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When did thighs become so undesirable?

I went swimming costume shopping today. We're scheduled for a trip at the end of the month and I will be expected to be in a bathing suit day in and day out for a week. This I can do. I stopped wearing a bikini when I hit puberty, not for the reasons you may expect, but I hated the sensation of a sunburnt belly - so I chose a full suit.

Like all women over a certain age, I have plenty of hang-ups about my body. There's that Dove soap ad on television at the moment where they interview women about their bodies and it takes an average of two seconds for them to name something they don't like but an average of "a lot, lot longer" to name something they do. The final caption of the advert is something like "If we can see the beauty I'm other women, surely they should see it too?" Or maybe that was the follow on ad, I'm not sure. See the Dove ad I'm writing about here.

This is sadly indicative of the female condition. I am still not sure why, of all things, the fact that in the swimware section of the clothing store I was in today, amongst beautiful bikinis, instead of a sarong or two, were multiple pairs of board shorts: knee length and a little shorter. And almost all of them black and (dare-I-even-say-it?) masculine.

I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings now, but ladies seriously. Board shorts?

From the Mail Online article linked here. 
I'm not a size 6 bikini wearing babe. So please don't mistake my criticism for arrogance or ignorance of having a plus-size (I think that's what they're calling bigger girls these days?) figure. I have wobbles I would like to cover up for the rest of my life and not just the trip to the beach. But where does it end? Should we all go back to swimming in knee length knickerbockers and full sleeves? (A must see article about swimwear before the bikini) 

What needs to be said is how come men's swimsuits don't get bigger or longer or higher or whatever it takes to hide their flaws? Surely by now there should be some for of tummy-sucker swimsuit for men. But maybe they're worried about the muffin top that would result from wearing a swimsuit that hides a pot belly? As if. 

I recently had a conversation with an older lady who is very close to me; she was on a diet again. She was bitching about her saggy arms again. She was saying that she needs to find a swimsuit that nips and tucks it all for her. I looked at her and honestly said, "Just how old do you need to be before you accept that this is the body you have and just embrace it?" She was stunned. I couldn't believe I had said it out loud. I believe I may have even pointed at her with both hands for emphasis. But you see, this woman has never been unattractive in my mind, until that moment. I realised the phrase that's often bandied about, about confidence being the sexiest things a woman could ever wear, is true.
http://diversephilosophies.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/20120515-132613.jpg

It's one thing to want to be healthy, agreed. That's important. If that involves needing to lose a few kilograms, then so be it. It's also one thing to want to regain our pre-baby figure, which is possible for some moms, but not for all of us. Good grooming is also important. But even in this process, don't hate your body. It's a vessel. It's your vessel. It took me years of therapy, (and I really wish I was exaggerating now,) to finally understand that at a point, you need to simply work with/accept what you've got. 

Here's a (maybe) harsh reality, ladies: it's not attractive to hate your own body. And it's also not attractive to criticise every little flaw. I know I'm not a man, (or a potential partner, if that's how you roll,) which means that I may not exactly be your target market when aiming for attractiveness, but I do know what it feels like to hate your body. As a result of hating your body you end up thinking less of yourself. I do know, again from personal experience, the lengths some of us, myself included, will go to try be a size or three smaller. Its the body you've been given and its the only one you will ever have. It's not worth it to wage war on it every single day and it certainly isn't worth the unhappiness it causes to feel shortchanged by your outer appearance. Even with diets and gym and make-up and clothing, you still need to be happy with who you are in order for it to shine out of you. I ask the question again, just how old do you have to be before you accept that this is your vessel for life and just embrace it? With summer fast approaching, please don't be reduced to board shorts... 


Comments

  1. Brilliant!...... mom of 3 stretch marks and all;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! At 75 I sag here & there but I am still here ! My husband & too many friends are not. So, lassies hear the wisdom & get out there and LIVE! The body you have today may well be the body you longingly remember 10 years from now! So take those pictures now, swim with your kids/ friends, do whatever your able while yor body can! Time is fleeting--get out there and enjoy as much as you can!

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