I’ve been real busy lately, so I have not taken time to blog. Today my oldest daughter, Lydia, graduated high school after many grueling years of late nights and drama. Off to college next fall – Bates, in Maine – and independence, a phase I hope she finds every bit as enjoyable as the one I’m in now that she is leaving to find adulthood. Not that I won’t miss her; rather, I’m so proud of her and so respectful of the work she has done that her departure is a source of joy – because I know she can do what she sets out to do. A parent’s fantasy….
This blog is about what you set out to do – to be independent of society’s imposition on your self concept. You see, bikinis are, by their design, esp nowadays, exposing, not just revealing, and they show way more than most women feel comfortable showing. For those of us who are body watchers, they also show way more than we want to see. They are really cover-ups that enable women to share in sun and fun, and to that extent should not be frightening – except for those involved heavily with dermatologists or dermatological issues. You see, very few women have ‘perfect’ bodies, with ‘perfect’ skin that does not wrinkle or sag, and that is disturbing to them, so much so that they even resist wearing any bathing suits – they wear loose fitting garb with shawls or cover-ups that look comfy but can’t be swum in. I have seen this with lydia, who has a nice figure but excess fat. Hence, she has spent the past 2-3 summers nearly refusing but definitely fearing to wear even a bathing suit let alone a bikini.
Now, I am a body watcher. I am a critic of what the female, and male, body looks like, but I attest that my repulsion of some bodies results not from their appearance alone but from their lack of fitness. Many a young female wear a bikini or even just a pair of tight pants with bare midriff, and don’t look good despite youthful skin. Like my daughter, they are out of shape with no obvious intent to alter it. What with a better diet and some exercise, they could proudly expose as much as they are comfortable exposing without exposing/revealing their inner fears. Perfect – no; but happy with their bodies’ abilities to do what they do to be healthy and fit; happy that they’re treating their bodies with respect by feeding them healthy diets; and happy that, despite being less than perfect, they are not even striving toward it – they are enjoying themselves at the beach or by the poolside. It is how this article concludes and why I propose that women get out their bathing suits and maybe even their bikinis and show off what they’ve been doing to take care of themselves, rather than try to please the mass-media image of beauty or even their own self concepts.
But first, do take care of your bodies: ‘Bikini-Ready’? Who’s Judging?