As a woman — and a mother of two — who hasn’t worn a bikini since pre-puberty, and someone who goes to great but unsuccessful lengths to hide my various perceived “body flaws,” I find it hard to get behind the bikini lady. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s great that she doesn’t feel she has to hide her body, and that she’s struck such a chord with all these women who might also now feel brave enough to sport their bikinis on the beach. Terrific! For them.
But I didn’t wear bikinis before, and my one pieces have even made the transformation into skirt suits in recent years. When I see those old fashioned bathing suits in old Hollywood movies, the ones that cover half the thigh and look like mini jumpsuits, I lament that they’ve gone out of fashion. Bikini mom is yet another reprimand that I’m supposed to embrace my body and strut my stuff. It would be a hell of a lot easier if she weren’t so skinny.
So now not only do I not have a bikini body, I’m reminded that I also lack confidence. Kudos to her for having it, A+ for inspiring those on the edge to show their stretch marks and their bodies with pride, but the rest of us remain unchanged. Showing off stretch marks, flabby bits, and imperfections doesn’t make me feel better about myself, but who am I to argue with 325,000 likes and 41,000 shares? The mortification I’d feel at the concept of forty thousand people sharing a photo of me in a bikini is still the stuff of my nightmares.