I’m mostly okay with my body. Mostly. I’m a bit disturbed by how things are, erm, shifting, as I’ve gotten older, even though my weight is steady and reasonable. But life is a terminal condition, so I’m learning acceptance.
What I’m not “mostly okay with” is swimwear. Becky has already lodged her complaint against “Woo! Bikini-bod!” talk, but I have a problem with the actual bikinis. And tankinis. And monokinis. And even maillots.
I’ve been shopping lately for a bathing suit. (That was my first mistake.) While I have two bikinis, they are each at least 6-7 years old, and the aforementioned physical shifting makes me a bit self-conscious in them.
I don’t swim much anymore, a couple of days a year at best, so spending money on a suit (especially now that I’m unemployed) would be crazy. I suppose, however, that if I found a suit that made me feel great and look decent, I would drop $70. None of this $120-and-up business. But I haven’t found a suit that made me feel great OR look decent.
This is not for want of trying. I’ve found suits that ride up my ass and suits that won’t support my rack (WTF, SWIMSUIT PEOPLE? NOT EVERYONE IS A B CUP! YOUR FLIMSY “SHELF” BRA IS DOING EXACTLY NOTHING FOR ME!) I’ve found suits that want to flatten my flat-enough tummy (I am not concave, neither do I aspire to be), but only manage to give me a pancake uniboob. I’ve found suits that cover and support the ladies adequately with their redonkulous foam cups, but are three inches too long for my torso. I’ve found suits that highlight the parts of my body I’d rather not highlight, and make the good parts look pretty bad. Suits that ask me to painfully depilate my entire hootenanny, and suits that dig deep red grooves into my shoulders. I’ve tried on smalls and mediums and larges; solids, prints and patterns; discount and designer, and I am over it. Also: NO MORE HALTERS. MY NECK CANNOT TAKE ANOTHER FUCKING HALTER TOP.
It was something of a revolution when manufacturers and retailers discovered what women have always known: a whole lot of us come in different sizes above and below the waist. “Mix and Match” two-pieces were great (…when they were great). The suits I have are that type, and I did a happy, happy dance when I found them, even though they were halters. Somewhere along the way, they quit making bra-style tops that 1) had adjustable, over-the shoulder-straps, 2) had some support structure to them–seaming or underwire or something, and 3) were intended to be worn by women with significant mammulation.
Alas, they are no more. I have tried on at least 40 swimsuits, and have yet to find one that makes me half as unself-conscious as I do wearing my boring, everyday underwear. (Which is also not as expensive as most of the swimsuits I’ve seen.)
So, I’m tempted to tell the swimsuit people to take a long walk off a short pier in one of their over-priced, poorly constructed, built-for-a-teenaged-mannequin numbers and just wear plain bra and matching knickers when I make it to the beach. What I’m asking you is: are there any downsides to this that I’m not seeing?