s the suit.
Stunning, isn’t it? Here’s how I envisioned myself coming out of the water:
While basking in the sun, I’d look like this:
And my behind? Here you go:
What? I would so look just like this. Off I went to the mall, excited about my pricey, yet worthwhile purchase. No daughter or girlfriends in sight, I brought along my 19-year old son, who was less than thrilled to be my sidekick. I grabbed the suit off the rack.
“What do you think?” I asked him.
“I dunno,” he commented uncomfortably, taking a seat outside of the dressing room.
“I’ll show you when I have it on, you can give me your opinion,” I smiled.
This alone may have scarred the boy.
Looking at the suit, you would think it would have a bit of stretch, some give if you will.
It did not. Houdini would have struggled putting this thing on. Nonetheless, my efforts, I was certain, would pay off. I knew once the suit was on, I’d look just like…
Holy unforgiving stupid florescent mirror. This is bullshit. That cannot possibly be me.
I’m not ashamed to say that I have loose flesh around my middle. It’s a result of giving birth to three beautiful children, the scars of motherhood I’m proud to have earned. It’s no problem I don’t have a jacked up six pack. However, it was a problem that this demon suit managed to gather what small amount of loose flesh my midsection owned and bunch it up under the eyelets. Like, in a pucker, so that my skin was perforating through the eyelets in mini flesh bumps. What madness was this?
Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten dinner first?
Maybe if I sucked in my gut…more.
Maybe….I ran out of maybes and exited the dressing room, placing the suit of my dreams back on the rack.
“What’s the matter, you didn’t like it?” asked my son.
All I could do was shake my head and in a restaurant whisper, the whispered yell you do to your kids when they’re acting up in public, said, “This is just a weird suit. It’s not right.” (See, right there, I held the suit accountable).
I actually went back with my daughter to give the suit another try because it is one killer suit. I tried on a larger size in case this was one of those suits that required more space. Her comment was, “It kinda gives you upper back butt. See there, it’s pinching your back together.”
Upper back butt? That’s a thing? Exit stage left.
The good news is that I found the suit in skirt style online, which of course will make all the difference in the world.
The below is how I’ll look:
Com’on now. You understand that having a skirt makes absolutely no difference, right? Live the lie with me. If it doesn’t work out no harm, no foul. Another summer in the same old same old suits me just fine.