Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bikini vs Tankini...Or Should I Just Go With A Muumuu?

With swimsuit season upon us, I thought I would ask this question...what type of swimsuit do you wear? For me, the mere mention of the word "swimsuit" evokes a seasonal panic attack. One where shudders race down my spine and I begin to hyperventilate as I envision my dimpled, pasty white flesh being wrangled into submission and forced to dwell within the confines of the usually-never-enough-fabric-to-cover-all-the-ugly-parts-and-still-look-cute contraption we call a swimsuit. Never mind the added bonus of knowing no matter how I squeeze, tuck and try to suck it in, my body will still be on display for all the world to see. These are the thoughts many a nightmare is made of. Should I ever be lucky enough to create a somewhat pleasing image it is all for naught. The second I begin to move, all the mounds of flesh that were carefully confined within the tiny little strips of cloth spring forth with new life and begin to jiggle their way free creating a mini earthquake effect across my backside and down my lower half. All it takes is one shopping trip where the intended goal is to locate the perfect (bah! ha! ha!) swimsuit and I vow to move to Alaska where I can hide my pudge beneath a parka year round. Oh the tales of woe generated from this little ordeal.

This year I've been working out hard and eating right (the majority of the time) giving me a little confidence that I would have a few more options when it comes to swimsuit selections. At least that was my thought several weeks ago. Summer has resuscitated my waning social life. Warmer weather means outdoor adventures, late nights hanging out downtown, barbecues and travel. And you know food and alcohol are part of this equation...a very big part. In spite of my efforts, I find myself in the same position I'm in each and every year...one where I fight back swear words (a fight I always lose) while struggling to cover my enlarged tush with a few tiny little strings. You see, a bikini is the only real option I have. I know. I know. Where oh where is the logic in that???

Take this one-piece suit for instance:

One would think this would be a sure fire way to cover the nasty remains of my most recent nosh fests. But let's face it, many one-piece suits come across as frumpy and do nothing more than remind me of my grandmother. At least on my body. So often I see women in one-piece suits and think how amazing they look in them. Not once do I think of dear old granny when I see THEM in a one piece. But each and every time I give one a try...yeah...well, I have horrible flashbacks of Ruby Lee (my grandmother) at the local pool, sporting her granny suit complete with floral swimming cap. While I love my grandmother dearly, I don't exactly want to recreate her fashion folly.

(Sidenote: I hate to totally rag on her but my sweet, adventurous, totally out there grandmother also wore a nose plug and swimmies...the blow-up flotation devices children wear on their arms. She couldn't swim a lick but wasn't about to let that stop her from jumping off the high dive. When the swimmies didn't fully do the trick of helping her bob back to the surface after her less than attractive swan dive, she added a duck shaped float to her arsenal. Try to imagine this spry lady in all her childlike safety garb taking a complete leap of faith into the deep end of the pool only to have the duck float surface many seconds before she did, sputtering and flailing about in her attempts to keep herself afloat. We were eventually banned from the pool as the lifeguards tired of rescuing her. In hindsight, I think I now know where I get my spunk!)

I will admit today's versions of the one-piece are a far cry from what grandma wore. This one is cute and actually kind of sexy. It does in fact provide coverage without being a total snore. But it just doesn't have the desired effect on my body.

Then there is always the option of the tankini...a hybrid of a traditional one-piece and a bikini.

To most, this is the perfect solution. Gone are the confines and restrictions of a one-piece as are the excessive skin-baring fears brought on by choosing a bikini. And let me say, if I could look like this...

...all my problems would be solved.


I don't look like that. And I never will. Through the years I've taken a hard cold look at my body. I've learned to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly. When it comes to any clothing choice, I work hard to find the best solution for all my positives and negatives. As for swimsuits, I lean toward this...

For the longest time, I could never figure out why a bikini actually looked better on my less-than-svelte figure. I've even solicited the opinion of several friends and they tend to agree. Then one day, I had that "aha" moment and I realized EXACTLY what it is. I'm short-waisted. Without a longer torso to create those nice, sexy lines, I look like a pudge ball in anything that covers my mid-section. I have a large top and an even larger bottom. Something needs to delineate the ending of one and the beginning of the other. Simply put...without a belly-baring bikini...I look like a walking, talking mass of boobs-on-butt!

So there you have it. My reasons for baring it all...err, almost baring it all... in the summer. Trust me, it still isn't a very pretty picture but what's a girl to do?

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and soaking up some rays! Catch up with you soon!