Let’s start off with the following disclaimer: The title of this post is about as likely to occur as being asked by George Clooney to an all-you-can eat chocolate festival.
Writing a piece about the horrors of swimsuit shopping is about as unique as writing about dieting. And, like dieting, it’s doomed to get really boring. Dressing room with circus fun house mirror blah blah blah. Young sales girl who weighs 80 lbs blah blah blah. Spandex blah blah blah. More Spandex blah blah blah. Emotional breakdown blah blah blah. Copious ice cream consumption blah blah blah.
Believe it or not, the swimsuit conundrum hasn’t been around since the dawn of time. In classical antiquity, swimming and bathing was done nude. There are Roman murals which show women playing sports and exercising, wearing two-piece suits covering the areas around their breasts and hips, but there is no evidence that they used any kind of clothing for swimming. All classical pictures of swimming show nude swimmers. Everyone cavorted happily. No one cared what they looked like, since mirrors hadn’t been invented yet.
At some point in time, the swimsuit industry was invented and all hell broke loose. This was soon followed by the invention of the mirror, the scale, the department store dressing room, and low carb muffins. Women have been ashamed of their bodies ever since. And the hunt has been on for the perfect swimsuit, or failing that, for a swimsuit that has the coverage of a ski suit.
This writer doesn’t understand what all the whining is about. She has absolutely no trouble finding a bathing suit that fits perfectly. She chooses one specific body part (right breast, left breast, belly, midriff, butt, back), usually on an annually rotating basis, and finds the suit that perfectly accommodates that one body part. The hell with the rest of the body parts. They are on their own. They just have to wait until it’s their year.
But, if one is determined to find that perfect swimsuit and if one reads the women’s magazines, especially the ones geared to women who are old enough to remember “How to Stuff A Wild Bikini,” one will most likely describe how vertical stripes, ruffles, Spandex, and reflective metal panels can be strategically placed along a garment the size of a place mat, so as to delude anyone into thinking that one hasn’t spent the last 10 years celebrating the annual Halloween through Easter Gorgefest.
Unfortunately, about the only thing one ends up with by adding stripes, ruffles, Spandex, and strategically placed reflective metal panels on one’s body is turning oneself into a pretty good approximation of a clown car crammed with too many passengers.
So, what’s to be done? Some of you will avoid bathing suit shopping by wearing street clothes to the beach. This can be successful only if the clothing is white and you have an ice cream cart with you.
This writer has considered all options and believes that the best solution is to only frequent nude beaches. After all, the nude beach was invented by a woman who got sick and tired of trying on stupid bathing suits. So, hit the nude beach. And don’t bring any mirrors along.