August 2007

Bathing beauty

By Suzanne Strazza

Tuesday night is girls’ night at the pool. Really, it’s moms and small boys, but it’s fun to think that it’s girls’ night out. So, last week I went attired in my unmatched bathing suit top and bottoms while all of my friends had on really cute matching, fitting suits. In the summer, the majority of my swimsuit time is spent on the river which means that 1) I don’t really care what I look like as long as it’s functional and 2) I am not going to spend a bunch of money on a suit because it will only turn brown and fray in the muddy river and under a PFD. Normally, I don’t think twice about my suit, but when I saw all of my cute friends in their cute suits, I began to rethink things.

But I moved on fairly quickly, caught up in the thought of diving off the diving board and sliding down the slide.

I sauntered over to the board, mind reeling with memories of my youth, when I spent hours perfecting my jackknife, back flip and swan dive. I climbed the ladder, threw my shoulders back and executed a perfect jackknife, slipping silently under the water.

Then I realized that my bikini bottoms were about to float to the surface without me. I grabbed the fabric just as it was slipping over my ankles and yanked it back up to its rightful place.

Maybe it’s time to suck it up and buy a new suit.

So, seeing as I had to go to Farmington for some other necessities, I decided to look at suits. TJ Max, Target, Dillard’s – I thought that I’d hit them all.

Let me start by saying that I still kid myself into thinking that it’s appropriate for me to wear a two-piece although I am beginning to think that the ones with the blousy tops and little skirts are quite stunning.

So, I begin to flip through the racks and I find myself wondering how anyone’s butt could possibly fit into a 3x3 square of fabric.

I have become my grandmother.

But the real issue here is the top half. You ask, Suzanne’s top half or the tops of the suits? Well, it depends on how you look at it.

Admittedly, my top half does not look quite like Pamela Anderson’s, but it seems as if the message is that it should. Each and every bathing suit that I looked at had padding in the chest. Clearly, I cannot look OK lounging on the beach in Saint Tropez unless I am of a certain size, shall we say. Skinny, flat-chested women are a thing of the past, the waif look is gone and those of us who haven’t evolved along with the fashion are going to need a bit of help.

Now, I happen to be OK with my endowment. I have no interest in having an augmentation, so why would I want my bathing suit to do just that? When the point is that is hot out and I want to wear as little fabric as possible, why would I want quilting over my boobs?

Perhaps it aids in flotation.

I decided to try a few on anyway, thinking that perhaps “they” were on to something that I was too quick to judge. As I said, I was happy with my body… until I put on the first tankini. There I was, padding up around my neck and everything else sinking quickly to the bottom of the sea. I tried on three more but with no more promising results. Horrified, I ran from the dressing room and headed to housewares. We can all look smashing in a good apron, don’t you think?

I ask, “Do men’s bathing suits have built-in 'augmentation'”?

Depressed and suitless, I returned from my shopping spree, determined to bring back into fashion bathing dresses. Until that happens, I will invest in a couple of really long t-shirts.

Thank God winter is almost here!

Suzanne Strazza writes from Mancos, Colo.