Saturday, April 24, 2010

The swimsuit Issue: Reprint

I got this from Linda K... I know more than a few women who can identify!

The Bathing Suit

When I was a child, the bathing suit for the mature figure was boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift; they did a good job. Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.

The mature woman has a choice - she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus who escaped from Disney's Fantasia, or she can wander around every run of the mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of florescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which give the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you are protected from shark attacks as any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whip lash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place, I gasped in horror - my boobs had disappeared! Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other. At last I located it, flattened beside my seventh rib.

The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.

The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom, and sides. I looked like a lump of play dough wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, 'Oh, there you are,' she said, admiring the bathing suit.

I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me.

I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two piece which gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serving ring.

I struggled into a pair of leopard skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.

I tried on a black number with a mesh midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.

I tried on a bright pink suit with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear it.

Finally, I found a suit that fit - a two-piece affair with a shorts style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it. My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured.

When I got home, I found a label which read 'Material might become transparent in water.'

So, if you happen to be on the beach, or near any other body of water this year, and I'm there too, I'll be the one in cut-off jeans and a t-shirt!


  1. This is hysterical! Thanks for sharing this "joyous" ocassion!

    I need to get out and find a tent to wear! LOL! Wonder if they come in floral.....

  2. oh those were the days! I remember buying first and only thong my bathing suit, the day before I found out I was preggers. I never wore it again.

  3. OMG I can't stop laughing! and the visual!

  4. What a hoot! is all true, lol. Thanks for the morning chuckle.

  5. Heehee.... I can read that as though you were retelling an account of my experience 2 weeks ago, but mine ended with as sales lady saying... "Oh, well, we don't really carry 'Your Size', why don't you check Wal-Mart."


  6. LOL you need to shop in the right places. I am a size 20, which would make a lot of women totally avoid swims altogether. LandsEnd makes very good- expensive though. Even one has some good cupped bra.

    My worst mistake was a swim dress. It literally was a dress over a bathing suit. Didn't really flatter, I looked pregnant, but it was also a miracle suit, so I was squeezed in tight. Why bother squeezing every thing if it covered.
    The big killer was with all the extra materal, it weighed about 20 pounds wet. And took 2 days to completely dry out. I wore it twice.

  7. LOL I am picturing a floral, floating dress looking like a jellyfish on LSD.

    Thanks for the tip FC.

  8. Why dont you try walmart??? Egads!

    The only consolation is that the twiggy little chirpers will some day be shaped like the rest of us, Gravity is an equal opportunity ravager.

  9. Funny :)
    Exactly why I haven't purchased a swimsuit in 15 years.

  10. LOL, love that article. It took twenty years but they finally started making shorts for bathing suits but they haven't figured out the top part yet. I saw one in the store a month ago and thought it was perfect - shorts and a loose top with bra. Tried it on and the shorts were perfect but they left about a foot of material off the top - picture the great expanse of belly in between. I swim in the ocean - people would be yelling "ORCA!" Nope, they haven't quite got it yet.

  11. I just tried this myself for the first time in 10 years. But I went the wimpy route and just ordered a couple from online that I figured might fit and then sent back the ones that didn't.

    The first one had a skirt. Ya know, good in theory, but since it wasn't pinned down, I was picturing myself with this floating ring of lycra around me.

    I did find 2 that I'm going to keep. Both have modesty type skirts but they are actually pinned down so they shouldn't float.

    This is the one that I sent back

    And this is the one that got my husbands engines running so I'm gonna keep it.

    Hope that helps some other big girls find something!

  12. Hey thanks for posting! Those are great guys...
    cept you dippy spammy chick... way to win friends!!

    If you are a woman, you know how to fake it girlfriend, sure you ve done it at least once!

  13. Ok I deleted a post, cus I m not about to advertise some overseas mass reseller of 3.00 "real diamond" jewelry.

    I am a handmade kind of gal and would gladly promote an true artist .... just contact me.

    ( just had to explain the gap )

  14. Thanks for posting this it sure gave Marilyn and I a real good laugh! Probably because we can identify with the problems listed! Love your blog so we have joined to follow you. Would love to have you join and follow our blog at

    Ruth and Marilyn
    Two Artisan Sisters
    Two Artisan Sisters

  15. I stopped trying on bathing suits in stores 25 years ago. I pick one from Lands End: they are gut and butT friendly. I have NEVER had to throw one out-- they wear forever.
    And you can try them on with a 40 watt light bulb, at home ALONE.