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The Great Bikini Debate: What Are Your Thoughts?

OPINION: I work in a predominantly female environment and, on our lunch break, we have begun our annual body-shaming festival; We are shaming ourselves and not each other and it’s very competitive.

I’ll grab my belly and lament that’s I’ve put on a stone since last year and someone will pipe up that they’ve put on 15 pounds. We’ll extol the virtues of different weight loss plans and debate if we should start dieting on Monday or wait for a new month. This is all done as we eat huge rolls, stuffed with coleslaw and chicken, accompanied by Tayto and followed with a cake or bar of chocolate.

At this time of year, we begin to feel the first ripple of panic as sun lotion and swimwear appear in the shops. Talk often turns to what kind of beach apparel we each like to wear.

There Are Three Camps:

  1. Topless floozies
  2. Bikini/tankini wearers
  3. Swimwear + sarong

I’ve never understood the need to go topless and it makes me uncomfortable due to the fact that my mother used to do it on the very few foreign holidays we had as kids. I was an extremely shy kid and always wore a swimsuit as my sister ran about in briefs (she’s still the same... any excuse to flash, she’s famous for it). I wouldn’t mind but I didn’t grow boobs till I was 16. My mother was always Edina to my Saffy.edina-and-saffy.jpg

I tried once to go topless on a holiday to Turkey with a friend; I didn’t want to seem prudish as everyone else was doing it but I spent the majority of the time lying on my tummy and if I lay on my back, they rolled into my armpits, which is a far from flattering pose. I don’t need or want tanned boobs… isn’t it sexier to have white bits? And besides, it’s the only part of my body that isn’t covered in a smattering of freckles.

There was a time in my life pre-kids that I went to the gym and had a flat tummy and I wore the shit out of a bikini. I worked as a rep for four years and part of my job entailed me repping a booze cruise (A LOT less glamorous than it sounds… unlimited drink, Irish tourists and a choppy sea) and my uniform was unofficially a bikini (more functional... as I sometimes had to swim from boat to boat to check on guests… I was like a redheaded, pasty, floppy-boobed Pamela Anderson).

yellow-polka-dot-bikini-largethumb2247373.jpgAnd so to the question… Should we stop wearing a bikini at a certain point in our lives? Obviously, this is wildly subjective but I stopped after my first baby… why? My stomach was no longer the flat, toned beauty it had once been and my boobs had been inflated and deflated with milk so often that they now resembled labrador’s ears. The boobs I can deal with as a good supportive bra/ bikini can tell a wonderful lie, but my stomach? I couldn’t, well... stomach!. As a rep, I had witnessed body dysmorphia in all its glory and I did not want to be the size 20 woman wearing the size 8 bikini. I love the 1950s and how curvy women accentuated their bodies with tulle and tulle.

I now always opt for a well-constructed swimsuit that supports my boobs and conceals my tummy. That way, I can lie by the pool feeling fabulous rather than having to wrap bloody sarongs around my midsection every time I go for an ice cream. It’s also easier to chase after errant kids when there isn’t the likelihood of an escaped boob or bouncy belly on show poolside. Also, it helps to avoid the blushes all around when one is congratulated on a non-existent pregnancy.

So I suppose the best time to stop wearing a bikini is when you personally feel uncomfortable in one. If you’re 90 years old or 30 stone and feel good in one, you go girl!

However, I have to draw the line at Speedos. My advice? Don’t start. Please... they’re just so… graphic!

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!

About the Author

Mother of 3 young boys, blogging about poo, post-baby vags and other beautiful aspects of parenting and domestic slavery.

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