So I have a confession to make. I have always been nervous when it comes to swimsuits and water, but I absolutely love swimming.
First, I saw Jaws at a young age and then Piranhas and it pretty much traumatized me. I used to be a total water baby. My mother took me to swim lessons early on and I got this shiny laminated card that told adults that I knew how to swim and could be in a pool by myself. So when I saw those movies (btw, in Piranhas the bastards come up through a pool drain! A pool drain!) I made a plan in my head that I would only swim in the pool with others and never near the pool drain. I was a very paranoid kid ( I had escape routes if zombies ever invaded our home- uh ok I still do). My thoughts were that if someone went down in a splash of red I would book it out of the pool before being torn apart by evil little fish with fangs. I also used this strategy when at the beach. If someone went down or yelled shark I would be close enough to the shore to run for my life. I was not gonna be that chick Jaws got from above because she was out trying to surf in her string bikini- what was with Jaws and string bikini's anyways. I later saw Stand By Me and was totally freaked out by the existence of leeches (you remember that scene cause I have never forgotten it) and pretty much anything that slithers at the bottom of moderate to large bodies of water. I once got pulled out by the tide and was rescued by a life guard, so of course I became extremely cautious of waves and tides. In my mind the worst would be being pulled out into the deep blue by the tide sliding right into a great whites mouth while covered in leeches and being strangled by eels. Despite all this I am constantly in awe of the ocean and am content to sit on the beach for hours watching the waves roll in. Yes I am a weirdo.
Second, I have never been one of those fuckitall and fuckyouall curvy gals at the beach (until now), I do have that sass about other things when fully clothed. I think it started when I grew boobs and a belly and realized right before junior high that all girls are supposed to look like Kelly Kapowski in active wear. As I got older my boobs got even bigger and normal swimsuits just weren't cutting it. I was at summer bible camp and had one of those toxic friends that we all have in junior high. She was very thin, very bitchy and had no boobs of her own and had it out for me. Not just because of my weight, she made comments about my race as well- not very Christian like. I remember we always had a day we left the camp to go to the lake. I was very excited and after I had convinced myself there were no eels or sharks in the lake, I climbed into my new swimsuit and I asked my two kind and gracious jr. high gal pals what they thought. The conversation went something like this:
"It's cute" 1st friend
"You sure?" me
"umm so like why do fat people always wear blue?" toxic friend number 2
1st friend looks shocked, toxic friend laughs at her clever mean girlness.
"I don't know, why do chicks without tits always wear bikinis" me
1st friend looks shocked, toxic friend give's me the bitch face of death.
Even though I felt momentarily better by shoving snark right back in my toxic friends face, it didn't help. I felt a bit crappy about sinking to her level and she did look great in her bikini even without hitting puberty yet. I was covered up in an oversized t-shirt for our whole lake jaunt and really anytime I was in any public place with water. I would like to say that's when the great cover-up started, but really it was before that and my mean girl friend just reinforced the tendency towards giant t-shirts. In my adult life I realized how silly this was but still couldn't seem to find a swimsuit that could help me transition away from that insecure 13 yr old and into my confident 34 yr old self. So when we planned the Hawaii trip I looked all over for a suit. I knew I wanted a one piece, I wanted polka-dots, it had to hold up my boobs, and I wanted a flirty sort of pin-up swim dress. I finally found one the Miraclesuit at Macy's (they sold out, but I found a solid one). This suit gave a lot of coverage in all the areas I needed and kept my boobs from flying all over the place. Not super daring but it's a baby step! Next Hawaii trip maybe I'll get a bikini.
On our Honeymoon last month was the first time I forced myself out into only my swimsuit in a public place sans giant t-shirt was at Waimea Falls. Waimea is a magical place and I have lots of pictures to show you from it later, but the most important part of this park is the gorgeous waterfall that you get to swim in! SWIM IN! It's a bit of a walk and when we got the actual waterfall it was covered in tourists. All kinds of people where there taking part in Mother Nature's splash pad. I had been thinking intently about having to take off my maxi dress through the whole walk up to the falls. I knew I had to do it- it was time. You have to wear a life vest, so as I walked over to get my life vest waiting for someone to say something nasty, I realized no one gave a shit. In fact there were fellow fatties everywhere. Skinny peeps and old wrinkly peeps and even peeps with disabilities. I kind of laughed to myself as I watched two beautiful, middle-aged and heavy set sisters (I think they were sisters) talking in German b-line it for the falls entrance. I whispered to myself "Seriously Lizz, get over yourself".
As I waded into the water I prayed that there were no leeches or eels or slimy, sucky, things awaiting me, lurking to take a chunk out of my feet. As I swam to meet my excited hubby under the falls I decided I didn't care. I felt free for the first time in a while. I was swimming in a fucking waterfall, in Hawaii, with my husband. And I was over myself, and eels and sharks, and piranhas and leeches, and myself - my insecurities.
It is important that you feel super sexy and cute in your swimsuit while hanging out on Waikiki Beach but the truth is no one cares what you look like when the water's this blue. Those who do and wish to cut you down, screw em. How sad that they can't see the beauty around them and are busy picking out other people's supposed flaws. And don't you fall into that trap too. Sometimes it's ok to leave your body behind while you play in the ocean. Whether your thin or heavy the real joy of the beach and water and waterfalls is that it's a beautiful gift that we get to PLAY IN!!! Pity those folks who don't understand that and just enjoy yourself. Life's too short to wear oversized t-shirts on the beach! But please check the expiration date on your sunscreen- holy epic sunburn, Batman!
Anyone have a fear of donning a swimsuit in a public place and got over it in a waterfall (or other place)?