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BIG BOTTOM GIRLS

Apr 17 2013

by Laura Leigh Packard

Hold the phone, y’all.

Stop the presses.

Sit down cause you are never going to believe what I am about to tell you.

A researcher in Australia recently conducted a study that shows….. Wait for it…. Wait for it…..

Trying on swim suits tend to make women depressed.

Yes, that’s right. It seems tugging a teeny, tiny, tight piece of fancy, fake fiber up over your hips can make you feel down in the dumps, objectified, and plain old mean.

Seriously. Don’t we all already know that? I think the earliest study was done in the Garden of Eden when Eve stared at her figure in the reflective light of a shallow tidal pool under that apple tree and wondered if the fig leaves made her butt look big.

Who really needed 102 female grad students, a four page questionnaire, and a forty dollar stipend to uncover that piece of earthshaking news? Find me someone who just loves, and I mean loves, to try on bathing suits in the crippling light of fluorescent bulbs while imaging themselves bending over, squatting, running and chasing after kids, a Frisbee, a floppy hat, and/ or a dog day all day and I’ve got some gorgeous beachfront property in Ohio to sell them.

This is how it really goes down:

After two hours, lots of tears, and a dozen different sizes, styles, and “how ya doing in there”s…most women find a suit that’ll do, hold their nose, and surrender some serious cash before marching straight on down to the outdoor food court for an iced mocha and a cinnamon sugared soft pretzel and a serious dose of fresh air.

Though there was one interesting part of the study, that when I read it, made me pause, take a sip of my morning Chocolate Royale Slim Fast shake, and say out loud “well, you could have fooled me”. It was the part explaining that women were more upset and disparaged in the dressing room than wearing the suit out on the beach. This is because, once they are out having fun in the sun, these lab rats said they get too busy and kind of forget about being stuffed in, tied up tight, and lodged into a garment about as big as a industrial size glue gun.

But I don’t buy it for a second…..even if you did have a couple strawberry daiquiris and a Miller Lite before you unrolled your beach mat and sprayed on your SPF 50. You simply don’t fail to remember, especially when a nice easterly breeze flows by, that you don’t have a whole heck of a lot on.

See, imbibing or not, I find them both equally terrifying and depressing…..the trying on and then the subsequent wearing of the overpriced slip of shiny looking material masquerading as a slice of artificial second skin. But hey, that’s just me.

Trying to chase down a seagull (who just snatched my baby’s favorite sand toy) does not make me overlook the fact that I just might have a wedgie the size of one of those Styrofoam pool noodles in my sand packed bathing suit bottom. Or as I run…well, jog…alright, walk quickly after the pesky bird, I am probably exposing the very parts of me that I have no personal desire for the rest of the world to see….even if I shaved my legs the night before and am sporting on all-over body spray tan.

Cause let’s face it, y’all. When you peel on your one hundred and twenty dollar swimsuit, we all know we’re just putting on a more expensive and fancier pair of glorified underwear and no marketing genius from Madison Ave is going ever to change that.

But all this pity and malaise is not particularly fair to me and my self-image. At least, that’s what all the experts keep telling me.

They say I should love me for me. I should embrace my curves; every hairpin and harrowingly steep-sized one of them.

Better yet I should work it like I own it, strut my stuff, put a little swagger in my step. Basically, I should show it all off with aplomb, confidence, and a hefty helping of attitude.

I don’t do that in my regular clothes. Most people I know don’t do that either.

So as we now enter into one of the most disheartening and irritating times of the year, fear not fellow ladies. For no fluorescent lightening, flimsy fabric, or forceful sales girl can keep us down.

Go ahead, girls. Get moving and go gracefully towards that good night ….uh, I mean ….towards that rack of swimsuits at your local department store or boutique. The inanimate and microscopic sack of quick drying spandex might make you testy but it’s not going to bite. That’s what the May flies, gnats, and overpriced frozen drinks are for.

See all of you bathing beauties out on the sand this summer. I’ll be the big bottom one covered up to my neck in it.

***previously published in The Brunswick News/ Coastal Illustrated May 25, 2012***

2 COMMENTS

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2 responses on “BIG BOTTOM GIRLS

  1. msshe

    Oh my gosh….i was just looking at swimsuits in lands end catalog. I was reading reviews, studying sizes, etc. i grew weary. I am headed to a southern beach in a few weeks and NEED a suit. Last beach visit I just wore tank tops and short shorts for my beach walking/sitting. Just what to do??? If I do not resolve this soon, I will be doing shorts and tank tops again. Arrrrrg! Maybe stores should install fun mirrors, the kind that make us look slim.
    Loved your post! Msshe aka Sheila

  2. rebekahfaulk

    Hey Laura,

    Seriously, great article. Very well written and quite hilarious. The dread of bathing suit season is just one of those things we all have to live with. Good luck out there.

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