Baring All: A tale of inhabiting this body and looking cute in the process5:16:00 PM
trigger warnings: body image, mental illness
So recently I bought a glorious retro bikini (in the style of the "fatkini" that's swept curvy babes across the world in the past few years) from swimsuitsforall. Covered in polka dots and totally babely, I thought it not only right up my alley but likely to be as much of a joy to wear as my hot pink Forever 21+ bikini had been last summer. An amalgamation of promo codes made it about the same price as that suit was, too!
|Quick jaunt down Memory Lane|
So much to my surprise, I just about cried when I put it on. I don't know what it was precisely about my body in that swimsuit, but I was unprepared for the truth of it. Lumps. Bumps. Gut. And the dreaded back fat. Having idolized fat fashion bloggers near and far for wearing the same sort of thing, having rocked crop tops and tight skirts, having already broken the bikini barrier myself, I didn't know what to do with that feeling. Out burst all those old thoughts and habits--"eat less, exercise more, eat less, exercise more." Much to my distress, no pose made me smooth and no angle made me 2D. My mind was on fire.
I think all those pictures of rad curvy chicks with little waists and flat stomachs stood in stark contrast to the reality of my body. And I'll be honest here, more raw and open and honest than I've been in a while: I'm a little bit falling apart. Mental illness has met misery and hopelessness in the middle and settled on my thighs. I don't know if I've gained or I've lost weight in the last few months; I can't decide if my clothes are tight or loose; my body morphs with each blink and sigh. I feel like a piece of meat in a butcher shop either straining against the strings or rotting away from them.
I'm a vegetarian and that's a terrible way to describe my body. "Bikini season" and bodily crises have graduated from the level of cultural trope to a wide, oozing gash in my self worth. But I won't let that be the end of it. I won't let that be the end of me.
So I'm not the right kind of fat. So I'm not the body-loving superhero I tell myself I am--at least not each and every minute of each and every day. That's alright. I'm no failure. It's not my job to love every curve and angle, every inch old and new, every roll and puff and mole and stretch mark and blemish and sag and spot and freckle and dimple. It is, however, precisely what I've chosen to do. I look amazing in this suit. That's the last word.
Sixty-four deep breaths and a lot of feminist jams later? Here I am. Here's my goddamn bikini body. And I can't wait to hit the beach.