Okay, that’s an overstatement.
I know. It’s weird. I’m happy naked. I wear a bikini without any issues. I’m pretty comfy in my skin. Generally speaking I’m at peace with my curves, my rolls, my cellulite, and even my stretch marks. But put me in a sports store changing room with a stack of speedos and other name brand serious swim suits, and ugh. Just ugh.
I’ve written before about bathing suit anxiety and why it’s different than evaluating and reflecting on the way one looks naked or in lingerie.
And it’s weird too b/c generally I like the way in look in sportswear, in active clothing. I love my bike shorts and jerseys and sleeveless running tanks and lifting shirts. I even liked my rowing clothes. So while lots of women don’t like to play sports for fear of wearing tight fitting sports clothing, that’s very much not me.
I like being identified as an athlete and given my build that’s often not clear if I’m wearing dresses and everyday clothes. But put me in bike shorts and jersey and it’s clear I’m a cyclist.
So why the swimsuit angst? Again, I suspect it’s all about identity.
Consider the comparison class. Women who wear bathing suits like these ones I’m about to try on at Sport Check look long and lean. They’re swimmers. They look like swimmers. They don’t look like me.
With my bikinis I’ve managed to change the comparison class. My newsfeed has so many cute women in fatkinis that I’ve come to see the fat girl in bikini as normal. They do look like me. They’re everywhere on body positive and health at every size websites.
But racing speedos? Scary!
And actually, at the end of the day, I’m not sure my self esteem is any worse. I’m able to say, “It’s not me, it’s them.”
I have a long torso and short legs. That’s part of my preference for bikinis over one piece suits.
Maybe I’ll look for an athletic two piece and make that my lane swimming suit. Or maybe I’ll start to think of myself as swimmer again and think of myself as belonging in that Speedo. Maybe.