Dear People Who Design Swimsuits for Women,
When I wear swimsuits supposedly designed for women, I sense that you have neglected to account for a certain female body part. That body part would be my vagina.
By “vagina,” I mostly mean what grows down there: pubic hair, that indomitable underdog. Pubic hair is like no other kind of hair. It’s not like the benign fuzz that grows on arms, nor the coarse stuff that sprouts up and down legs. It has joie de vivre. Left to its own devices, it does not color inside the lines. Pubic hair is no bullshit.
Could pubic hair possibly be news to you? Unless you are an elfin 7-year-old who has never heard of, let alone begun to experience, puberty, you have to know about pubes. You must. Yet by the look of most swimsuits with that trademark steep path cut up the side the hip, it’s as if you’ve decided it would be cool to present to all grown women this demonic little conundrum: Either make the pubes disappear, ladies, or display them boldly for all the world to see.
I’ve done both. Neither is good. I want new options.
Please don’t suggest a swimsuit with a skirt. That is an insult to my dignity. I was once a competitive swimmer. I could cover the length of a pool in seconds doing butterfly, which if you’ve ever seen it is a super convoluted way to move through the water. It requires more upper body strength than the entire fashion industry has combined.
Consider my self-respect. Even if my two children did not have the decency to be born until they were each the size of the average dorm room fridge, and even if this was the cause of an unpleasant bladder thing, the details of which I’ll go ahead and not share, I still have my pride! Plus, I like to do this crazy thing in a swimsuit called “swimming.” I jump in water that is deeper than me and paddle my arms and kick my legs and the movement of water rushing by feels revitalizing in both a physical and spiritual sense. I don’t need a piece of swim “skirt” getting all fancy with my fallopians.
Do not think for a second it will make anything better to call it a “sarong.” That word improves nothing.
I’ll admit, I’ve become a woman “of a certain age” — the kind who, come to think of it, is a little like pubes themselves, by which I mean no bullshit. I’m tired of posturing as hairless. Razors can’t hack it, and waxing? Sorry, it’s less the pain than the moral implications of spending money that way. (Okay, it’s the pain.) And yet, when I just say “screw it” and buy one of your swimsuits, and the pubes pop out, I can then no longer make eye contact with other human beings.
Believe me, it’s not because of shame. (All right, a little bit. Yes, it is.) It’s because every single person I encounter — from my sweet-as-pie father-in-law to my new mom friend — is staring at my nether region. The shock…of seeing…wow…that — waving free in the open air. Some people may think, Cover up! Others think, Run for cover. It’s coming to get me! Others think, Wow, BOLD, or simply, Why even bother wearing a swimsuit? Needless to say, I’m left imagining what people are imagining. What’s unquestionable though, and hard to ignore, is how obviously they are staring straight at my ladytown.
In sum, all I’m asking for is a swimsuit that does its due diligence downtown without going all granny on me. Throw me a smidgen more suit in the V-zone so that my business can be my business. So that I can swim without making a choice between razor burn or shame. Men get to do that, right? Oh wait, I wasn’t gonna go there. Whoops…went there.
If, in the end, you care nothing for the desires of women, try thinking of the other bottom line — the one associated with mad coinage. Your clientele includes, oh, just all adult women everywhere who are not yet ready for swimsuit skirts. Trust me. It’s a lot of people.
Swimmer Seeking Coverage