Life’s a beach.
No no, hear me out, I’m going somewhere with this.
Having worked at a lingerie store for a number of years, I’ve encountered all types of people, all with their own unique set of neuroses and insecurities. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked for my opinion about how something looks on a person trying it on. Whether it was a bridal set, a basic beige bra, or a swim suit, I tried to speak as honestly as possible, because I knew I wouldn’t want someone to lie to ME about how I looked in something. (I mean, I’m not delusional. Sooner or later, I’d figure it out and kind of dislike you for lying to me in the first place.) However, no matter how honest(ly positive) I was, there was always a, “I guess, but…” to counter whatever compliment I’d just paid someone.
At first, I thought people were just fishing for compliments—and I know some of us actually are. **You might be kidding yourself if you think you never want to hear a genuine compliment from anyone ever. I even thought people were just trying to get a free session they should have been spending with a psychologist, talking about the things they felt bad about, while I was standing there making minimum wage, unable to ignore them, and then have to go home and deal with my own shit.
However, after one particularly trying customer exhausted my stockpile of generic compliments, I said, “You know, it doesn’t matter what I think. You’re the one who’s got to hang out at the beach all day, essentially half naked. Go with what you’re most comfortable in.”
That was my “A-ha!” moment.
Life is TOTALLY like a beach!
In order to participate, you’ve got to come with a few things like food, booze, beach sport stuff, a towel, etc. No one ever brings the exact same thing, but somehow, we’re always comparing our bag of stuff to someone else’s—whether it’s to judge to envy. And when it comes to our bodies and the bathing suits we dress them with, we (women) are the absolute worst. We let the feeling of insecurity and vulnerability take away from the fact that we are stepping out in a bathing suit because it’s a beautiful day and we are spending it enjoying ourselves and going swimming—one of my favourite simple pleasures. The worst part is that this whole time, we’re so caught up sucking-in our bellies and making sure we’re only standing/sitting in flattering ways that we don’t get a chance to enjoy ourselves!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not preaching. This is more a reminder to myself than to anyone else reading it. Have fun, in life, and on the beach. Be cool with how you look, because even the most beautiful person in your eyes has likely got a list of their own insecurities as long as your own.
This always creeps up in my head around summer time, because seeing people bathing suit shopping always reminds me of all the women I’ve had to talk off the ledge while they were freaking out about being out in public without their fully-covered winter attire. And if bikini-season ever actually arrives, try to remember that when you’re swimming and splashing around in the water, we all basically look the same: mostly wet, and kind of silly. So just relax!