I haven’t worn a two piece bathing suit since I was 2 or 3 years old, way back in the 70’s. I was a skinny little thing back then, kind of cute, too. My sister and I were like fish. If there was a body of water around, we were in it.
I’d like to wear a two pieced bathing suit again, but some serious changes would have to take place for that to happen.
You see, I’m overweight, and have been since I was in college. And we all know how fat women look in bikinis. Now I’ve also got this large red gash across my torso, remnants from my nephrectomy last April. That’d be front and center if I wore a two pieced bathing suit.
So changes must be made.
Not to my body, mind you. I love my body, even though it’s not totally cooperating with me these days. (Yes, cancer, I’m talking to you.) My body gets me here, it gets me there, it gets me everywhere. It allows me to reach the high shelves. It allows me to reach the tops of high hills (sometimes even high mountains.) I’m sturdy. I’m not frail. Hiking up hills, I might have to pant more than I used to since the cancer is in my lungs, but I get there.
The scar across my left side is a scar I wish I didn’t have to have, but I’m thankful I do. It’s just a part of who I am now, like the scar on my finger where one of our guinea pigs bit me when I was in elementary school. Like the tattoos on my ankle and my wrist. Like the white hair that has, in a matter of just a few months, taken the place of my natural brown.
So, no, the changes don’t have to be made to my body. They need to be made inside my brain. I need to be rewired against these stupid societal rules that only skinny minis with “perfect” bodies can show themselves in public in a bikini.
At the springs in New Mexico, I saw quite a number of not young, not skinny, women in two piece bathing suits. The only thing they had that I didn’t was a bit of bravery. Yet, here I am, bravely dealing with this stupid cancer – probably the scariest thing anyone will ever face. And still, a little piece of fabric scares me more.
We’re going to Mexico in November, right around the time of my birthday. Maybe a trip to the pool or the beach, dressed in a two piece, will be my birthday present to myself.
I mean, if it isn’t too cold.