A SWIMSUIT BODY IS AN ATTITUDE - 1010 Park Place
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A SWIMSUIT BODY IS AN ATTITUDE

1920s Bathing Beauties
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I’ve never liked my thighs. On a good day they’re like rocky road ice cream, the appropriate mix of hard and soft, but on a bad day, they’re like rising bread dough that’s doubled in size. Unlike necks and foreheads, you can’t inject thighs with Botox to make them look better. Short of lunges and squats and lots of targeted exercise, there’s not a damn thing you can do about marshmallow thighs. The good thing about my thighs is I don’t have cellulite, something I attribute to good genes and that I pretend dairy products are poisonous.

Stop eating cheese and see how much better the back of your thighs look.

Why am I talking about my thighs? It’s bathing suit season. I don’t remember the last time I went shopping for a bathing suit, but I do remember the summer of my 13th birthday when one of my falsies went floating past a guy I had a crush on. Humiliated, I drug myself and my new Jantzen one piece out of the pool, vowing never to go out in public, again.

In my 20s and 30s, I frequently went scuba diving, taking underwater pictures and searching for lost Spanish treasure. Most of the time I wore a wetsuit or long pants and a long sleeve shirt over my bikini as protection for when the waves slammed me into the fire coral. It’s ironic that when I’d finally “filled out,” I was covering it up.

In my mid-40s I bought a neon pink one piece that had no back, a deep v-neck and the legs in front were cut up to my navel. I’ve never had a better bathing suit. It was like fly paper, except instead of flies, it caught every man who walked by. By then, my thighs weren’t perfect, but men didn’t seem to notice or care. They were like dogs on a hot summer day with their tongues hanging out. In retrospect I think their panting had nothing to do with my thighs, but everything to do with the color of my bathing suit. Hot pink says you’re comfortable with yourself, and to a man, there’s nothing sexier than a woman who knows who she is and who owns it… as opposed to the wallflower, wearing a tan cardigan.

When you’re shopping for a bathing suit, what do you think as you look at yourself in the dressing room mirror?

  • OMG, how did I let this happen?
  • I can always wear a towel or a sarong around my waist.
  • Maybe I need a bathing suit with a skirt.
  • It’s this damn fluorescent lighting.

If you’re like me, you’ve said all of these, at one time or another, although I’ve never understood the suit with the skirt look. Chubby thighs in a tutu are still chubby thighs in a tutu. Whatever our age, we may not want to wear falsies or bikinis, but then again, who says we can’t? So, here’s one more thing to think about in the dressing room:

  • To hell with it! I’m not my thighs. I’m wearing what I want.
Love, Brenda

27 Comments

  • Barbara July 8, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I’ve never loved my body as I should. I was stick thin, even after kids, but didn’t love my body. Always hated my stomach. It was flabby after kids and my husband never failed to point it out. In my 30’s I taught aerobic dance and that was fun and helpful but, still didn’t like to wear a bathing suit. Since I can’t swim it’s easy to say, “I’m not going in the water so why wear a suit?” Now in my mid 60’s I frankly don’t give a damn anymore. This body has been good to me and I’m not going to dis it anymore.
    xoxob

    • 1010ParkPlace July 11, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Barbara, Old habits die hard, but good girl!! It’s the only body we have, and it takes us everywhere. If we treated our cars like we treat our bodies, they would have left many of us on the side of the road a long time ago. xoxo, Brenda

  • tara s dillard July 9, 2016 at 6:53 am

    I get sun poisoning now, too stupid & seems personal, I love the beach. Just discovered long-sleeved 1 piece bathing suits, and long legging bathing suit bottoms.

    Not hiding anything, hiding from the sun.

    XOT

    • 1010ParkPlace July 11, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      Tara, How ironic! A garden designer who gets sun poisoning! That’s terrible. I love the beach as well, but must be careful because I carry a breast cancer gene that makes me predisposed for Melanoma. xoxo, Brenda

  • Jen Lawrence July 9, 2016 at 7:19 am

    I wasted my youth covered up in self-loathing, which was such a shame since, apparently, I looked like a shorter Claudia Schiffer. Now, I wear what I want, including a bikini on the beach. I work out for my mental state and good legs are a lovely side benefit. And if people don’t like what they see, they can feel free to look away! That pink bathing suit sounds magnificent: you should hire someone to crank them out by the dozen and sell them on the site! xo

    • 1010ParkPlace July 11, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Jen, This morning a woman emailed me a photo of her in a neon pink bathing suit, taken in 2007. Good to know I wasn’t the only one! If I had some 1010PP pink bathing suits made, perhaps all of us could get together for a “Rockets” photo. We could each write our own take on the experience. LOL! Sara, Elaine, Esther, Susan, Donna? Then again, I’ve met Kim. Not sure I’ll be standing next to the supermodel. xoxox, Brenda

      • Susan July 12, 2016 at 5:04 pm

        Count me in!! What fun that would be! I love hot pink, and would wear it proudly!

        • 1010ParkPlace July 13, 2016 at 11:12 am

          Susan, You’re either the only one who read my comment to Jen or the only one who answered it. LOL!

          • Susan July 13, 2016 at 10:25 pm

            I bought a new swimsuit today, and thought of you while I was shopping! I saw a bright pink one, but it was frightfully skimpy and I just couldn’t bring myself to evey try it on. My new suit has a cute little skirt which covers my rear nicely, still with a stylish flair. Off to the beach! I’m sure I’ll be the “swimsuit police” while there!

  • Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski July 9, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I was thin up until I turned 50. I liked my legs but my stomach always had a pouch because I have a high waistline. Now it’s perennially pregnant. I don’t think I could give up cheese, though. I’m a cheese head.

    • 1010ParkPlace July 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      If your stomach’s the only thing that’s changed post 50, you’re doing good. This is more than you want to know about me, but cheese seriously constipates me, so I’m motivated not to eat it. xoxox, Brenda

  • Alana July 9, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I took water aerobics classes for nearly 20 years. The nice part was that the water covered most of your body so no one had to feel self conscious. Well not THAT self conscious. I just don’t care anymore, but I really don’t go to beaches anymore, either. And, I am not about to give up cheese. (But a small voice is making me ask: does that really work?)

    • 1010ParkPlace July 11, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      An actress told me about cheese… as I was helping her tape each side of the back of her neck together with surgical tape! LOL! Instant neck lift. Now there’s an hysterical blog, especially if you knew who she was, but I’d never tell. That’s why she keeps her hair long. Oh, my!

  • sylvie Parris July 9, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Any woman who says they don’t have an embarrassing bathing suit story lies. I wish swimwear for women was more like men’s, loose, baggy and comfortable, small speed intended Speedos, it those thong inside things designed to hold what dangles and causes everyone else laugh at you . Seriously the Rock would look ridiculous in one!

    Thanks go the laugh

    • 1010ParkPlace July 11, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Sylvie, LOL! The Rock will look ridiculous in one! Now that’s funny! Why are the guys with big guts the ones wearing the tiny, neon yellow thongs? Lordy!

  • Carol Cassara July 9, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    I have never, ever thought one way or another about any of this superficial stuff, I have to admit. Never overly concerned with looking beautiful, young, thin, whatever and absolutely unconcerned with what men thought of me. Instead, I tried to develop my inner self, my professional self, my mind, my spirit and soul—and as a result, I found myself the subject of more male attention than I could have ever imagined, all my life. I had a wonderful experience being single at age 53, too, with 4 marriage proposals in 6 months and no kidding. I am far from a femme fatale. It mattered not what I weighed, what color my hair was or what I looked like in a swim suit. The most amazing men have come into my life. Quality men that any woman would want in their lives. And now, remarried to my first husband after a 26 year break, my point is reinforced. We married first when I was what anyone would consider young and thin and beautiful and remarried 26 years later when I was not at all young, certainly not thin but in his eyes, beautiful. So, really, I can’t even imagine being concerned about what I look like in a suit. And I’m so glad of that! PS I’m bathing suit shopping for my end of summer trip to Maui….;-)))))

    • 1010ParkPlace July 11, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      Oh, I’ve earned more than my fair share of professional achievements and fabulous men, but I admit to vanity. You may be the only woman I know who doesn’t care. Amazing!

  • Lorena Guido July 10, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    El can can

    • 1010ParkPlace July 11, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      Does the Can Can give you great legs? If so, I’ll be high kicking.

  • Susan July 12, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Brenda, this is exactly what I was thinking about today as we prepare for a family trip to South Padre! I have friends who have lean, tanned legs, and I used to spend way too much time comparing and covering up. Now, I have accepted that my white, plump thighs do not reflect on my character or my happiness. I will head to the beach to pmake sandcastles and jump in the waves with my grandchildren, and not worry about how big my butt-print is in the sand. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • 1010ParkPlace July 13, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Thanks, Susan, for being great reinforcement for me as well. South Padre… How wonderful. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there. Enjoy! xoxo, Brenda

  • Esther Zimmer July 13, 2016 at 8:22 am

    It’s so true, the way we look does not represent who we are on the inside. I’ve had a long history of hating my body and trying to beat it into submission with extreme diets, no more! For a short period in my life I did figure/fitness competitions, even with an amazing body and only 16% body fat I still wasn’t happy. The funny thing is, the more I love it just the way it is, the more I feel compelled to care for it in a loving and sustainable way. I certainly have work to do, but I wear my bikini without hesitation these days. Thanks for the tip regarding the cheese! 🙂 Essie xxxx PS I really enjoyed reading everyone else’s comments – so interesting the different responses.

    • 1010ParkPlace July 13, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Essie, I think for most of us, self-acceptance comes with age. It didn’t for my mother, however, and it broke my heart. Her self-esteem was damaged beyond her ability to repair it. Love knowing you were in fitness competitions. Wow! That takes dedication. xoxo, Brenda

  • Esther Zimmer July 13, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Oh, and lovely Anita from Look For The Woman, who I think you know, co-designed this bathing suit: http://lookforthewoman.com/a-bathing-suit-for-us/#more-6924 I think we should wear whatever makes us feel the most confident, but I think this is a great alternative to the tutu. The tie front definitely adds sex appeal, plus Anita wears it very well. xx

    • 1010ParkPlace July 13, 2016 at 11:17 am

      I just saw that this morning! Way cool. xoxox

  • Candace July 15, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    I love your confidence! And I agree, we should wear we what we want. Thanks for sharing – I found your post on thursdays Favorite Things.

    • Brenda Coffee July 15, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Candace! I love Thursday’s Favorite Things! Recently Katherine featured me there, and I find lots of other bloggers I like to read. As far as confidence, I always go back to something Oprah said about men, our bodies and sex: “They’re going to love you! You’re the only naked woman in the room!” She’s right. Confidence is sexy! Please stop by, again! Brenda

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