Swimsuits, need I say more?

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.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared!

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

18 thoughts on “Swimsuits, need I say more?

  1. Kate, I’ve mentioned you in an “honor roll” post offering the Genuine Blog Award and Sunshine Award. If you go to the current post you’ll see that I’d love to pass them on, but have made it very clear that I don’t have any expectation that it needs to be followed up on! I just enjoy your posts, and want to share them with my friends 🙂 Hope your weekend continues to be a good one…Debra


  2. Many funny moments here, Kate. I struggle with this, too. My solution? Even though I live 15 minutes from the ocean, I don’t go in it. Sharks are less intimidating than those skinny-model types who make me want Wanda the Tentmaker to design a cover-up for me.


    • I haven’t been in the ocean except for my ankles in years. If I go down to the beach, I do actually wear cutoff jeans and a t-shirt. I watch my sun exposure so covering up is not a problem.


  3. I’m sorry Kate. I’m one of those very annoying skinny women and so buying a swimsuit isn’t very hard for me. Again, I am terribly sorry. Rest assured I have other difficulties. But reading this got me thinking about why women ( and most women do hate buying this particular item) put up with things for so long with out making changes. This is just one small thing, there are so many others…..the plight of the larger woman who can not buy designer clothes, the bra issue for those of us when not enough to fill it, the high heels. We need a revolution….after I take a nap and have some chocolate. Then we’ll start designing an engineered swimsuit.


      • It’s just not the same body – even if the weight is about the same. (No matter how much you work-out) That’s what’s discouraging: the memories of what once was! It happens to everyone eventually.
        (and then there’s the price of the darn things! But once you finally find one you like – and that fits – and that looks good-ish, swim suit companies must think you’ll pay anything.)


  4. Oh dear. Haven’t we all been there. Looking into the unflattering mirror angle of the dressing room with its bright white light, when an assistant pulls open the curtain and asks you how things are going. I’m been tempted to ask for a shoehorn. I think I’m going t have a panic attack. Thank heavens I am going into winter down here.


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