As I packed for our holiday, I got out my swimming costume. It’s not a bikini, but it is a rather expensive one, not the usual one I wear for taking the kids swimming, or on more rare occasions when I manage a session of a few laps of the local pool by myself.
It’s a nice one, a rather fancy one, and one I feel happy to wear. It sucks in bits of me that childbirth and weight loss and weight gain have changed, that only a very expensive session with a plastic surgeon will ever repair, and the colour suits my “doesn’t tan, I live in London skin” (and I burn, I don’t tan, remember)
But it’s not, and likely never will be a bikini, that I pack and wear.
I haven’t worn a bikini or shorts in as long as I can remember, in fact well before I had my kids, and I don’t plan to wear either, any time soon.
I know, I am saying the exact opposite to what everyone else is saying all over social media.
“Just wear the bikini”, “embrace your body” “don’t care what anyone else thinks” etc. I have been given a hard time, by people who think that because they are happy to wear a bikini or shorts, then I should be too.
I hear you all, and I know this post goes against that.
You see, I don’t really care what anyone else thinks, of my cellulite, or my very pale skin, or the scar that runs down my back from having a dubious mole removed. I also have a very scarred knee from multiple surgeries, and a diastasis recti that badly needs repairing.
But I care. They bother me and I don’t particularly want them on show.
My body has done a lot for me. It’s seen me through two births, six miscarriages, several minor and one major knee surgery, an eating disorder, 9 years of sleep deprivation, and many other things in it’s forty something existence, and it and I have survived a few things that life has thrown at us.
But I don’t love my body in it’s current state and I don’t want to wear a bikini or shorts and expose it to the world. My flabby bits, scarred bits, and bits that will never be returned to their pre childbirth state really don’t need to be seen and won’t be. My knee scars are pretty livid and obvious.
I simply am not there at the body confidence levels where I can whip on a bikini to gambol on the beach with with my kids.
I admire others who do, and am happy they have reached that place. I haven’t and may not.
I am ok with that. I don’t want to be told to “stop caring and wear that bikini”.
It’s highly likely that no one else cares what I am wearing, but I do, and I am happy covering up some of the bits I like a lot less about my body
Maybe that’s wrong? Maybe one day I won’t care so much, but it’s my problem, no one else’s, you wear your bikini, I will wear happy wearing my suck it all in costume and be relieved not trying to shuffle myself into a pair of shorts.
I almost feel like it’s a kind of reverse body positive pressure, and I know that people will strongly disagree with that. I feel that there is now a pressure to just let it all hang out and if we don’t want to, and it does make us feel uncomfortable, then it somehow is wrong of us. If someone wants to wear a bikini, then more power to them, but if someone like me doesn’t want to show off MY (this post is about me, and no one else, I don’t look and scrutinise other people or care) lumps and bumps and flabby bits, then just as the power is there for women to wear a bikini, or whatever, then it should be there to respect my desire to be more covered up.
Oh and before you ask, yes I am extremely careful around my vulnerable to what the world tweenage daughter, and I have never said anything about my body to her. I encourage her to wear what she feels comfortable and confident in, and she sees me happy and comfortable in what I want to wear, and if she asks me “I don’t want to wear a bikini” is my answer. She has never seen me wearing high heels either, because I don’t like wearing them, but if she wants to wear them, it’s not for me to tell her not to. I think she’s probably going to be fine….