Friday, June 02, 2006

Two Piece or Not Two Piece?

(Spoiler alert: the answer is "two piece")

This weekend we're going to my family reunion. It's about as interesting as those things usually are, but should be fun. No one past the immediate family and grandparents and cousins have met my husband or baby yet. So that'll be fun. But it's at the lake, and the hotel has a pool, which means...it's swimsuit season baby!

This year, swimsuit season has crept up on me. In years past, probably since I was about ten or twelve, I have watched swimsuit season approach with dread and anticipation. This is the year I'll do it! I think to myself. I'll lose that weight and wear a bikini! Yes, I've been thinking these things since I was ten. You can judge me, or just agree that the society we live in is obsessed with an unnatural concept of physical beauty, which permeates all mediums of media and gives ten year old girls unhealthy body images. But I digress. I would always PLAN to lose "those extra pounds" (which, admittedly, were never much) and look like a swimsuit model.

I never really lost those "extra pounds," I just realized that I didn't look much different in a bikini than most real people, so I went with it. I've lost most of my baby weight now and gotten to a point where I look normal, pretty much like I looked before the baby, even though I'm not back to my pre-pregnancy weight yet. But when I found out I was pregnant, I had been on a really unhealthy "diet" of hardly eating and exercising a lot, so I'm not uncomfortable with how I look now.

Except for those stretch marks.

They're really not THAT bad, either. They've faded quite a bit, and I only have a few on each hip and a smattering of small ones across my belly. But. They're noticeable. At age ten or twelve or sixteen, I wouldn't dare strut my stuff in a bikini with stretch marks showing. But now, I don't really care that much. I COULD buy a one piece, but those just make you look fatter, I have a long body meaning one pieces=constant wedgie action (attractive visual, no?), and also, I'm not just going to go drop a lot of money on a new suit when I have three perfectly good ones at home. There are those tankini monstrosities, but they cover the parts that I don't really have a problem with, and the part that's exposed is what? The tummy blob and stretch mark area. So that would be stupid.

So, I'm going to do it. I'm going to two piece. I'm going to bikini, actually. I haven't worn one in about a year, since I was three or so months pregnant (the last time I wore one, I realized with horror it's not just your belly that gets bigger during pregnancy, and I spent the whole day digging pink bikini bottom out of my crack. Again, attractive visual, no?) I kind of wish my swimwear was a bit more matronly and a little less college spring break, but at the same time, who cares? They'll all be looking at my cute baby or my heavily tattooed husband anyway.

This is just one of those weird things that happened when I became a mother. I'm no longer super self conscious about every little flaw I have. I have more now, and I care less. What a gift. There's nothing like creating a human life inside your body then feeding it with your body to give you new perspective on what's physically important.

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