I hate summer. It’s not the sunshine or warm temperatures I hate – it’s bathing suits and skimpy clothing. I’m not getting any younger and year after year, I notice more sagging, jiggling, cellulite and bulging. Why would I want to show that to anyone? My worst summer festivity is our annual family weekend in a cottage with no air conditioning. The thought of spending 48 hours in a bathing suit makes me sweat and break out in hives.
I’ve managed to make a believable excuse the last three years, but I’m afraid people are starting to catch on. How am I going to get out of it this year? Any creative suggestions would be appreciated.
Bathing Suit Blues
Dear Bathing Suit Blues,
I’m not going to tell you to get over it, or anything like that. Dealing with body image issues is very real for many people, men and women alike. There’s a reason the diet industry is worth $60 billion and uses marketing slogans like “swimsuit season is around the corner.” There’s a reason that rates of eating disorders are so high.
I can’t fix your psychological connection to your body, but I can give you practical tips to get you out there enjoying the summer with your family at the cottage.
No one says you have to wear a bikini for 48 hours. There are all kinds of swim wear, even swimming shorts, gorgeous swimsuit covers, comfortable loose athletic clothing, full-length loose sun dresses that will not only keep you cool and comfortable, but will make you fit in and look great, so you are able to stop thinking of your appearance long enough to enjoy the festivities.
There are professional stylists trained to help you shop for these pieces. Every mall and department store has them and there are private people you can hire, as well. Some of the larger department stores offer this service for free, while others charge. It may be worth the investment to be able to feel more confident and enjoy the festivities with your family.
I attended my son’s university graduation last week and was shocked to see how some people dressed. I wore a conservative pant suit, comfortable shoes and had my hair done like a proud mom should. The couple that sat beside my daughter and I were dressed far too casually for the occasion. The woman wore shorts and a tank top and the man wore jeans, Birkenstocks and a T-shirt. They were more suited for a shopping spree at Walmart. How disrespectful for their child on such a special day. Why bother coming at all?
Dear Disrespectful Dress
It’s hard not to judge from first impressions, but do you really know their whole story? You’ve labeled this couple as insensitive and disrespectful, without ever speaking one word to them.
It’s true that people usually dress to suit the occasion, however there could be a dozen reasons why this may not be possible, or perhaps it was deliberate, which, again, you can’t know just by looking at them.
Are you sure they were one of the grad’s parents? Is it possible they were in a rush, on their way to something or returning from somewhere, and didn’t have time to change? The fact remains that they were there to support and be proud of someone who is close to them, possibly their child.
Next time, try talking instead of judging. You might find that your first impression may have been all wrong.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Give people a chance and look for the good. You may learn a thing or two about yourself in the process.