I’ve seen several blog posts, social media statuses, and comments encouraging all women to just wear the swimsuit. These encouragements (at least on my feeds) are followed by a beautiful candid photograph of a woman who, in my eyes, is still thin. The praises are warranted, of course, and so is the support, but I have yet to see any full-figured women write about it or see any full-figured women of color do it. I know that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened; clearly, I can only see what I see but still feel there’s a drought in a very important area.
You see the picture above has a story just like the three women in it.
That picture was taken last week. It is a picture of my two younger sisters and me. We were on a family vacation in a beach house all week and decided to venture out—once—to the beach. When we planned this trip and were thinking of activities for our days in, one of my sisters said, “Hey, since we aren’t going to be around anyone, let’s all buy bikinis like we used to and have a bikini contest.” She is slightly pageant obsessed so I cringed a bit inside before agreeing. I thought to myself, “She’s right, it’s just family. Why not?”
As the trip neared, this bathing suit was the last thing on my list. I was not running out with excitement to get it, it was literally as important to me as picking up a gallon of milk. I browsed a store for 10 or so minutes before settling on my choice. I didn’t even try it on. I grabbed the two-piece and checked out. When I got home, I shoved it in my suitcase, tags and all.
A few days later, it was time.
The original plan was to walk around the beach house pool strutting our stuff like it was spring break 2000 all over again—but plans changed and we decided to go to the beach.
We all thought twice about wearing our bikinis there. One of my sisters even said, “I don’t know, I don’t wanna be on someone’s Snapchat story.” I was hesitant, too—not only am I fuller than I was the last time I wore a two-piece, but I also have had seven medical surgeries on my stomach which have left me with several scars, including a 14-inch one that is impossible to cover in a bikini. And let’s not forget all three of us having stretch marks from our combined nine kids.
After a bit of back and forth, we all agreed to just do it. We put our two-pieces on and went to the beach.
The beach was NOT empty.
We had a few stares and a few glares. I’m not sure what they were thinking. They could have been secretly critiquing or secretly supporting. It didn’t matter. We did it!
We wore the two-piece.
We got comfortable in the two-piece.
We laughed and had cocktails in the two-piece.
We made memories in the two-piece.
We took photos in the two-piece.
We felt liberated in the two-piece.
We enjoyed the two-piece.
We forgot we were even wearing the two-piece.
We totally support the two-piece on us, on you, on them!
The bikini may have started out as a fun vacation activity never to be worn again but it found its place again as a summer wardrobe staple until we decide otherwise.
Who’s up next?