For many women, the process of trying on and buying a swimsuit is akin to a root canal: painful and only done when absolutely necessary.
Not everyone is like this, of course, and I salute those of you comfortable in the skin you’re in!
I have been blessed with a weird body top – small(ish) on top and XL on the bottom. It makes most clothes shopping a nightmare. But bathing suit shopping is another brand of horror entirely. I am forced to sport a tankini so I can order a smaller top and have options for a different type of bottom. I usually do boy shorts for coverage purposes as my butt literally eats a swimsuit, making everything look like a thong. It’s never a thong.
But this year I was brave. I ordered one of the high-waisted suits I’ve seen everyone sporting the past couple of years. “I can pull it off,” I said to myself. I’m curvy. They’re “retro”. It will be perfect.
I took my adventurous spirit one step further by ordering the bottom in white with black polka dots (instead of my normal solid black). Look at me stepping out of my comfort zone, I thought as I added it to my cart.
I didn’t try it on when it arrived. I knew it would fit. I’d sized up two full sizes (based on the reviews). And it looked so cute on everyone else!
I slipped it on before we went to my parents one Saturday afternoon. I’d taken a Benadryl that morning (the only thing that will help me with my allergies right now) and was in a bit of a daze. I didn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I put a dress over my suit, gathered our things, and we headed out.
But something didn’t feel right…
Before hopping in the pool, I decided to go inside and investigate what was happening with my on-trend suit. I walked to the guest bedroom, flipped on the light, took off my dress, and – THE HORROR. There were rolls I didn’t know existed coming out of my hips, butt, and stomach. My butt, lovingly called a “bubble butt” by everyone I know, was flat as a pancake. The suit had flattened it at the top and pushed it out the bottom, like a tube of toothpaste. And my stomach. Oh Lord, my stomach. I looked like a pregnant Dalmatian (I am not pregnant). The bathing suit took every ounce of fat and shoved it to the front of my body. I looked like those toy dogs from the 90s that had a Velcro pouch with puppies stuffed inside. I will never be the same.
Actual picture of me. Source.
I immediately locked the door – no one can see me like this! Not even J, who, bless him, has seen some shit. It was the definition of obscenity.
I quickly changed and ran outside to grab a beer… I had to calm my nerves after such a traumatic experience.
The suit is now at the bottom of a hamper, never to be discussed again. In fact, this is the first time I’m mentioning it. I tried to hide it in the place in my mind where I put things I don’t want to think about, like how many calories are in a slice of pizza or glass of wine. Stuff that doesn’t matter, you know?
But I couldn’t help but feel betrayed: why did no one tell me it could look like this? I scoured reviews before purchasing. I’ve seen hundreds of women wearing them on Instagram. Is it all a conspiracy?
The moral of the story is to always try before you buy. Some things are not flattering on all body types, and that’s okay. Know what works for you and what doesn’t. And rock what does. Also, it’s okay to have a sense of humor about these kinds of things. Life is too short to take it seriously. Also – I survived.
Tell me: do you own a high-waisted bathing suit? Any clothing horror stories you want to share?