Today, I was searching for a swimsuit for the first time in years. No, I have not lost weight or had a sudden self-affirming epiphany. I wish for comfort in the stark Sacramento Valley sun this summer. I felt guilty for my self-deprecating outlook. At my age – old enough to know better – I should act as an example for the younger girls. When it comes to body image, all of my best intentions fly out the door.
I never liked my body when I was younger. Yet, looking back on those pictures, I should have felt comfort. Now, as a decrepit, wine-swilling mother of a teenager, acceptance of myself is even more elusive. Gravity and time are insistent and unforgiving constants. (You may try to deny science, but it proves itself over and over.) I try to tell myself that my personality and unique outlook on life and its sub-contents make me more attractive than I was as a young, insecure and naive young woman. Really, the insecurity is a nasty shape-shifting beast.
Despite my body image problems, I searched the Internet for sunbathing ware. I stumbled upon a collection of swimwear that was reminiscent of the days of Esther Williams and Marilyn Monroe. Classic styles, demure for this time but still, in my opinion, sultry and sexy. Black with thicker straps, gathering around the bust and waist and that very light touch to the top of the thighs. The suit beckons to the days when the idea of sexiness was so powerful.
We’ll see how it goes. I am no Esther Williams or Marilyn Monroe. I am just who I have always been. I am an insecure girl in an insecure grown lady’s body who just wants to be comfortable in my own skin. For once.