aging · body image · fashion · fitness · swimming

Guess which body shaming phrase Sam doesn’t ever want to hear again?

As you are likely sick of hearing by now, I’m on a cruise ship in French Polynesia. We’re currently anchored just off Bora Bora. I think it’s trademarked as the most beautiful island in the world but it’s also the most developed and touristy of the places we’ve visited. It’s known as the honeymoon capital of Polynesia. That might be a reason to pick another island to visit if you’re not honeymooning though we weren’t inundated with honeymooners at our end of the island.

It’s a big deal for me, this holiday. I don’t usually do big vacations. I think this is the longest holiday of my life. It’s certainly the most luxurious. (Thanks best sister-in-law in the world, thanks again.)

One of the things I really like about this cruise ship experience is that it’s not just North Americans onboard. There are loads of Australians, Canadians, also a lot of Europeans. There are a lot of different languages being spoken over breakfast.

But that makes for some interesting cultural differences across a range of areas including bathing suit choices. Some of the older American women are wearing what look like cute beach dresses. I’ve written about these before when I considered buying one but decided not to in the end. I’ve stuck with my standard issue athletic bikini through the years.

Blue sky with some clouds, lush tropical forest and a beach. Also, Sam in a blue and black two piece bathing suit.

The Australians, older Australians anyway, are not so modest. Ditto the French and the Germans. There are much older men and women of all shapes and sizes wearing fairly minimal swimwear. String bikinis and speedos all round. Who cares right? Exactly. Personally, I think it’s great.

Now we could each all do our own thing without comment. You do you! Nice beach dress! Cute string bikini! That’s my preference. But no. There’s always one person who uses my most hated body shaming phrase, “we don’t need to see that.” See here for my last blog post about it!

Often the phrase is accompanied by further editorial comment meant to make it clear that it’s not that no one could ever wear such a bathing suit, you know, it would be okay if they were younger, thinner, more fit, whatever.

I’m not a person who argues with other people I don’t know on small boats. But I kept thinking of replies. My mother’s reply: Don’t like it, then don’t look. Simple. Or my own thought, I don’t think she’s dressing for you. Or how about just, that’s bullshit.

Now this year, this time, I don’t think they were talking about me and my bikini. I’m hoping I can maintain my “that’s bullshit” attitude when it is. Because I plan to keep wearing a bikini into my 60s, 70s, and beyond. See you at the beach!

7 thoughts on “Guess which body shaming phrase Sam doesn’t ever want to hear again?

  1. Oh, no, body-shaming double standards are the worst!

    I think it’s one thing to consider when nudity or showing certain body parts is situation-inappropriate (or disrespectful to others, whatever the reason), but vacation on a cruise ship is clearly not that. :/ If a young, thin, conventionally attractive person would be “allowed” to wear a certain outfit, then anyone who wants to should be able to without extra scrutiny.

    The idea that someone else’s body can be offensive (at least in the absence of something actually offensive, like neo-Nazi tattoos!) is also pretty weird, but I’m sure you’ve thought about that many times.

  2. “I’m not a person who argues with other people I don’t know on small boats.”

    I apply this to Facebook/social media commenting too. Life’s too short to argue with strangers who are hiding behind a screen.

    1. But your come-backs are great and I’d probably use them on social media if I needed to call out my own friends (vs strangers) or someone commenting on my own post.

  3. I applaud you, and your post. More people need to stand up to those who feel the need to comment about others who are just trying to enjoy their life and live it the way they want to. Everyone should have the ability to go on vacation and experience it without the ridicule of others. I know when I am on vacation, it is not to please those around me, but to please myself and to experience my life in the way I see fit. Keep up the good work!

  4. When people say horrible things around me I’ve decided to act as though either I’ve misunderstood what they have said as something positive or that they poorly expressed themselves.
    When people tell me they “don’t want to see that” I turn and look. Then I say “yes, I love seeing all these folks enjoying this beautiful day too! Aren’t we so lucky to be here with these folks and the great weather?”
    I’ve not met anyone with the guts to force the point. They may think I’m not very bright but I’m ok with that.

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