I started this post with the intention of writing about my struggle with wearing things that are age appropriate vs. life appropriate, and this weird in-between stage I’m in. I mean, I’m 24. Twenty four. I should still be rocking string bikinis and micro minis before the wrinkles and the sagging and the Who is this old lady?-ness sets in. I should be clinging to my youth. I should be.
Maybe it has nothing to do with being a mother and a wife. Or maybe it has everything to do with being a mother and a wife. All I know is my comfort levels have certainly shifted — most specifically when it comes to the dreaded bathing suit conundrum. Confession: I haven’t worn a bathing suit since before I was pregnant. And it’s not just because I have some stretch marks or because I can press on my stomach and feel my spine. It’s because I don’t know how to give up bikinis. I’m sure I could still throw on a two-piece and be all Stretch Marks Rock inspiring — but I’ll leave that to a more care-free, scars-be-damned lady. (Any takers?) Yet my last memory of wearing a one-piece was when I was 10 years old, breast-stroking down the YWCA pool at swim practice, latex cap and all. Growing up, bikinis were the standard. One-pieces? For toddlers. Tankinis? Typically boring.
But then I found all of these sexy, trendy one-piece swimsuits and thought I could work with this. I had hope. I was excited. So I posted 20 of them over at Babble.com and thought everyone would be as stoked as me. And this is where I have to veer off into an unscheduled rant — especially for those childless women who are terrified of the havoc that pregnancy will wreak on their youthful bodies.
YOU CAN STILL LOOK SEXY. Seriously, ladies. What the heck is up? When I say that women were outraged that I would even think to post a Victoria’s Secret bathing suit for mothers to wear, I mean that one commenter literally wanted to “slap the sh*t” out of me. (That one makes me chuckle.) Another commenter said, and I directly quote, “That was pretty funny…Since even after you ‘lose the baby weight’, the curves do not exist anymore in the same places those models show. Lol”
And because these hoards of angry women lashed out via Facebook, I didn’t think it was right to retaliate in full force. But let’s get something straight. These are swimsuit models:
Ahh, yes. Pretty, sexy, super skinny. Everything you’d imagine a swimsuit model to me. But the bathing suits they’re wearing? Push-ups, padding, ruched fabric and tummy covering. But beyond the fact that swimsuit companies don’t actively seek women with tummy pooching and stretch marks (and if they do, they promptly airbrush to perfection), it’s frustrating to hear so many women perpetuate the stereotype that mothers = frumpy. Mothers = skirted one-pieces. Mothers = hide for cover.
Can anyone — someone – agree that post-baby bodies can still look damn good? That we shouldn’t just give up on ourselves? That being a mother isn’t the end of all things sexy? And if it is — doesn’t it have more to do with age (or pre-baby weight) than motherhood? Once again, if you feed into a stereotype, it gives people an excuse to just give up. Eh, I’m a mom now. Who am I kidding?
No. No. No. You still deserve to feel sexy and confident. Just because you don’t have a Victoria’s Secret body (did you ever have a Victoria’s Secret body?) doesn’t mean that a bathing suit can’t be flattering on you — especially when it’s designed to be hide your trouble spots. Muster up some confidence, ladies. Get the padding. Go retro-chic. Rock the damn bikini.
Did you change the way you dress after your baby? Did you switch to one-piece bathing suits? Are you so flipping tired of hearing that moms have saggy, mushy, ruined bodies? See all of my picks for one-piece bathing suits, and tell me if I’m as big of a monster as they say I am.