What is the deal with women and bathing suits? (That was a rhetorical question.) So funny how giant this starfish appeared with perfect placement when my husband was taking a picture of me in my bikini, right?
Why are we SO embarrassed to be seen in one in front of our friends and family? Guys could not care less and are the first ones in the pool after the kids jump in. Yet we sit in the heat, covered, knowing our swim suit will never see the light of day, wishing we had the nerve to just take it off and not give a crap. It's so unfair!
I cannot tell you the amount of pool parties and gatherings I have attended that prove my point. I'll share a few.
I remember going to a pool party for my son's class a few years back with my husband and because it was a pool party, I wore my bathing suit, not thinking anything about it. When I arrived, I was the only mom that showed up in one. I became horrified and knew all eyes would be on me, especially since everyone commented on how brave I was when I walked in. Before I could even say hello to the host, I was quickly designated as the "pool mom", since I was the only one who could actually go in. Thank g-d my husband was there to be "pool dad", so I was able to avoid the situation. Did I want to go in? YES. Did I go in? NO. Did I think I looked good enough to be seen in a bathing suit? Hell no, but it was hot and a pool party, and I figured all of us women would be brave together. I thought wrong!
At a pool party just a few months ago, the kids and dads were splashing and swimming away while the women complained how hot it was. Out of 20 women there, I think only one came in a bathing suit, which remained under her cover-up the entire time. Even the hostess wasn't in a bathing suit until it got dark outside and everyone headed into the hot tub. I personally did not wear a bathing suit because I had just gotten my hair colored that day. It just cracks me up to see this repeated behavior.
When you live in Florida, it's HOT. If someone invites me to swim, I want to swim, not sit there and sweat. There is that voice in my head though that screams, "Ugh...do I have to get into a bathing suit or would a wet suit do?"
When you have young kids that need assistance in the pool, you are really left with no choice but to hop in. As usual, during my next swim playdate story, every other mom, even the host, stayed as far away from the pool as possible. I built up my confidence and hopped right in with my son. It was so hot outside that I was actually happy I was forced to get wet. I believe in the theory that the more you hide something, the more people want to know about it. If you put it out there for everyone to see, there is nothing to wonder about. Soon all the moms were telling me they wished they had brought their bathing suits too. Yay, I was empowering women but boo...I had to actually get out of the pool and my towel was no wear in sight.
No matter what size you are, whether you are overweight, or thin, we as women have insecurities. If you don't, you are the minority and I say, more power to you...or you are lying. I find it so interesting that a part of your body that you may hate could be one that someone else is envious of. I am not shy about telling women they look amazing if I think they really do. Every time I say, "You have such great legs" or "Do you know how many of us would kill for your abs", it is always the same response back from them. "Oh please, I hate my legs!" or "Really?". Most women tend to see parts of themselves in a negative way, no matter what anyone says to prove otherwise.
The funny thing is we really don't care what the men think all that much but do care about what other women are going to say. "Are they going to think I think I am better than them because I have the guts to wear a bathing suit? Are they going to stare at my cellulite? Are they talking about me? Do I look horrible in this bathing suit?" These are all things that we crazy women think about during swimsuit season. It's easy to feel like you are being analyzed and all eyes are on you!
Why do we care so much what other people think? WHY? I am guilty as well and I think the answer is that we don't want to be judged. The truth is the ones who are the harshest judges are ourselves! I say this summer, we take off our cover ups, stand proud, and then quickly jump in the pool before anyone can grab a glance of our butts. If it's hot, we swim. Sounds pretty simple, but can we do it?
Let's stop judging others, accept each other for who we are, and get comfortable in our skin. Most importantly, lets stop judging ourselves! If you don't feel great and pool ready,(whatever that means to you), do something about it. If you do feel good about yourself, others will see that confidence.
We should embrace our bodies, and that includes our flaws. If pregnancy has changed you, (and I think that is true for about 99% of us), look at your kids and know it was worth it. We are not twenty somethings anymore. Our spouses love us for who we are, including our stretch marks, veins and saggy boobs. I mean we have to deal with the "dad bod", right? Totally kidding...sort of. We need to take pride in our mommy wounds. We have to learn to start loving ourselves!
I guarantee if you are the first one in the pool, others will follow. Be a leader and show other women that it's okay. I'm pretty sure they will actually be talking more about your confidence and kahunas, rather than the size of your thighs. We are all beautiful women, no matter what our size and shape. Let's do this and enjoy our summer carefree. Watch out for those giant star fish that jump out of the water and block everyone's view of your bod.
TOGETHER WE WILL MASTER MOTHERHOOD® and Bathing Suit Season!