On this blog, I’ve talked pretty candidly about the journey of accepting my body. I’ve talked fashion, I’ve talked health and exercise, I’ve even talked about my personal struggle with disordered eating. It’s been a long road in learning to accept my body – chunky arms, big thighs, round belly, and all.
But one of the hardest things I struggle with is bathing suits. I know I’m not alone – buying bras is one thing, but swimwear is a totally different situation. I’ve seen women much smaller than me pick themselves apart when they try on a two-piece suit, so it’s definitely something that all bodies experience, but I feel like it’s an entirely different beast for fat people like myself.
Last year, when I attended the first Not So Skinny Dip pool party, I tried SO HARD to convince myself to wear a bikini. With the burgeoning acceptance of two-piece swimsuits being for EVERYONE and not just the perfectly toned and trim, I figured if there was a space that I could wear a two-piece comfortably, it was in a fat-friendly space like this party. But that teeny voice in the back of my head just wouldn’t accept the idea. So, I bought a one-piece from Torrid, and even though I went out of my comfort zone with a waist-deep plunging neckline, it was still a one-piece.
This year when they announced the date for the party, I was determined to buy – and wear – a two-piece swimsuit. So I headed to one of the most size-inclusive swimwear sites I could think of – Swimsuits For All – and began to look. And I found the perfect suit – the Diva Polka Dot Halter High Waist Bikini Set. I was lucky enough to snag it at a deep discount during the Memorial Day sale with a coverup.
This past Saturday, I had a moment. I put on the suit, and I waffled. I looked in the mirror, and worried about how I was going to feel wearing it, and were people going to talk? But then I decided “screw it” and wore the damn thing anyway. And you know what? TOTALLY WORTH IT.
I felt fierce as hell in this suit. I felt like a retro bathing beauty. And when I saw all the gorgeous people in their swimsuits, feeling fine and looking fine, all of my hesitation disappeared and I just relaxed.
Y’all. This space. This party. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so good as I did Saturday afternoon, laying under an umbrella, talking with my best friend, seeing people who were rocking the hell out of some summer looks just being comfortable in their skin. The space was charged with some really great energy – all relaxed and happy and just POSITIVE. The DJ at the other end of the pool area was playing some really good music, the bar had some tasty drinks, the pool was full of floating unicorn drink holders, there were tacos…it was just excellent.
I didn’t get as many pictures of the event as I wanted, mostly because The Drifter’s pool is a top-optional space, and I didn’t want to make people uncomfortable.
Allison and I stayed there until about 9:00, but when we left I didn’t get the impression that the party was ending anytime soon. I briefly lamented that we weren’t able to get a hotel room, because we would have stayed at that party all night. I’ll definitely have to do that next year, wherever the event is.
Before we left, I made sure to tell Jaci THANK YOU for providing such a good space for fat bodies to feel comfortable. I’m more than a little sad that it was over but I am very much looking forward to next year’s event!
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