Did you just shudder? Crazy how one word instills fear in your heart; fear of going shopping for a bathing suit or fear of wearing a bathing suit in public. Or maybe all of the above?
Since so many women struggle with body image, it’s no surprise that so many women also hate going bathing suit shopping. Myself included. For years I’ve worn the “mom” bathing suit. You know the kind. A full coverage top and a bottom that has a skirt on it. I’ve been covering up as much as I could for quite a long time now. I think only once in my entire life have I ever owned a two-piece (stomach exposed) bathing suit. And that only lasted for one summer.
Well, last year I lost 35 pounds so I knew I was going to need to purchase a new (smaller) bathing suit this year. But as I began to think about it I realized I didn’t want to go the same route as always. I didn’t want the “mom” bathing suit anymore.
A few months back I had a conversation with my husband about this and told him how wearing the “mom” suit makes me feel old. He agreed and said it also made me look old (don’t worry, it was a comment said in love and I wasn’t mad at him). He then proceeded to tell me I should get a two-piece bathing suit. I had actually been thinking more of a “daring” one piece, but if he felt I could pull off a two-piece suit that shows my stomach, then why not?
I realized I have been hiding behind the “mom” suit for far too long. Do I have the “perfect” body? Absolutely not. I may have recently lost 35 pounds but do I still have hang-ups about my body? Of course. But that doesn’t mean I need to fall into the stigma of only being able to wear the full coverage bathing suit.
Women are sometimes so consumed by being a mom that we forget to be a woman. We lose our identity in our children and think that’s how it’s supposed to be. But, I want more than that. I don’t want to be hung up on my body anymore and wearing a specific type of bathing suit because I’m a mom. I want to feel like a woman and feel confident and beautiful. No more hiding. Even if it means I expose my “imperfect” body, that’s what I want.
So, I’ve been strutting my stuff at the pool and the beach the past two months in my new suit and new found confidence. And it’s been great!
I decided that as much as I struggle with how my body looks, as unhappy as I may be with it, I just need to let it go. I can’t let my feelings about my body control me anymore. And those feelings of worrying about being judged by others? I’ve said goodbye to those too. You know why? Because no one else really cares. Go to the pool and the beach and take a look at the other people there. Are they looking around and checking to see who is wearing what? No. They are just doing their thing and you should be too.
I was at the pool the other day and looked around and almost felt sad at how many beautiful moms were there in their “mom” suit. These are women who were skinnier than me and yet had (perhaps) resigned themselves to the status quo of “just being a mom.”
I want to tell you today to let it all go, fellow moms. Let yourself wear that two-piece suit that shows your belly and enjoy feeling like a beautiful woman again instead of a mom trapped by what society tells you that you should look like. Don’t be worried about what other people think. Just enjoy yourself and be free!