I was watching a commercial the other day as this young brunette thing talks about the irritation on the bikini line after shaving. When I was a young girl, we didn’t even know there was such a thing as a bikini line.
In fact, other than the Bikini Islands, bikini to me meant the skimpy bathing suit that Brigitte Bardot wore. I thought it was very attractive. But bikinis weren’t readily available (yes, I’m that old).
My swimsuit had a straight piece of fabric stretched across the tummy and the upper thighs so you couldn’t see the crotch. It was like no one was supposed to know that we had crotches. So, I didn’t get to wear the Brigitte Bardot bikini. My mother made me wear the Esther Williams hide-it-all one-piece. I never really understood the logic. The midriff was bare with the bikini – the midriff was covered with Esther Williams. Both showed cleavage and legs.
They did make modest two piece bathing suits: some cleavage, no navel, and of course, no crotch. But I wasn’t allowed a two piece either. “When you’re married you can have a two piece,” my mother would say. I guess the only sin was the hips and navel before marriage. I think she equated that with fornication.
Eventually designers got rid of the skirt across the crotch. That was pretty daring. Then they brought in suits with the French-cut leg. I wanted one – my mother asked me why. I told her it makes my legs look longer. “Your legs are long enough – they reach the ground, you’re fine.”
My mother would find it hard to believe, if she were alive today, that thongs are no longer worn on our feet, and that the bikini line – and beyond – are waxed, shaved, and lasered. She’d be embarrassed to see the amount of cleavage that is flaunted on the street – not just in night clubs – and even on the platforms in churches.
And now we can carry our swimsuits in our coin purses. Well, some can.
It’s quite a different story for me. I decided I was tired of not enjoying the pool, the ocean, the lake. So I went swim suit shopping. I had been dieting and exercising and I had given up my lattes for over two months. I figured I could find something that wasn’t particularly revealing or Bardot-ish. I went to a fairly high-end store assuming that would be the place to find a larger size that could cover a multitude of sins.
I found a special suit. It was called a Miracle Slim suit. It had interior layers of latex or stainless steel or something that was supposed to instantly remove two inches and make me look 10 to 15 pounds lighter. I was ready for a miracle.
It was purple, and had a built-in bra. Nice, not exactly the suspension of the Golden Gate Bridge, but nice.
My first mistake was bringing my husband shopping so he could sit in the waiting area and…wait.
(Personally, I think they should make swim suit dressing rooms a little larger than regular, and perhaps not use a three-way mirror.)
I closed the door, hung the suit on the hook and removed everything necessary. The instructions were to roll it from the top down, step in and then roll it up. I stepped in and started unrolling. Suddenly I was grateful for the years of dance. I was contorted in positions that even my Yoga instructor couldn’t attain. I managed to get the suit almost all the way up without falling completely over, but my eyes were crossed and my tongue was beginning to swell. With one more wiggle and a bend-over, the sleek purple suit was on.
Wow! I was surprised at how I looked.
No longer did I look like a sack full of door knobs! I looked like one of the Fruit-of-The-Loom guys. I stood in front of the three-way mirror and viewed the image three ways. I gasped. All I could think of was “I love you… you love me.”
I turned to check out the back and the French-cut legs, and to see how much of my derriere was covered. Then turned and faced forward. I stared at the mirror. I thought. “It needs a little piece of fabric across the tummy to cover the crotch.”
Fortunately, it took less time and effort to get it off than on. I hung it carefully back on the hanger and delivered it to the dressing room attendant.
My husband said, “Aren’t you going to get it?”
“No, not today. But I do need some new thongs.”
“Aren’t you a little old for those?”
I just smiled and said, “Let’s go get a latte.”