I leave Wednesday for another trip to New Orleans, Gentle Reader, and by God, it is so hot here in the Midwest, I can only imagine how it is in the swamp! I’m headed home to see family, and I will be gone for seven days.
For that time, I have packed:
1 swim outfit
1 cover-up for said swim outfit
1 pair of capris
1 top for said capris
1 skirt and shirt combo
other bits and bobs of necessity
The swim outfit is a new addition to my clothing repertoire. I haven’t owned a swimsuit in, oh, let’s say seven or eight years. Swim shopping is hard for many women, I think, especially women of size. I am not comfortable in a swimsuit, so I bought swim trunks and a top from Lane Bryant, with an orange tie dye dress from Wal-Mart (!) as my coverup. We plan on going to New Orleans’ new Cool Zoo, as the family I’m visiting is in town with four children (!!!). I fought long and hard about buying the swimsuit, but decided I would also need it for our upcoming (next May!) cruise to Alaska, so why not buy it now?
I purchased the swim trunks online, along with a swim top that didn’t fit. I brought back the top to the Lane Bryant store in the mall and made an exchange for the macrame one. Because I purchased online, the experience, I think, was not so bad. The woman in LB was helpful with the exchange, but the store was very crowded, so I didn’t get her full attention as I would have, I think, on a different day.
Why is shopping for swimsuits so dreaded? Is it because of the hygiene issues behind it all? Partially. But also, it’s just daunting to see your body in something so revealing if you’re not used to it.
There has been a movement for How to Get a Bikini Body: Put a Bikini on Your Body, which I 100% endorse. But I am not that person to put a bikini on this body. I don’t even wear shorts. I have never felt comfortable enough in my skin to wear anything that reveals any part of me that in depth, though I fully support women who do. Bodies are bodies, and the more we sexualize them, the more we shame them. We need to stop shaming bodies for whatever reasons–size, sexuality, ability, etc.–and start celebrating them as bodies. They are wondrous things, are they not? They tell us when we’re hungry, tired, happy. They help us move and listen and see and sing. We can dance, we can shine, we can sweat and breathe. These bodies are glorious. Let us continue to celebrate that.
Let me continue to believe it.