On holiday last week, my eye was drawn to an older woman who was really, by any measure, rather large, sashaying around the pool in a teeny tiny black bikini. There is no doubt that she did not look like a Vogue model. But somehow, I don’t think she cared. If it occurred to her at all, the confidence with which she allowed her dimpled skin to sway as she stepped into the pool, suggested her response to such worries was ‘Fuck it’. And there, in a nutshell, is the best beach accessory you can have. A fuck it attitude. Unless your job is to look amazing in a swimsuit, does it really matter? If someone looks at you askance, as if you should be swathed in a voluminous cover up, isn’t their distaste their problem?
I’m not an apologist for being unhealthy, whether over or under weight. But a truly healthy body is generally a reflection of a healthy mind. As such it’s rarely achieved in a pre-holiday fortnight’s diet. I’m so sad when people, mostly women, get so anxious about their appearance that they ruin their enjoyment of what should be a wonderful fun experience. The summer beach is a place of pleasure! Joy! It’s a place where your senses are inflamed by heat and salt and sand. Your whole body should be allowed to enjoy it.
I know it’s a trap easy to fall into. I was pretty stressed out about being too fat for a bikini before I went on holiday. But by the time I’d seen all the other bodies, a myriad of shapes and sizes, flopped on sun loungers, I was pretty relaxed about it. And if anyone wanted to be sniffy about that extra roll of cake I carry around with me, then you know what I say to them….F*** you.