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Every body is a beach body

May 10, 2012

Trigger warning: Discussion of  diets.

Last week at work, some of my co-workers and I were at lunch. On the table was a container of chocolate chip cookies somebody brought in for a staff meeting. Cookies were offered and the lone guy in the office turned it down, joking that he had to get his body ready for bikini season.

The talk then turned, not to dieting, but to Speedos of all things. But we’re all aware that at this time of year, the diet industry tries to turn our attention to losing weight so we can be slim and sexy in our bathing suits when, and if, we decide to go to the beach or the pool.

Special K cereal is the main offender, with a commercial telling us if we do their “challenge” and follow their diet plan, we don’t have to cover ourselves up anymore.

This really smacks us fatties in the face, doesn’t it? That our bodies are so revolting that we should wear t-shirts and shorts while we’re in the pool or frolicking in the ocean so we don’t offend anyone with glimpses of our ample flesh. That is, until we diet down to an acceptable, visually-appealing size.

Well, I’m here to tell you that’s complete and utter crap.

It doesn’t matter what clothes we wear, people know we’re fat. Why should wearing a bathing suit or swim trunks change anything? Do we really need to restrict our eating so we can look “hot” for one day at the pool, or a week or two at the shore?

I say no way. I say we should sport our beachwear proudly and not care what others think.

I used to wear long t-shirts over my swimsuit for years because I felt so self-conscious about my body. I was afraid of what people might say if they saw my flabby arms. Then, one very hot summer, I had to wash the car and I decided to stop caring what people might think or say. I wore my swimsuit while washing the car and many people drove by. I heard no comments, saw no stares. Since then, I’ve never worn a t-shirt to hide my arms.

So Special K you can take your beach body diet and shove it where the sun don’t shine (despite enjoying your sour cream cracker chips).  Every body is ready for beach season, and we’re going to enjoy the summer no matter you and your fellow diet pushers think. So grab your sunglasses fat-shamers, it’s going to be a very long, hot four months!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. the fat aspie permalink
    May 10, 2012 1:18 pm

    Yes! i have a cousin who will agree with me about HAES while trying to sell me products from her beachbodies mlm and this post made ne think of her…
    as actually applies to your post, i do wear things over my suit but that is more from a combination of a sun allergy and a prudish sense of personal modesty (unless its distracting me i could not care less how skimpy other adults dress) (off topic again, but anyone know why you can’t get a burqini in big sizes? Muslim women must get fat too…). i think if the sun didnt bother me so much i would have no problem teaching in my current suit – tank and shorts…nice and modest. 🙂

  2. Kala permalink
    May 10, 2012 1:29 pm

    Growing up next to the beach, I never understood why people are so obsessed with gawking at others at the beach, or just gawking in general. I feel like half the people go to the beach just to people watch and evaluate others. I think anyone that has a visceral mental or physical reaction to the way someone looks (short of like, I don’t know, gaping wounds or leprosy), needs to get a serious grip.

  3. MrsS permalink
    May 10, 2012 2:17 pm

    Franky, I think Speedoes are gross, even on well-built men. When I was young and lived near the beach, I was almost obsessed about how my body looked in a swimsuit. I’m done with that. Recently we went to a wonderful resort in Mexico (the Grand Palladium). A large woman in the jacuzzi was wearing a t-shirt-while she was in the water! I felt bad that she apparently didn’t feel comfortable with just a swimsuit. Life is too short.

    • May 10, 2012 2:25 pm

      I hate hate HATE the feeling of a t-shirt in the water, the way it weighs you down and feels so heavy. When you’re swimming, you should feel free and fish-like. With a shirt on, you have this constant reminder that you’re not quite as free as you’d like to be. No thanks.


  4. May 10, 2012 2:39 pm

    I tend to wear a shirt and shorts in the water and sometimes even water shoes, but I do so because I’m a conservative girl, not because I hate my fat. That said, I prefer to wear short shorts in the water and my shirt may or may not be sleeveless, and if anyone doesn’t like that? Well, that’s just too damn bad!

    Every body IS a beach body. There’s no law against public fatness.

  5. Mulberry permalink
    May 10, 2012 3:13 pm

    If we’re evaluating swimwear esthetics, I prefer Speedos to swimshorts that reach almost to the knees, while mankinis have to be the ugliest swimwear ever invented. Look up “pink mankini” on Amazon, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
    I’ve worn t-shirts to swim when 1) I was very young, 2) was outdoors, and 3) effective sunscreen hadn’t been invented yet. A little lack of freedom is better than a great, painful sunburn.
    Speaking of large “burqinis”, I saw a company on line,, that makes modest swimwear in plus sizes. Might be too much coverage for some, but this is where you’d get your burqini if you wanted one.
    Viscceral reactions – Kala, what about someone with a blooming case of psoriasis? I’ve had that (it’s in remission now) at times, and it’s really not a treat to see big scaly red patches. It makes you look like you got sunburned while sitting under a giant piece of swiss cheese.

