Swimming suit. Those two words…they create an instant response don’t they? I can say without hesitation that up until about a year and a half ago, my first reaction to those words was visceral and negative. “Hate it” was the probably the first thing that came to mind. Now I would say my reaction is probably closer to something like: *sigh* Not my favorite but I’m going to try not to sweat it anymore.
Let me tell you friends, my reaction these days is huge progress! The fact that I will even step foot into a waterpark is also huge progress. So that’s what I’m sharing today…my latest experience at a waterpark with my family, and what I learned.
I’m a people watcher. Think what you like about me saying that, but I find it interesting what people tell you with their body language and facial expressions. Normally that’s what I’m watching, although I do also take note of clothing choices, particularly at any sort of festival. (Wow!! Festival fashion is interesting stuff!) Anyway, for some reason during this waterpark visit I began to take notice of every one and what they chose for a swimming suit. Normally, I would have only noticed all the women who I didn’t look like–the ones who were thin, were fit, and probably tan! Then I would have done the whole “here’s-how-I-don’t-measure-up-thing.” Before I even had any chance at enjoyment I would have worked myself into a real crappy mood. Sound familiar at all?
OK…back to my story…. As I began to notice people, I was quite shocked to discover that there was hardly anyone who had a “perfect” physique. Duh, right? I know, I know!! That really is basic common sense, but to me and my ever-healing mind this was a monumental discovery! There were women of all heights, weights, and proportions. I saw heavy women wearing bikinis. I saw super tiny women wearing bikinis. I saw every body type and size wearing bikinis. Likewise, I saw heavy and tiny women, and all sizes in between, wearing one-pieces and skirted bottom suits. There were women who were very fit and many who weren’t. Even the fit women had all different body shapes. And…here’s the best part (or worst depending upon your point of view I suppose): every single woman I saw, whether she was fit or otherwise, had cellulite. Every. Single. One. Let me just say that again for effect: Every single woman had cellulite.
Probably for the first time ever it hit home there is a variety in body types and every person has imperfections (in real life that is…not the life we are shown in magazines and ads). And perhaps the most powerful thing I discovered is that what you choose to wear, particularly with a swimming suit, is really a matter of comfort level and confidence. Some women chose to cover up more and it didn’t really seem to matter if they were thin, fit, or heavy. Likewise, I saw lots of women with string bikinis and their bodies were all different in shape, size, and imperfections. This was so freeing to me!! All of a sudden I realized it was all a matter of perception…self-perception!
If your perception about yourself is that you look good and feel good in your swimming suit, then you do! So here’s my big nugget of advice: wear a swimming suit that shows off your style…one that you feel comfortable in…and do your best to forget about anyone else. It really doesn’t matter at all what others think because truth be told some will take issue and others won’t–you can’t meet everyone’s approval so stop trying!