Swimsuit Dreams

By Melanie Moore – May 14, 2012

I’ve always wanted to be on the cover of a swimsuit issue. But I’m not a beautiful, stylish, or expensive bikini. I’m your basic off-the-rack department store swimsuit, either too tiny or with too much baggy fabric here or there, or my top and bottom aren’t the right size for the person; I mean one is but the other isn’t. I know suits in those mix and match groups but that just feels so disjunctive, not knowing who you’ll be paired up with. At least my top and bottom are cut from the same cloth. We know what to expect of each other. For us girl suits, we have to be small, but not too small. Sure, I can starve myself or purge just before vacation. But most swimsuits just wring out the liquid to bring all our fibers back into tight shape ensuring a fit and glamorous look. The guy suits, they just want to be bigger and have a muscular cut.

So, anyways, I was just thinking how cool it would be to be on the cover of a magazine and how that would make me a role model for other swimsuits, you know, to inspire them to trim down and not let themselves get so baggy. I know they’re limited by the fabric they’re made of, but the suits out there in the public need something to shoot for, to look up to, even if they’ll never get there. I mean, like the Miraclesuits, “look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds.” They have to have an ideal to imitate, right? What kind of world would it be if we all just did our own thing, just looked whatever way, and didn’t try to have the appearance of the ideal swimsuit? That’s no way to live. Things would be all over the place and no one would know what they were supposed to look like. Sure, you could stretch your Lycra and tie your strings just by looking in the mirror at yourself, but how would you know if you looked good or not? It would be like trying to drive on a road with no lines. It would be dangerous!

The good news is, for both the old swimsuits and the new ones being made, we don’t have to worry about what we’re supposed to look like—we are bombarded with images of what we should be. Perfection is represented all around us. There is the hot new suit of the season—and the expensive top-of-the line suits always look good. Sure the Wal-Mart suits whine about it being a class issue, that with enough money and enough time and enough professional expertise any suit can look great. But how much time do most suits take to make? Most swimsuits just want to hang on a rack, get purchased quickly, and then expect to look great on a person. They only care about how they look, not how they’re made and maintained. If they took time, and took care of themselves every day, they wouldn’t get all stretched out of shape and faded. The good suits are well cared for and look great all summer. Sure they may have rich people taking care of them, but again, poor suits need an ideal suit to compare themselves to or they’d never know what they should aspire to. Of course they can never actually be ideal, but that’s just a matter of expectation management, right?

In many ways, it’s refreshing to hang near the Speedo and TYR suits. They don’t care that they look like workhorses; they only care how strong they are. They know they’ll be used alternately with an older version of themselves and even then worn often enough to wear out and be replaced in short order. They hang on store racks and, later, in showers dripping dry with a confidence that really is not applicable to swimsuits like me. I’m a bikini with faux diamonds. I am not made for all that lap swimming and diving, and, God forbid, open water swimming! I have pads in the top so whoever wears me appears to have a perfect shape, and I have grippy elastic in the legs so I’ll never reveal cellulite crammed inside. I wish I could be confident like the Speedos or perfect like the expensive suits. But I guess that’s every swimsuit’s dream—to be something, anything, other than what we are.



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