Thankfully, critics of my choice to not only wear, but post pics of me wearing 2 piece bathing suits this summer have to this point remained quiet. But I have heard a few of you have say something to the effect of Well, I’d never wear one but you look great! Which, after sufficient analysis (read: obsessing) made me wonder if it is a bit like what we do when we taste something icky (ewww, this is gross, taste this!) or smell something rotton (I think this milk has spoiled, smell it!)
Parenting 101 tells us that our daughters don’t hear the compliments we bestow on them nearly as loudly as they hear our critical comments to ourselves. And I’m not gonna lie; I have heard some of that Good For You! But I Could Never Do It! to sound a little bit like Hey, Don’t You Know Your Name Is MrsFatass?! Easy on the skimp! Thus I am deep in thought about my decision to wear a two piece.
Until this summer, I have only ever owned one:
That is indeed a Swatch on my wrist, for those of you doing the math and calculating that I was sixteen in the eighties.
See that girl? That’s the sixteen year old version of MrsFatass. She thought she was a total moocow. She thought her thighs were too thick and her belly too soft and her boobies too big for any type of skimpy outfit, much less that bikini.
In fact, if memory serves, that day was the one and only time she ever wore that bikini anywhere except laying out in her own backyard. Alone.
So, fast forward about twenty years to THIS summer. My summer of the two-piece bathing suit:
See? I ALWAYS stand with my legs crisscrossed. Always.
I look nothing like the girl in the first picture. My hair has silver sparkles, my eyes have some lines around the edges. My belly is still soft from the carrying of babies, and my thighs are still thick. And? I’ve got a good 50-60 pounds on the 16 year old me.
But I told myself I was going to wear one this year. Granted, I was expecting by this point to be at some mythical goal weight that would be the remedy for my physical insecurities. Instead I’m still in the same package, albeit one that can now rock out an hour of CARDIO daily. And since I didn’t bail on that promise to myself, how could I bail on the bikini promise?
The answer to that is simple. I couldn’t. I don’t bail. I do what I say I am going to do.
In the year since starting this blog, I have focused a lot of effort on getting comfortable again. Comfortable in my skin, no matter what the size. Comfortable in my life, no matter where I hang my hat. Comfortable with reinvention. Comfortable living a life in my discomfort zone, void of all complacency. And self-doubt. And sloth.
I have thrown myself into some pretty ridiculous situations to test that comfort with myself. Got the hoohah waxed. Joined a gym and went spinning. Enrolled in Nursing school when even those people who were supposed to be closest to me questioned that decision. Told people with a straight face that I am, indeed, a writer.
So, why not wear a frickin’ two piece bathing suit? I mean, it’s not like it’s my pants size that defines how I’m going to look in the thing. It’s my attitude. My confidence. If I put it on and then apologize to the world for wearing it? Well, that gives the world a lot of room to be cruel.
But if I put it on and allow it to release the hotass inside? Then that is who you are going to see.
Months ago I wrote this post about looking at a picture of myself and being struck by the fact that it was the real me beginning to reemerge. And you all? You encouraged me to keep that photo close. That looking at it would keep all those negative inner voices at bay.
I have also written a post about seeing myself in a video and being dumfounded by the fact that I, MrsFatass, was the actual fat chick on the screen.
The difference in those two visuals was not my body, because truly my size and shape did not change. The difference was my attitude. The difference was me feeling confident and loved and desired in the first photo, and feeling awkward and insecure and ugly in the second. I felt good about the first photo and didn’t need anybody to validate me. But the second? I waited and waited for that validation to come. And it never did.
You know what? I choose confident. Because without that, even a size 6 looks bad.
You can, too, you know. You can do one bold thing today, push one boundary or make one choice just because you choose confident. The question is, are you going to?