I was planning to post about the bane of all women — swimsuits — when my friend Lynn sent this to me. It says it all better than I could have. I really wish I would have written it. Kudos to the writer (whom I don’t know so I can’t give proper credit). Swimsuits really aren’t about weight but about not having the body you want, wiggles, jiggles and misplaced body parts. In other clothes we can camouflage what we consider our faults but swimsuits show it all! Enjoy!
When I was a child, the bathing suit for the mature figure was boned, trussed and reinforced — not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.
Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.
The mature woman has a choice, she can either go to the maternity department to try on a floral suit with a skirt and look like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney’s Fantasia, or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.
What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing suits was developed by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot. That gives the added bonus, if you manage to actually get yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks. Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.
Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.
The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is now meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.
The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fit those parts of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides. I looked like a lump of Playdoh wearing undersized cling wrap.
As I tried to work out where all those extra parts came from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, “Oh, there you are,” she said, admiring the bathing suit.
I replied that I wasn’t so sure about this suit and asked what else she had to show me. I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serving ring.
I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan’s Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.
I tried on a black number with a midriff fringe and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.
I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.
Finally, I found a suit that fit. It was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured.
When I got it home, I found a label that read, “Material might become transparent in water.”
So, if you happen to be on the beach this year and I’m there too, I’ll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!
PS: I looked for a photo of cutoffs with a t-shirt in a beach/swimming pool environment and found that many pools ban that outfit as unsafe. Go figure!
Photo credits: The beaver by clker via google, bluesuit model by coolsexypic via Flickr