I didn’t like it as a kid.
Because I shopped in the “Pretty Plus” sections at Sears. That’s the nice way of saying “your daughter is a little chubby.” Gone were my dreams of having a cute pink two-piece lined with flowers. I have a vivid memory of a navy one-piece suit that my mom found in the ladies’ department. Not. Cute.
I didn’t like it as a teenager.
So I avoided any instance where water was involved. That was pretty easy growing up in west Texas. Water wasn’t exactly in abundance.
I didn’t like it as a twenty-something.
I refused to even venture into the swimsuit section. I knew that there wasn’t a single suit I’d be comfortable in. I had a horrible self-image. My body was not made for swimsuits. So I donned gym shorts with a t-shirt that was three times too big. Not exactly the most comfortable lake attire.
Now things are different.
Now I am in my thirties. My body has gone through a lot. I’ve gained weight, and I’ve lost it. I tried to die a time or two. I’ve done a lot of work to realize the beauty that I hold. But there is something else.
Now I am a mom.
I have little eyes watching me as I look in the mirror. There are little feet that run to follow me into the restroom. Little hands wrap around my leg, pat my belly, and play with my hair.
I want her to do better than I did. I want her to know that her body is perfect and beautiful. I want her to see all the different shapes, colors, and sizes of bodies and know that it is perfectly normal. I don’t want her to question her worth in comparison to someone else.
All because of a swimsuit.
So at 34 (almost 35), I bought a swimsuit. I am going to wear it proudly. I am going to enjoy time at the beach with my little girl instead of worrying about how other people see me. Because the only one that matters is her. My little girl.
My little girl loves every inch of my body. Why can’t I?