On Bathing Suits & Burlesque
So, it's that time of year again! Well, it was that time of year almost a month ago but the weather gods have been fickle and generous with the rain and not so much with the not rain. In any case, I put on a bathing suit this weekend so IT IS THE SUMMER NOW OKAY?
This year, I am sporting bathing suits with skirts a la your grandmother but stay with me here - I've never felt so FREE!!! Ever since giving birth - wait, not giving birth - putting on forty pounds of "baby" [poutine] weight, getting depressed and eating my weight in muffins while enduring a period of attempted breastfeeding which is now known as the Hell Times, and subsequently eating whatever I want cause my two year-old does and I have a jealousy problem - I have been self conscious about my physique. I am such an asshole that I actually used to wonder what the problem was with losing the baby weight - I mean, how hard could it be!? Well, it turns out like mitigating factors, like your whole life turning upside down and not being able to engage in whatever hedonistic pleasures you used to (like watching TV uninterrupted for hours while scarfing ice cream and causally painting your toenails), can really have an effect on your desire to shove stuff in your pie hole.
So swim skirts. Last summer, I bought the biggest, chic-est piece of material that could pass as a bathing suit and I slapped it on and I loved it! Everyone loved it! It was pretty and purple and it had ruffles and didn't make me feel like a fat crab trying to fit into a small shell. This year, I took it a step further: I got the ones that look like dresses because duh, then you DON'T EVEN HAVE TO SHAVE. Well, maybe your legs, but that's still totally optional (it's not like it's Valentine's Day or something). In any case, I opted for the full coverage package and it turns out that it suits me just fine. Don't forgive the pun, I put it there on purpose.
I am not a prude and I certainly don't give a shit what anyone else wears around their pool, my pool, or the beach, but I do care about comfort. What are you comfortable in? A thong and nipple tassels? FANTASTIC!!! A Borat-style bathing suit? WONDERFUL!!! But just let me tell you something I never expected: Covering up actually makes me feel empowered. I mean, I'm not pulling at my bathing suit (Aya is however, always trying to tug my top off - not purposefully - just in joy-induced swimming sessions) and expecting my bits and pieces to fall out and that makes for a much more relaxing time. Who knew? It's like when I was in my early 20s and I realized that if my worth or value was going to be based on what men thought of me, I'd be sunk - that is, literally always unhappy because my worth would come from an outside, very fickle, and undeserving audience. I'm not sure why that profound realization did not extend to my body however - it's like it was just about my face.
It's odd - I've never worn sexy clothes because they make me feel awkward and to be honest, the idea of being sexy just makes me giggle. That's just me - I get that it is powerful for other women. For example, I once tried pole dancing and it just made me kinda angry and a little sad. It was all about "pleasing your man" and being sexy for him and it didn't really resonate on an authentic level. Then I tried burlesque dancing and I literally couldn't stand the actions and how ridiculous it made me feel. I thought it would make me sexy. It actually made me feel silly and again, a little sad. Then a friend asked me, but is sexy what you are going for, and I was like, yeah, good point.
This is not because I hate my body or sexiness or even pantyhose - okay, I do hate panyhose - it's more about who I feel I really am. I love it when people think I'm beautiful or pretty or even cute - okay, I don't really like being called cute - but sexy doesn't really ring a bell for me. Sexy is someone else's territory and I guess I'm beginning to realize that that's okay.
I have a ways to go when it comes to embracing my mombod and I won't make you puke by regaling you about how it held my baby and brought her into this world (although all that shit is super true, no matter how cliche) but maybe, just maybe, I don't have to obsess about my new curves and my mom pouch (which does happen to be a good shelf for drinks) and realize that the body stuff might be part of the grieving my old self process too. I used to have time to make dinners and exercise and take meticulous care of my body. I could make time to do some of those things and I guess that I actually sometimes do. But I have to accept that circumstances have changed, I've changed, and in reality, everything's changed as weird as it feels to admit that. My priorities have shifted by my brain struggles to keep up.
My new mombod skirt bathing suit however, does not struggle to keep up. It's just all coverage all the time.
And I loves it.