A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I ordered the Elomi Isis Swim Bra in Navy. I was determined, that summer, to wear a bikini in public. Problem was, I never quite got the right bottom for my top, so all of my swimming events were done in the same swimsuit I wore for water aerobics that winter. It was a moment of cowardice and procrastination on my part. This summer could avenge the honor of the summer before it. Apparently, the Isis bra and bottom is still being sold, so I got myself the bottom in navy.It should be coming in on Thursday. Coincidentally, this week my local YMCA is hosting family swims all week.
I am a fat woman, so I haven't exactly been encouraged to show more of my body. Thanks to various areas of support online for fat people wanting to wear a two-piece, I'm not as self-conscious over how I'll look in a bikini. I've seen all types of bodies parading their cute selves, and it's helped me realize that if they are cute in their bikinis, I can be cute as well.
Growing up, I loved to swim. Lately, I rarely even get in the water. It's partially due to chlorine from the pool being damaging to hair whether natural or straightened. It's a hassle to get your hair wrapped up enough so that one day of fun doesn't set back any growth plans. I am challenging myself to let go of my concerns and focus on having a good time.
Another thing that has held me back for a while is, frankly, fatphobic comments about non-slim and non-white women in bikinis. I am not naive enough to ignore the seedy underbellies of the internet that would find my uncovered presence and assault. For years I have been trying not to ignore the presence of other people's opinions but to question and defy them.Like wearing sleeveless dresses and skirts above my calves, going to public spaces in a bikini without an ideal body is something I would have to get used to.
Here's to the summer of the fatkini, yous guys. Here's to functional beachwear and not caring if someone on reddit will call me a whale (as if being compared to such an awesome mammal isn't a compliment). Here's to black women swimming and not worrying about their hair. Here's to bikini bottoms and the tops that hold your breasts. Here's to having more fun and having less anxieties. We can do it, and I'm sure that soon I can do it, too.