essays

Buying A Bathing Suit

swimsuit catalogI ordered this bathing suit from Landís End. It was February and I was looking at swimwear. I do this every year. And every year, I pass on the opportunity to clothe my body for a season of swimming. Thus, every year I do not swim.

I do not swim for a variety of reasons Ė well, at least two. The first is that swimming requires getting wet. I donít have anything particular against getting wetĖI do it every day in the shower, after all Ė so perhaps itís the getting wet in front of other people that dismays me. The second reason that I donít swim is that I donít look like Christie Brinkley in a bathing suit. Even when I was of the size of Christie Brinkley, I didnít look like her in a bathing suit.

The fact is that my figure flaws are exaggerated, exacerbated, and made paramount by the wearing of a swim suit. Despite never having given birth to a single child, my belly is Ė well, itís definitely a belly. Now, in my later years, since my breasts have decided to bloom forth, my measurements put me very much in the full-figured group. Iíve got an hourglass figureĖat least from the front. From the side? Not so much. From the side, I resemble a cowboy with kidney disease. That is, I have a pancake flat ass and a ballooning belly. I donít even like to look at it, so why should I put it on display?

Because, goddamit, itís my body. Okay, that feminist shout was strictly for the internet. In person, Iím whispering. Yes, itís my body and I know poolside feetI should love it. I should honor how well it works and how long it has supported me in my endeavors. Yada-yada-yada Ė and blah-blah-blah.

I do not blame the patriarchy or our consumer culture for the fact that Iím less than uncomfortable with the way I look in a bathing suit. Iíve found over the years that such blame doesnít help the situation. My body is still my body, no matter whose fault it is that it doesnít look the way I want it to. Thatís the fact I have to deal with, and that is the fact that I must amend.

So Ė Iíve bought a bathing suit this year as an exercise in Immersion Therapy (yes, I get the pun; no, it wasnít intentional). I will wear the suit until I donít give a ratís ass what I look like in it. I will wear the suit until the chlorine fades it gray. I will wear the suit forever Ė and I will swim.

Now I just have to find a pool.

Jane Gassner authors/edits MidLife Bloggers and MidLife-Beauty. It's all part of her plan for us to "make the most of midlife together," and that means talking to each other about all parts, good and bad, of this thing called getting older.

Sign up for BoomSpeak Email Updates

 

 

© 2006-2013 ConceptDesign, Inc. Terms of Use
BoomSpeak - For babyboomers - by babyboomers.