    • May 10, 2012 5:14 pm

      I have severe psoriasis, and it SUCKS!! I’ve never even sniffed remission, so I’m a little jealous, but my dermatologist assures me that the sun is good the psoriasis, so I don’t cover up, but we have our own pool, so I’m not nearly as modest as I would be in public.

      My psoriasis is so bad I can’t possibly cover it all up and the reaction from the public really varies. Generally, adults are either repulsed or sympathetic, young kids are curious, and tween girls are cruel.

      • Mulberry permalink
        May 10, 2012 7:54 pm

        kprofou – you have my sympathies, and if you want to chat about it in email, you’re very welcome to do so. You can get my address from atchka. I’ve had it up to moderate, and I’ve seen people with severe, including one or two life-threatening cases.
        I can tell you a fair amount about it, but you may already know the info. Some random facts: It comes in a few different flavors, steroids are useful but can rebound, and Turkish nibblefish supposedly love to stuff themselves silly on your dead skin.

        • May 11, 2012 9:21 pm

          You are so sweet. I’ve had psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis for awhile now and I feel like an expert. It came on me like a house afire, my doc said she’d never seen anything like it. My insurance at the time sucked and I was paying a small fortune every month out of pocket for treatment and that didn’t work, and it still took nearly a year to get approved for the biologics.

          It completely changed my life, in some ways for the good and some ways not so good, but it did lead me to HAES, which has been very good for me.

          I’ve heard about the fish and they kind of fascinate me, but I really, really hate flying, it’s not entirely the fat thing, I hated it before I was really fat, but now I think I’d really, really hate flying.

  6. May 10, 2012 3:28 pm

    My two steps to having a beach body: 1. Have a body 2. Go to the beach

  7. Leila Haddad permalink
    May 10, 2012 5:00 pm

    I like to swim naked. at nude beaches people seem to be very accepting of less than perfect body types. It’s the bikini clad that are obsessed with body image. swimming au naturale seems to weed out that sort

  8. Fab@54 permalink
    May 13, 2012 8:58 am

    I know very few (or maybe none) of you are quite as old and crusty as I am — Ok, I’m definitely not crusty! I’m cute as a goddamn button, but anyway, I’m soon to be 56 years old and I live in a large 55+ “active- retirement” community (yes, by choice. I’ll explain why in another post if anyone is curious).
    I am also a life long Beach/Ocean/Summer person. Family vacations since the late 1940’s -before I was even born- were always two to three weeks of sun and fun at the Jersey shore (some of the best sugar sand beaches in the USA, by the way!).
    When I was 9, my family moved from the congested Northern Jersey to the Jersey Shore. I was in HEAVEN. I went to the beach as much as possible from May thru October. Even if it wasn’t hot enough to swim in the ocean, I went to walk, run, stroll the boardwalk, or just lounge on the sand, catch a tan and listen to the waves and seagulls. Loved it.
    Side Note: I wasn’t very fat at all in the early days. I started to put on most of my weight when I was in my early 30’s. I was probably officially “obese” by the time I was hitting 40.
    Then it happened. Some time after 40, for some reason, I can’t remember why or exactly when or anything specifically that made me flip that switch in my head… but suddenly I felt “waaaay too fat” for the beach. I stopped going – just like that. *Poof*
    Summer after summer went by, no beach. The only time I went swimming was in family backyard pools where I felt mostly ‘safe’ from criticism and scrutiny. Mostly.

    OK, jump ahead by about 13 years (and still no beach!) and here I am in Senior-ville.
    Well people, let me tell you…”Old People” – and I say that with respect and fondness- Old People don’t give a SHIT if your arms or fat, or your hips are huge, or you boobs are a-saggin’.
    Old People (average age: 70-72) sitting around at the community pools – day after day after day- tanning dark or “keepin’ it light” – can’t be bothered wondering if they look fat in their wildly colored, low-cut, high-cut, size 14 – 32, skirted or not swimsuit!
    These Old People come in ALL sizes- from tall and lanky to short and very round. They also come in all physical ability levels; some walking with a cane or stooped over a bit, and some moving as spryly as a 30 yr old.
    They don’t wear shorts over their fat or flappy thighs. They don’t throw t-shirts over their bat-wing arms, they don’t care that their legs have varicose veins like a road map…
    They are just happy to be alive and healthy (enough) to enjoy the sun and water and the social gathering at the pool!
    No one stares, no one snickers, no one rolls their eyes your way to get their friend to look at you as you walk past — Not even the men!
    Well, OK, honestly- the Old Men *do* look a little when someone “new” or “really young” (anyone under 40) is strutting around the pool and they look “good” in a two piece suit or even the occasional bikini. But that’s the rare bird at this birdbath. Anyway, I still wear my swim shorts over my suit, (more for modesty and because of ill-fitting suits) and I’ll toss on a sleeveless (!) summer maxi-dress as a cover up when I leave the pool, but other than that I feel FREE. I have been LIBERATED!

    With age comes wisdom and yes, even self-acceptance. Or maybe its just the point where you say Who Gives A Shit What Anyone Thinks. Either way- I’m all for it! Find someone who lives in a retirement community where they have a big beautiful pool, and go as their guest… you’ll love it! Our pool opens in 13 days. We’re counting down!

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