Why you won't see me in a bathing suit this summer

First, I need to vent: Why is women’s clothing so damn uncomfortable! Bras, fancy dresses, bathing suits, dressy shoes… It can’t just be me who feels that way, is it? Anyway, I’m sick of it!

I have never felt comfortable and confident in a bathing suit. I think back to when I was a kid and remember always being self conscious. As you may have read in previous blogs, or if you know me, I have Spina Bifida and Scoliosis. As a result of numerous surgeries, I have scars all the way down the middle of my back, a scar on my left side, my feet are both all scarred up, and last, but certainly not least, we can’t forget my 2 c-section scars. My back is oddly shaped due to the Scoliosis and my lower left leg has been atrophied almost my whole life. I think it’s pretty easy to see why I haven’t quite felt confident and comfortable in a skin tight piece of clothing only covering maybe half my body.

Every year I check out all the new bathing suits on the Victoria’s Secret website and usually buy one or two new ones telling myself they’ll be great. Some years I could force myself to see the parts on me that looked good and ignore the parts I didn’t like. While others, particularly after having kids, I would just cry and feel sad. The last couple summers I wore tank tops over my bathing suits. I’ve never been one to cover up before. I’m all about trying to embrace your flaws and that’s what I’ve often tried to do. The last few summers have been difficult though. Your body really changes after having babies and it can be really hard to get back to a place where you’re happy with your new found body.

This year, I told myself I was done with wasting money on bathing suits from Victoria’s Secret that I may or may not enjoy wearing and will probably want to cover up. Instead, I took myself to Target. Surely Target would have a bathing suit that would make me happy. After all, have you ever left a Target without a smile on your face? I even found a cute flowy top that I was sure would look great on me! I found that one and another flowy one and headed to the dressing room. My husband was waiting for me outside the dressing room and as soon as I put one on, I called him in to talk. I was holding back tears while him and my 4.5 year old tried to tell me it wasn’t that bad. I then blurted out, “I wish I could just wear these cute bathing suit bottoms I found with a comfy sports bra (when writing this I googled what they are actually called and it's a bralette that I wear daily) and a cute loose tank top instead and forget actual bathing suits!” I felt so defeated and with a family cruise coming up in a few weeks, I had no clue what I was going to wear or what excuses I was going to make for not wanting to go to the pool or beach.

My husband then looked at me and replied, “Well, why can’t you?”. Hmmm “Why can’t I wear a bralette and tank top? Because it’s not a bathing suit and I’ll look like a weirdo!”. “No you won’t and who cares what you look like, as long as you’re happy and comfortable”, he replied. You know what? He was right. Why in the world would I force myself to be uncomfortable both physically and emotionally, just to appease others?

So the story here is, if you see me on that cruise in a few weeks, or at the beach or by a pool or anywhere where I would typically be wearing a bathing suit and you are wondering why I’m not wearing a bathing suit, well now you know. Keep your comments to yourself and know that I’m comfortable, happy, and confident in my bralette and flowy tank. I feel good, I feel attractive, and I feel pretty.