An Open Letter to the Swimsuits Already Filling the Store Racks
It's about time I said this out loud.
As I walked into Target the other day, I saw you there. An entire section of all types just waiting to haunt me. The brilliant colors and vibrant prints splattered across wall-displays and lining the racks.
In a way, you make me smile because it's a sign of warmer temperatures. It's a reminder of fun times out in the water with friends. I do enjoy a day soaking up that vitamin D.
And yet, those familiar feelings of inadequacy started to creep in.
Despite your joyful fabrics, I couldn't help but think "is it that time already?" How could it be that it's been 12 months since I vowed to be more ready for swimwear next time? How could "next time" already be here? Was I ready?
See, wearing a swimsuit leaves you incredibly vulnerable. And I know that I'm not the only one who fears bearing it all. A swimsuit can leave you exposed to opinions and jokes and glaring eyes.
But you don't see that. To you, you are a symbol of carefree days and tan lines. You don't understand the struggle and thought process that goes into selecting one of your soldiers to take into summer battle.
Then again, maybe it's not your fault. After all, it's society that says you have to look a certain way or be a certain shape to be "worthy" of this beautiful swimwear. Why should I hate you? You come in many colors, shapes, sizes, cuts, etc.
When I think about it, you are bending over backward to make me confident with all of your choices.
Today I make a pledge to not make you or my body the enemy. The real enemy is anyone who tries to rob me of my summer joy because I don't fit into their expectations of what a woman should look like in a bikini or one piece. And that's their problem... not mine.
No, today I will love the body I'm in because it carried me through a pandemic. And by golly, it deserves to be loved and shown off. So this year I promise you that we will work together to enjoy summer. I'm calling a truce on this war that we've been in ever since puberty.
If we stick together, we will make it through. But maybe let's wait until it's actually summer before we dive in headfirst. Until then, don't sell out of my size.