So here I am folks, 48 and fierce and frank and fabulous. It took me a long ass time to really have the confidence to own my sexy. As I’m sure all of you can relate, it ebbs and flows and sadly it usually ebbs and flows according to what we see on the scale. On a Friday morning. Naked. After peeing.
But sexy I will be and I will not apologize for it. I feel more confident at 48 than I ever did at 18, 28 or 38. If you don’t like it, you can get in line with the rest of these other bitches right over there (as I flick my hand over my right shoulder dismissively). Just because you don’t feel it, don’t make me feel bad that I do.
It does not matter what the scale says or what you think others see. What matters is what you see. Do you feel fierce? You should, because you’re a goddamn force of nature. Your partner probably thinks you’re a sex goddess. Do you listen to them? Probably not. We never do ladies. Because that feeling comes from inside. Now, I am not eschewing the absolute necessity of having your partner compliment you. Compliments from my spouse were often few and far between and usually the result of me prompting him with a comment like “how do I look??” That’s the worst. More on that another day for sure.
So at some point, I realized that I needed to recognize it in myself and then project that to the world. What’s the old saying? What you put out in the world comes back to you? You reap what you sow? So now that I put this out into the world, I can tell you without question that it’s come back to me in many positive ways.
I am a fan of swimming. A huge fan. I am a summer girl; there’s nothing I love more than being on the water, in the water, near the water. I love the pool. I love hanging out in a hot tub. I love to be out on a boat (thank GOD for friends with boats…you know who you are and you are everything). For years I didn’t think I was a beach girl until my sister convinced me to rent a house with her in Myrtle Beach one year and we had the BEST. TIME. EVER. Now we make a point to rent a house on the shore every other year, at least.
But you all know what goes hand-in-hand with summer and being poolside or beach side? Yes, drinks with umbrellas. Yes, sun hats and baseball caps. Yes, sunscreen. But I’m talking today about bathing suits. As I was prepping this post, I was reminded of the evolution of the bathing suit. Let’s just say… you’ve come a long way, baby. Imagine sporting one of these numbers at the beach today. I like a big brimmed sun hat as you all know, but that hat on the right could shade you and three of your closest friends. Yikes.
I was previously a fan of the Miracle Suit. That one-piece number that was made of the strongest Lycra known to man. This stuff makes Spanx seem like a weak ass poly-cotton blend. This suit made my hourglass figure a thing to behold. But the problem with this suit, ladies, is trying to get into it when you’re hot or somewhat sweaty. Then, the only way to get this on is with the assistance of no less than those three other ladies that you could shade with that mammoth hat and a fine mist of Johnson’s baby powder. Let’s be honest, you’re usually not getting ready to put a bathing suit on unless you are in fact hot and somewhat sweaty. Let us not discuss trying to pee in this wet-suit. Getting back into a Miracle Suit takes acts of contortion that I have never nor will ever be able to perform. I may or may not have ended up looking like the guy at the end of Deliverance with the broken arm. I will NOT subject you to this image on my blog; if you need to see it, Google that shit, but don’t ever say I didn’t warn you. That image haunted my dreams for weeks; the whole movie did. I do not assume I am alone in that sentiment.
A bunch of years ago, the tankini came into my life… bathroom problems SOLVED! And you can still get a really good amount of Lycra in a tankini top. I tried the skirt bottoms but am not a fan; walking around with a wet skirt is not pleasant to me, no matter how much it means I can be less careful with my bikini line grooming. And don’t “Ew” me ladies; we all know that bikini line maintenance basically sucks ass. Regardless, skirt, boy shorts, high-waisted briefs, bikini bottoms or thong, you do you! The tankini was a revelation to me. I love being able to mix and match as well. Fun! Mixing and matching is LIFE, people.
Then I got to thinking; if I’ve gone this far, why not take it a bit further? My sister (the Irish twin you all know and love) has been rocking a bikini for years at her backyard pool and at the beach. I always admired her for it, but never thought to venture into that arena. She’s always been the “thinner” sister (except during her first pregnancy, when I was never so happy to see her ass get bigger than mine; it sadly did not last) and I thought she looked great in her bikini. But could I, should I, rock the same look?
Then an ad popped up on my Book of Faces feed. The bikini in the ad was so freaking cute, I just had to click. Curvy and voluptuous (some people who are jerks may call me chubby, but I’m gonna stick with the former), the model was like a brunette version of me. The bikini offered a great amount of support for the girls as well as a good amount of coverage for my bottom. I’m a thick girl, folks. But let us remember, THICK THIGHS SAVE LIVES. Additionally, the top had underwire AND was cup-sized. Any of you with bodacious ta-tas like me know that the struggle is real. Finding a bathing suit top with enough material so I don’t have three feet of side-boob is a regular Christmas miracle. Can I also say, they made the purchase even easier by taking PayPal? I didn’t even have to get off the couch to grab my wallet. I shall not talk about how getting off the couch may or may not be impacting the size of my ass. Nope, not gonna do it.
Side note… at some other time, I will discuss the pitfalls of buying clothing online. I have been burned HARD before with online shopping and have learned my lesson. Lesson one: before you submit that cart; check the return policy. Make sure you can in fact, return the garment without having to send it on a slow boat to China at your own expense. Lesson two: read the verbiage on the site, specifically the “contact us” page. If it looks like a 6-year old translated the copy; you’re likely going to get burned.
But the company turned out to be very reputable and I bought a bikini and a cover up. To say I was blown away when they arrived is an understatement. I liked the suit so much that I quickly went online and bought a second one in a different color. Fun fact; that’s something I do a lot. If I like a top or a pair of shoes or a pair of shorts, I will buy as many of them as I can in different colors. No, I do NOT have a shopping addiction. I don’t know what you’re talking about at ALL. Pay no attention to the fact that I am on a first name basis with the UPS guy. And the mailman. And the Fed Ex guy. And maybe the DHL guy. But that’s it, I SWEAR.
So I had the bikini, but did I have the confidence outside of my bedroom to rock this thing? The first test was the back yard pool. My 18-foot above ground pool (AKA the white trash watering hole), sports a great deck for lounging. There’s no fence around the yard (before anyone clutches their pearls, it’s not code to have a fence where I live and the gate on the deck is always locked to prevent any accidents), so I would not have a ton of privacy. Someone may actually see me. But it’s the backyard; I felt pretty good about that.
I spent some time getting a little summer color on a belly that has never seen the sunlight. With that in mind, I was liberal with the sunscreen on my virgin skin. In no time at all, I was ready to strut my stuff at our bi-annual beach vacation.
And strut I did.
And it was freaking amazing.
No one screamed in terror.
No one pointed and laughed.
No small children ran away.
It was just me in a bikini and a baseball hat. Giving zero fucks about what people thought about me. And it was the best thing I have done for myself in a long, long time. I feel empowered when I put that bikini on, I feel sexy and I feel free.
So the moral of the story is, if you want to rock that bikini and you’re not a size 6, go for it. If you want to rock a tankini, have at it. But don’t rock the Miracle Suit unless you have three girlfriends ready to help you get into it. Kidding! Have at it, girl! The only one judging you is probably you. And if someone does judge you, why do you care? Get out there and get wet. Tip your head up to the sun and have fun.