Before I headed to the mall for the annual sacrificing of my self-esteem, I consulted my trusted periodical, You’re Kidding Me, Right? If yo don’t know, this is Cosmopolitan’s older sister magazine published specifically for the fortyish crowd. Only in this publication, fashion advice has succumbed to sternly issued warnings designed to keep readers from being captured, detained and escorted to assisted-living.
I found the article I was looking for nestled between an ad for urinary incontinence surgery and an exposé on botched Botox injections. Ah, growing old.
“Rules for Buying a Bathing Suit If You’re Over Forty”
1. Back.Away.From.The.Bikinis. This first “rule” made me laugh out loud because it was tantamount to warning me not to lay across a six lane highway or swim with sharks and a gashing leg wound. Don’t wear a bikini? HAH! I haven’t sported a two-piece since I was two and bulging bellies were considered cute, not fodder for fashion police. I remember the days when one-pieces were prolific and bikinis were reserved for those who ate nothing but cardboard. Back when bikinis and two-pieces were not one in the same. Look at two-pieces from the 1950’s – the tops covered entire boobies, booby side bulge, back flab, cleavage blubber and everything in between. Bikini bottoms practically went from the waist all the way down to the ankles. What’s not to love about that?
Today, bikinis are the size cocktail napkins, and finding a tankini or a one piece after January is as easy as finding a parking space at the shore in July. If you do find something to cover you up, be prepared that it’s going to be as ugly as ugly can get – we’re talking 80’s aerobic wear meets bouncy house. I guess the implication here is that we all should be so teeny as to be able to shove all our body parts into these tiny panels of flimsy fabric, or – what? The bathing suit industry has left us girls and women of substance with no fashionable alternatives. The message seems to be – either go small, stay home or dress like a von Trappe child after Maria tore down the drapes.
2. “Real Women” beachwear has been designed for Real Women. Ha! What they don’t tell you is that the “Real Women” used as models to measure this line are size triple-zero twenty year-olds kept in cages like young, veal-bound calves so they won’t develop any muscle or take ill-fated midnight runs to Mickey D’s for double quarter pounders and super-size-me fries. Really? My idea of a Real Woman suit is one that could be stretched comfortably across I-95 and stop speeding get-away cars as deftly as they can belly fat, as both have the capacity to travel at the same velocity. Look for suits that come with detachable skirts which, when removed, can double as beach cabanas.
3. It is wise to avoid horizontal stripes or suites in light colors. Or suits that have the word “Phat” printed anywhere on them. Thanks, I wasn’t sure about that one.
4. Darker colors that cover trouble spots are strongly urged. “Excuse me, Miss – does this come in anything darker than black?”
5. Some suits are made from fabric that promises to tone your tummy. What they don’t tell you is that it will only shift that tummy it to your neck, upper thighs or (if you’re lucky) both.
After reading these hints, it was clear the only beach wear appropriate for me was a full-length wet suit. Since our mall didn’t carry them, I feared I may be reduced to trying on cocktail napkins instead and seeing if I could break the record for unarmed mall evacuation.
That is perhaps one reason I put this off till June.
Copyright 2013, Bla Bla Blog.
Click here for “Bathing Suit Shopping, Part Three: Lycra Or Not, The Time Has Come”