Perhaps it’s not an age so much as it is a stage. Whatever the cause, the age or the stage, at some point in life you’ll find yourself saying, “Enough already.” Enough trying to be whatever it is you’ve been told you should be. Or who you told yourself you should be. The time has come to embrace this life, this body, and be who you are. It’s time to cast off any doubts or questions that may have stopped you from living your best life. So throw those shoulders back and smile. The water is calling, and you’re ready to jump in.
Some come to it earlier, almost naturally in fact. It dawns on others while in their twilight. When I hit the “Enough already” point in life, I was swimsuit shopping with my three daughters. The oldest had a very muscular athletic build. My middle daughter had hung onto her adorable baby chubs. I adored her soft round face and tummy. The fact she had n’t grown much kept her my baby girl. Speaking of my baby girl, she was lanky as the day is long. Three girls. Three completely different body types. Yet, those girls loved the waythey looked in literally every single swimsuit they tried on. Even when they all tried on the exact same suit, which, of course, fit each of them totally differently, they walked out of the dressing room excited to show me how amazing they looked. They weren’t caught up in the spandex and straps. For them, the site of their swimsuitted bodies also evoked sunshine and play days.
It wasn’t the perfect fit. It wasn’t one specific color...Those girls of mine loved every swimsuit because absolutely any swimsuit would have gotten them the result they were seeking. My girls had their eye on the prize. They weren’t shopping for a swimsuit. They were shopping for the experiences they’d have while wearing the swimsuit. The swimsuit was a symbol to them. It represented what they loved most about heading to the pool: spending time together. Silly, splashy, “hey mama look what I can do” time together enjoying the sun, the water, and one another without a care in the world. Wait a second. Wasn’t that ultimately my goal, too? I tried to bring to mind the last time trying on anything, yet alone summer swimwear, had such an effect on me...and drew a blank. Silently, I declared, “Enough already.”
When did swimsuits start intimidating women and stop being a symbol of fun in the sun? I knew I didn’t want my girls feeling the way I had allowed myself to feel, or my boys for that matter. If I could stop any portion of the next generation from falling into this rut, I was absolutely going to. However, before you can help others, sometimes you have to help yourself. As women, we need to embrace a dialogue that supports our belief that finding a swimsuit cannot be all about changing who we are. Your “summer beach body” is the same body you live in all year long. Living a healthy active lifestyle is a fabulous idea, but January to May cannot and should not be all about trying to get your body ready for a swimsuit.
Enough already. The perfect suit for the shape you are in now is out there. What do you like best? Focus there first. I happen to like my shoulders and long neck, so I’m drawn to a squareneck tankini. I usually start the summer in a swim skirt and gradually work my way back into my bikini bottoms. High-waisted bikini bottoms gives me the confidence to face my fellow sand fans. If I’m going out on the boat with friends, I’m wearing my high-neck one-piece swimsuit with a cover-up wrap around my waist. I feel so incredibly wonderful and perfectly dressed for the occasion. I’m done being the hot, sweaty, over-dressed mom seeking shelter under the canopy. “Enough already.” I can wear a swimsuit and feel beautiful. Sure, my SlenderSuit may have more shaping power than duct tape, and I’m totally okay with it.
You are perfect. Don’t change a thing. Don’t overthink this. Shop for the features that matter to you. Buy what will work best for your lifestyle. Cover up as much or as little as you want to. Grab your favorite color, or a fun pattern. If there is a swimsuit style you’ve always wanted to try, make this the year. Reclaim your youthful zest for all things summer and from now on let your swimsuit be a symbol of the fun summer brings to your life. Now that you’ve nailed it, let’s start a wave. Pass your “enough already” onto the next woman and inspire her to swimsuit shop like an excited eight year old girl again.