I don’t have the courage to snap a pic of me in a bathing suit and post it on social media for all the world to see.
I live near the beach in SoCal. Nuff said.
And recently when Selena Gomez posted a pic of herself on a beach (and while she definitely looks like she’s gained a few ellbees), the vitriol of the comments is overwhelming.
No way I’m exposing myself to that.
I can do all my own fat-shaming in my head, thank you very much.
I’m not sure this day have been any more discouraging…in fact I’m positive.
At the gym: the stupid instructor – well, not the regular one, but a substitute — didn’t show up to teach Boot Camp because apparently she went to the wrong location and that left about thirty pissed off women with nothing to do but shop for groceries or shop for clothes or shop for jewelry or do all three.
We were all at loose ends, complaining about our entirely wasted morning.
But something was bothering me; I was preoccupied– the thought of what I had to do was haunting my very existence.
I attempted to put it out of my mind—it was essential that I take a deep breath, gather all my courage, and dig down deep inside for all the moxie I could muster. I could not put this task off any longer.
“You can do it, I know you can”.
I could just hear my husband cheering me on as if he was right here with me.
I will meet this challenge with fortitude and resilience.
I am made of sterner stuff, I’m a trouper.
I’m pep-talking myself, and since I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot, no one can really see how crazy I am.
I will overcome my fears.
I must. I have to. It’s now or never. Do or die. DO IT NOW.
There is no other option.
OK. Here it is. I have a real (totally not irrational) fear of trying on swimsuits.
This time I don’t have a choice.
The last one I bought was in 1995. Clinton and my friend Al Gore (click on link to read about my close encounter with the former VP) were in the White House.
The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia died, and I must have listened to (pre-Heidi Klum) Seal’s Kiss From A Rose a zillion times.
Twenty years. That’s how long it’s been.
That bathing suit is in the active stage of disintegration. The material is threadbare and falling apart.
The elastic is so stretched out, the bottoms fall off.
If that hadn’t happened I’d still be wearing it ‘cos for me, there is nothing more humiliating and depressing and ego-reducing and self-esteem deflating than trying on a swimsuit.
It’s a nightmare scenario and reality was every bit as bad as I thought it would be.
The last time I liked the way I looked in a swimsuit in a three-way mirror was like never, and it’s even worse now.
I warily approach the racks of sparkled-up, fringy, polka dotty teeny weeny bikinis.
It’s go time. It’s now or never.
I’m not really a one-piece girl; I’ve never ever worn one; they’re just not flattering on me.
I sighed, whispered to myself an affirmation about being happy in my own skin, and grabbed a handful of suits and ran off to the dressing room.
I’m determined to come away with a purchase.
To give me a bit of confidence, I tried on a cute top and was able to take a quick peek in the mirror and not be reduced to a mass of melting ego.
So far, so good. I turn around so I can’t accidentally catch a glimpse of myself before I’m ready and slip on the bottoms of the first suit.
I don’t even bother looking—it’s too tight, and all I need is to see any excess fat hanging over and you might as well just put me away for a three-day psych eval.
This whole time, I have this dialogue running in my head – don’t give up, it can’t be that bad, you work out a lot, you look fairly good in clothes, people do this all the time. You go, girl! So, I pulled up another bottom and these don’t feel too tight.
The dreaded moment of reckoning was upon me.
Stupid three-way mirror.
Stupid fluorescent lighting.
If I squint, it won’t seem so bad.
I start the viewing in safe mode at my ankles and raise my eyes ever so slowly and squinty past my knees to the part of me I hate the most, above my knees and below my hips,
I can’t even say it, you know the area I’m talking about.
Aww geez, it’s worse than I thought.
How in the world did I amass such ugly body parts?? Craters of cellulite, a lumpy bumpy mess, a horrible mass of horribleness, just hideous.
How did this happen?
Three-way mirrors ought to be banned. I should never have to see that rear view.
No one should.
But it’s too late to turn back now.
I am 100% committed (I know, I SHOULD be committed) to seeing this thing through.
Maybe if I put a ton of self-tanner on, it will hide it all.
I need a drink, I need chocolate.
I needed to get out of there before I had a complete meltdown.
I grabbed the suit before I could change my mind, and the first thing I did when I got home was to cut out the size label.
I never ever ever ever EVER want that as a constant reminder of one of THE most humiliating experiences I’ve endured.
Not that anyone will see me in that suit because I’ll most likely wrap a pareo cover up or scarf around the offending/offensive parts.
At least I won’t have to endure this particular brand of hell for another two decades, and for that, I’m grateful.
If we all wore these figure flattering turn-of-the-century bathing suits, there’d be a lot less pressure on
us me to be perfect, you know?