It’s a lovely crisp day in Sydney, so it’s probably a bit odd to be thinking about bikinis, especially when I’m wearing a bright green knee-length skirt, navy tights and these fabulous un-summery shoes:
But I was reading If I Hear One More Word About Beach Bodies, I’m Gonna Strangle Somebody With a Tankini at xojane and this stuck in my mind:
I hate this term. It suggests that a body that is beach-worthy must adhere to certain standards, or else be rendered unbeachable.
I have a beach body. It’s this one, the one I take to the beach.
If you haven’t read it, please do. It’s about “killing your swimsuit anxiety in 5 easy steps” and it rocks.
I’m an intelligent woman who generally doesn’t buy into the beauty industry, but I’ve still internalised this idea that only perfect bodies can be on display in public. Because I’m not a beach person (pale English skin that burns like no one’s business), I don’t tend to see a lot of semi-naked bodies. The ones I do see are in advertising, and on my friends who have lovely legs, and on women I don’t know who have lovely legs. So even though I know that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, the ones I see tend to be all rather fabulous.
I am comfortable with my body, which is lucky because there’s not a lot I’m willing to do to change it. But it doesn’t mean I’m comfortable being semi-naked in public. Which is why my last two holidays – a hen’s week in Bali (not somewhere I’d normally go) and a week over NYE by a river in Tongaporutu in NZ – were initially challenging, but then reminded me of how wrong I am about what bodies look like. Bodies with cellulite, bodies with stretch marks, bodies with wobbly bits, bodies that have created babies, white bodies, tanned bodies, spraytanned bodies, muscular bodies, yoga-ed bodies.
I’m probably going out on a limb here, but I reckon my friends like me for who I am, rather than what I look like in a bikini. So why am I so nervous about being in a bikini around them? They might notice the big bruise on my thigh from where I clocked it on a railing (note to self: don’t walk around corners while looking out the window), they may notice my tats, they may notice my scars from an infection I picked up somewhere, and they may notice my cellulite. But they’re not going to care. And if they do care, well, it’s unlikely I’d have much in common with someone who would judge me by my arse.
Now, can you all remind me of this post in November?