Monday, June 7, 2010

Bathing Suit Blues

It's no secret that women, especially us Hungry Girls, tremble in fear at the mere thought of going bathing suit shopping.  My experience tends to go something like this...

I wake up at 8 a.m. with a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach.  I shower, get dressed, and leave the house at precisely 9 a.m. armed only with a cup of black coffee.

When I arrive at the store, I make a beeline straight for the bathing suits.  But as I approach the lycra and spandex oasis, I halt in my steps.  SONOFA!!!!  There, before me, are two size 4 teenage girls pawing through the multitude of  bathing suits in their sizes.  They chirp back and forth about the pros and cons of boy shorts versus low-rise bikini bottoms while I make my ways towards the "plus size" section.  And by "section", I mean half a rack of god-awful bathing suits that some skinny designer created in hopes of deterring fat women everywhere from ever wearing a bathing suit in public.  I consider putting on my sunglasses, as I'm sure the bright colors and obnoxious patterns are surely burning my retinas.  Animal prints, racing stripes, color-blocking, and oh the humanity!  Skirts, skorts, tankinis, cover-ups the size of Wyoming... its a wasteland of the most undesirable fabrics and prints imaginable.  But, I push on...

I begin flipping through the bathing suits, my eye on the prize... the Holy Grail of plus-size bathing suits... the solid black one-piece with tummy control and built-in underwire.  I pull out suit after suit, piling them on my shopping cart like the leaning Tower of Pisa (no, not pizza ladies, Pisa).  After exhausting the few options before me, I head toward the dressing rooms where the sweet old lady counts my items and sends me to my cubicle. 

Its dark, poorly lit, and smells faintly of sweaty feet.  I undress and grab the first suit on the top of the pile, the one with the most potential.  Maybe, just maybe, I will only have to try on ONE today.  Maybe the first one I try on with be THE ONE and I can go home, happy that I accomplished my mission quickly and efficiently.

But as I wiggle my hips into the bathing suit, I know that this is not THE ONE.  Its a low swoop neck and "the girls" are like two-pound hams stuffed into a one-pound bag.  It's obscene.  Off comes suit #1 and on goes suit #2.  This one has a tag boasting it's "superior tummy control", but apparently this Hungry Girl's tummy is un-controllable because I might as well be wearing a wet t-shirt.  Suits #s 3, 4, and 5 are a horror show of flab, back fat, and cellulite.  At this point I'm sweating.  And I'm pissed.  And I'm on the verge of tears.  There is one more bathing suit left in my pile and I can't even bring myself to try it on.  It has a skirt, for pete's sake!!  And its green zebra stripes!  I draw the line at technicolor animal prints, thankyouverymuch.

I get re-dressed, feeling defeated and exhausted as I leave behind the dressing room of my morning's failures.  I make my way to the front of the store, careful to avoid eye contact with the size-4s who are now browsing the junior section, snatching up every tank top and short-shorts they can find.  I slink out to my car, feeling fatter and more pathetic than I have in months.  I will never find a bathing suit that fits.  I will never go swimming again.  Hell, I may never leave my HOUSE again! 

As I drive home, I pass a Good Times.  Perhaps a cheeseburger will make me feel better...


  1. No, that cheeseburger will not make you feel better and you know it. It will get better!! You are better than that burger and a bathing suit is only a piece of clothing. It does not define who you are as a person.

  2. Oh bathing suit shopping sucks so much, but it will get better. Next summer will be completely different, so keep that in mind driving past those cheeseburgers.
    Have you tried Lands ends suits? They are in my opinion the best plus size.

  3. I have *SO* been there. The bathing suit awfulness. And it's awful!! I'm sorry that anyone has to go through that.

    I don't know if this will make you feel any better....but last summer I wore a bathing suit in a size 16. (I had my banding surgery in February...before summer season. I used to wear a 22/24.) The bathing suit had huge (ugly) flowers and an attached skirt.

    This year...I just bought an adorable bathing suit..Calvin Klein!...size 8!

    My point is this. While this bathing suit shopping thing sucks now, you're going to remember it next year when you're skinny and smoking hot and you're going to appreciate being able to wear normal swimwear even more because of your experience. Hang in there. Next year is going to rock your freaking socks off. I JUST KNOW IT.

  4. Hello~
    I found you thru Linda's blog.
    I really feel you! This past weekend my son's baseball team and the families went to a water park. I didn't even bothe rlooking for a bathing suit kuz I was sure I wouldn't find one. So I went with some capri pants and a blouse. Everyone else was wearing bathing suits. I did feel bad for a second or so, but then I thought "Hey next year I am going to be one of these hot women here" & I really will be :).
    You are ahead of me, I still don't have a surgery date, I am hoping for a day in July.

    I am so looking forward to following your journey. :) Good luck tomorrow and do keep us posted.

  5. I just found your blog and I have to say even though you did not have a good time finding a bathing suit, you account of it had me with my face so close to the computer my eyes got blurry. I laughed and pouted with you. You are a good writer. I don't know if that was your intent, but it made me want to follow you (but I can't find the follow button).

    Anyway....step away from the Cheeseburger...

  6. Sandy (nursesandy)Wednesday, June 09, 2010

    I agree you are an excellent writer. I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading it mostly because I feel your pain. We stayed in a hotel a few weeks back so that I could go to my Final pre-op consultation. While there, the kids decided that they wanted to swim in the pool and that we needed some swim suits. We went to Academy Sports and Outdoors. Well, I will tell you right now that this store is not fat girl friendly. I had to buy shorts and a t-shirt from the men's section. I was mortified. It will be better for both of us next summer. I can't wait. Good luck today. you are in my thoughts.