This post isn’t exactly about fitness but with summer around the corner, I find myself thinking about the tired “bikini body” tropes. You know, how we all have to get our bodies “ready” to be seen by other people in public…
Well, this week my partner and I are headed to his hometown of Rockaway Park in Queens, NY. It’s an amazing beach community on the southern peninsula of Queens.
In anticipation of the trip, I decided to give the whole two-piece bathing suit another try.
I finally figured out: Hey! I feel good about my body in my underwear—I think I look pretty damn good, even. So why do I feel so uncomfortable in a two-piece? Oh, I see… Other people.
Well, fear of what other people think be damned! The older I get, the more I realize (not only does it not really matter), but no one’s even looking at me anyway.
So off I went to in search of a proper two piece.
The main problem, however, was my boobs. Or rather, the lack of selection for those with a “D-cup-and-up.”
I started by doing some preliminary searching online… “Bikini tops for larger busts” yielded some results, but what I found was a lot of tops that tried to hide or diminish parts of the body.
What makes you think that just because I have a larger bust, that I also want to hide it? Or hide my stomach? Do larger busts and larger stomachs automatically go together?
I continued my search at the Eaton Centre… I found that most companies offered larger sizes of bikini tops, but these are just simply larger versions of their cute flouncy tops that are meant for smaller busts. For those of you out there who share my struggle, you know this doesn’t quite work. Simply making a bikini top larger doesn’t always take into other concerns like support, side-boob coverage, the feeling of security that I won’t accidentally flash half the beach while coming out of the water. (#bigboobproblems)
The worst part of it was just how many useless tops there were out there. Certainly, I can’t be the only person with larger breasts who also wants to wear a two piece (AND move around with said two piece on her body without the fear of it falling off).
Lately I’ve become less and less impressed by what stores have to offer. I don’t consider myself to have an especially rare body type, but even if I did, what would I do then?? I’m annoyed (at best) and totally pissed off (at worst) when I’m made to feel like something is wrong with me because things in stores don’t fit me properly. (Not to mention other issues like high prices for low quality, the use of sweatshop labour to produce high volumes of clothes out there these days…)
So now what? I don’t have a particularly satisfying way to wrap up this post. I guess my frustration around consumerism, patriarchy, and other bullsh*t are just a bit higher than usual these days, and the bathing suit shopping incident was that thing that pushed me over the edge.
I have this note to myself written above my desk in my office that says, “Create before you consume” and this idea can act as the antidote I sometimes need against the bombardment of body and beauty standards out there in stores and malls. If anything, it’s a reminder…just because I live in a consumer culture, doesn’t mean I have to be a mindless consumer. I, too, am someone who is capable of creating things. And that, for me, has always been empowering.
I recently took up knitting and sewing as a way to make my own clothing. There are even classes in Toronto on how to make your own bras and bathing suits. While I realize this isn’t for everyone, I find something deliciously rebellious about not needing to buy stuff when you can make it yourself.
But this can mean lots of things for lots of people: Create a positive self-image before you consume… Create time for yourself before you consume… Create your own version of something before you consume… Whatever this means to you!
Anyway, I’ll be happily lounging on the beach this week in my bikini body; by which I mean, there will be a bikini on my body.