Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Hey guys --- I'm off and running on my two-week long adventure of tearing my hair out, but since I'll be squeezing into a swimsuit this weekend, I thought this was a good reminder for all of us!
Have I ever told you guys that I'm terrified of birds? No? OK, I'm telling you now. I hate them. There's something about the way they dart around erratically that makes me nervous. I hate any type of insect or animal that is erratic. Moths make me dry heave.
But do you know what's scarier than birds? Trying on swimsuits, amiright? And it's not like I'm the only one. I think the idea of baring your body to the general public makes nearly every woman break into a cold sweat. Want to know why?
Remember when Jessica Biel did this spread for GQ or Maxim or whatever it was, and everyone was like OMG SHE HAS THE PERFECT BODY!?
I do. I believe she started dating Justin Timberlake shortly after this. Considering her claim to fame was "7th Heaven," it's proof that a magazine spread can do amazing things for your career.
ANYWAY. That picture is exactly what's wrong with every other woman on the planet come June. We have to go to stores with terrible lighting and squeeze into swimsuits made for supermodels and then NOT look like supermodels and then contemplate a liquid diet. It's pretty much the worst ever.
So the other day I finally decided to man up and go swimsuit shopping. I took my kids, loaded my iPhone with movies and took a deep breath. I've been at the gym at least three or four times a week for the past month, so I figured I wouldn't be too horrified with the results. I headed to the store and surveyed the goods. I chose six and disappeared into the fitting rooms. I put "Megamind" on my phone for the kids and started the process.
And wouldn't you know it? I DIDN'T LOOK LIKE JESSICA BIEL.
Now, let's get something straight. Even Jessica Biel doesn't look like Jessica Biel. That is called Photoshop. But I didn't even look like unphotoshopped Jessica. You know who I looked like? Myself.
Me who has carried and delivered three babies. Me who struggles out of bed at 6:30 am every morning to get to the gym to be tortured during Pilates. Me who never says no to butter on her popcorn. Me who can still do cartwheels on the front lawn, much to my husband's chagrin.
So while I stood there in an ill-lit fitting room with two kids and an armful of swimsuits that would not make me look like a supermodel, I felt my attitude soften toward my body in general. It's never going to look like Jessica Biel's. Ever. She has never had kids and therefore has hours per day to work with a personal trainer. And that's totally fine for her. More power to her! But it doesn't mean that I can mope around and feel sorry for myself because I can only squeeze in an hour per day. (However, I do feel sorry for myself that I'm not dating Justin Timberlake. It's a hard knock life, my friend.)
In fact, it put me in an annoyed mindset. I'm annoyed that women have to constantly feel apologetic that they look like THEMSELVES. "Um, sorry for my big thighs and my weird calves and belly pooch." Yesterday I caught myself complaining to my friend about my ribs. MY RIBS. WHO complains about that? It's so "Mean Girls."
I propose that we all get over our crazy swimsuit phobias. I know it's scary to put on very small pieces of stretchy fabric and not look like a Victoria's Secret model, but who cares? Everyone at the beach/pool/lake is so worried about ensuring that the light hits their abs so you can't see their stretch marks that they don't even notice what you're wearing. Unless you're shlubbing around a pool in a T-shirt and shorts. I always notice that. It's like a lighted sign that says "I HATE MY BODY." With a frowny face. Instead, find a suit that you love and that makes you feel good about yourself and stop apologizing. You look fine and maybe even a little confident. My swimsuit-buying advice? Suck it up and stop sucking it in.
You want to know what I bought? A swimsuit with a ruffled top and gold buttons and hardware. I totally wore it boating, despite the fact that my ribs are weird.