Note: This post has very little to do with sexy moms in bikinis. In fact, besides the bikini part, it’s pretty misleading. Why would I do such a thing? Answer: Because if you are googling “Sexy Moms In Bikinis” I want you to find this post, which is about very mediocre moms who probably shouldn’t be wearing two pieces, but are. Why? Because that’s what you get for searching for porn on the internet. You are welcome. I hope the picture below makes you regret Googling such inappropriate phrases on your mom’s laptop. What were you thinking?
Yesterday, I gathered up all the Goldfish crackers and all my courage and hustled off with Ellis to the pool. I had previously planned on wearing my one piece, because when you get pregnant you get these really long gross dark hairs on your stomach and sometimes they can become ingrown and you don’t notice because your stomach is so huge the nosy lady at Target keeps asking if quints run in your family and do you really want to buy all those Donettes? And then, on your pasty, white flabby stomach, you have these dark spots, which are offset by the long dark hairs making your belly a mosaic of gross.
Also, there is the side fat and what I affectionately like to call the White Cliffs of Fat or Fat Ridge, which is that shelf of fat that clings to my lower stomach announcing to everyone that this lady still eats cake like she’s the growing 16-year-old boy she never was.
(Yes all this happens with babies. GIRD YOUR LOINS, KIDS!)
So, as you can see, one pieces for me.
Except, I don’t like my once piece. It makes me feel like a whale stuffed in a sausage casing. Which is really the sad effect of “stomach paneling.” Like spanx, stomach paneling is designed to make you look skinny, but just keeps reminding you of your fat. Also, I can’t buy a new suit because I’m a moron and decided I’d eschew clothes shopping for a year to save money and pay off debt (what was I thinking?!)
So, early in the morning, I threw on my two piece. While I realize it might make me the slutty mom at the pool, I figured I’d just wear a tank top over it and roll up the top when no one was looking in order to tan the mosaic of gross.
The Jackson Pollack of white fat and long black hairs.
A Monet, if instead of seeing water lilies, all he saw were overweight American moms who eat a lot of chicken nuggets.
A collage of modern suburban female desperation.
A patchwork of reasons to take your birth control.
At the pool, I plopped my baby in the water and stretched out my legs. Right away a lovely woman in a colorful two-piece and her ruffly toddler sidled up next to us. Within two seconds, I had introduced myself made a joke about toddlers showing off their thigh fat and told her I was sorry for airing my stomach in public.
She laughed. “I’ve had three kids and I used to cover it all up in a once piece. But one summer, I went to Mexico and I saw ladies bigger than me in bikinis and I thought they looked good and I realized, I better live it up before things get worse. So, now I let it all hang out.”
I proposed marriage to her right then. She accepted. We lived happily ever after. In my dreams.
I looked around. There were lots of moms at the pool. Some in burka-like black swim get ups, some in teeny weeny bikinis. Some ladies were skinny, some were toned, most were average, with lumps of flab here and there, but every one looked good. Everyone. And it didn’t make sense. Some really skinny toned ladies looked apologetic in their black hide-every-thing-like-its-Saudia-Arabia get up. Some bigger ladies rocked their confidence in tight, revealing bandeaus.
My friend KT, who used to work fitting bras on boobs at a major department store, once told me that everyone who came looking for bras had something they wanted to hide. The skinny ones wanted to look chestier. The bigger ones wanted to minimize back lumps. But no one–super model or otherwise–ever came in completely happy with themselves.
I’m so used to looking in the mirror and thinking, “Five more pounds” or “just a little less back fat” or “why did I eat so many tacos!?” But I can’t remember the last time I looked in the mirror and said, “You are good enough.”
How can I teach my daughter that she is beautiful if I don’t believe it about myself?
I took my tank top off and aired out the pasty patchwork of grossness with pride.
I may or may not have added an artsy filter to minimize the pastiness. What? You post a picture of yourself in a two-piece on the internet and then you judge me. Also, no. You don’t get a side shot. BABY STEPS.
PS I wrote this up today and then saw Sellabit Mom’s post over here and then I read Modg’s post over here. And I recommend you read their posts if you like this sort of thing (you are gross) because they are better than me. But I also wanted to make sure these ladies saw a picture of the HORROR they’ve wrought. I’m sure when they were all “I’m gonna post about positive body image” they had no idea they’d unleash the mosaic of gross all up on the state of Iowa. BLAME THEM, IOWA! Blame them!