Tag Archives: bathing suit season

Real Women Don’t Wear Tankinis

This year, I worked hard to drop a few pounds over the winter so that when spring arrived, I wouldn’t have to face my annual swimwear terror attack.

Honestly, I find shark-infested waters less scary than trying on bathing suits.  Bungee jumping?  Piece of cake.  Wrestling alligators?  Not a problem.  Standing half-naked in front of a three-way mirror when I know the security people watching those hidden video cameras are snickering at my cellulite?  Big problem.

Anyway, with my clothes fitting a little less snugly, I was optimistic that this year I could go bathing suit shopping without hurling my half-filled Starbucks Frappucino at the three-way mirror.

Confident that I was tankini-ready, I went to the store and tried on bathing suits two sizes smaller than last year. I was shocked to discover that I still hated how I looked.   After trying on several dozen bathing suits, I went back out into the store and stood glaring at the racks.  After a while, a teeny-tiny salesgirl approached me.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“Well, uh, I’m looking for a bathing suit,” I stated the obvious.

“How about this one?” she asked as she pulled out something even my grandmother wouldn’t have been caught dead wearing at the pool in her retirement community.  Honestly, the bathing suit had more material than a beach blanket.

“It’s a little old for me, don’t you think?” I asked.

“Well, once we’re past a certain age, those tiny bikinis just don’t flatter us, don’t you think,” she said.

Personally, I didn’t think I was past that certain age quite yet.  Maybe the fact that I had some smile lines meant to her that I was ready for a bathing suit with an attached skirt and its own breasts, but I begged to differ.

“I was actually looking for a tankini,” I told her.

“Hmmm. You know tankinis are not for everyone.  They can actually make your hips look BIGGER,” she said a little too loudly so that everyone in the swimwear department now realized that my hips would look bigger in a tankini.

“I’m actually pretty sold on a tankini,” I said through gritted teeth.

“Okay,” she said cheerfully.  “But you might have better luck over there.”  She pointed to the section of suck-me-in Miracle Suits, which promise to make you look ten pounds thinner instantly.

I gave her the look of death.

“Oh, and here’s a cover up that should help hide those trouble spots.  It’s nice and long so you can tie it up all the way around your neck and let it drape down like a dress,” she said modeling the makeshift muumuu on her size-two body for me.

I decided then and there that if I wanted to feel badly about my body, I could do it all by myself, thank you very much.  Ignoring her, I reached over to the rack of cover ups, and pulled out a cute little sarong instead.

She looked at it and shook her head. “That’s pretty small,” she said. “I’m not sure what you could do with that.”

I smiled. “I could strangle you with it.”


©2016, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Growing old ungracefully

If God had wanted us to see our butts, he would have put eyes in the back of our heads

dont turn aroundAccording to the scale at my weight loss center, I have lost 17 pounds. I actually had lost more than that, but I gained a few back when I was forcibly attacked by a box of chocolate covered Entenmann’s doughnuts.  Damn those doughnuts.

Anyway, I have been working out like a fiend to shed the weight that somehow snuck on over the winter, so I decided the time had come to go bathing suit shopping. Trying to find a bathing suit that is flattering to all my varied jiggly parts is hard enough, but trying to find a bathing suit in the beginning of June when the stores have already moved on to parkas and mukluks is a nightmare!

After a visit to the local department store turned up nothing but some mismatched tankinis, I decided to try hitting up the local specialty bathing suit store. I usually avoid this store because it is much more expensive and the “fit specialists” there like to actually see me in the bathing suit so they can make some adjustments which is about as appealing to me as having the ladies in the bra department feel me up so they can recommend a bra for me.  However, it was such slim pickings in the regular stores that I decided to bite the bullet and go to the specialty store.

Normally when I go to these stores, the sales help is a size 00, which makes the whole process of finding a bathing suit for my 50 year-old, post-baby, size 10, cellulite-speckled body that much more painful. But today there was someone there working that was actually my age and size, which empowered me to brazenly try on a sampling of body-baring swimsuits.

Now this is where things got ugly.

I tried on a suit in the dressing room that I thought was actually pretty flattering. Then I peeked out of the room to make sure there was no one else in the area, and I zoomed out to get a look in the three-way mirror.

Suddenly, I realized the scale had lied. As I took in my rear view in the three-way mirror, I saw that I had not actually lost 17 pounds. It had all just moved around to my backside. There it was, spilling out on all sides from the bathing suit like an escapee from cellulite prison.

This was not a “bootylicious backside” or a “bountiful booty” or a great “badonkadonk” like Kim Kardashian’s or J. Lo’s. This was one big, fat rear-end. It was the mother of all tushes. It was Buttzilla.

I gasped and grabbed the nearest sarong to wrap around my body. Hearing my cries of horror, my fit specialist ran over.

“Is everything ok?” she asked.

“No. Not OK.,” I cried. “I had no idea that things were so bad back there.”

“Back where?”

I pointed to my other end. “There!”

“Well maybe it is just the bathing suit you have on. We can find you another,” she suggested.

“Do you have one that goes down to my knees?” I asked.

She smiled. “I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think,” she said diplomatically.

“It is. No. Actually it’s worse. It’s like someone molded my butt out of play-doh and then rolled a bunch of golf balls across it.”

I really was shocked. The last time I had looked at my butt was in the 90′s and it had been much cuter and tighter and rounder. Of course that was before I had kids and ate my way through two decades of Entenmann’s.

Since there was no way I could get that butt in shape before the end of this bathing suit season and since I was fairly certain that large, lumpy butts were not going to be the new trend this summer, I opted for the bathing suit that looked good from the front, and the longest matching sarong I could find without looking like a Mennonite.

While I paid a coma-inducing amount of money for this insult to my self-image, I took some deep, cleansing breaths and decided that instead of focusing on the bad parts, I should be happy for the progress I have made, the weight I have lost, and the better shape I am in than I was six months ago. I also realized that as bad as I felt, there was a positive light at the end of the tunnel:

Ski season.

©2015, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Growing old ungracefully, I Shop Therefore I am