The Great Swimwear Debacle


As many of you know, I have just returned from a beach holiday.

It was really lovely, the only low point being the realization that I had forgotten the bottom half of my tankini, and was therefore obligated to decorate the beach blanket in my swim top and jean shorts. As a result, my thighs are still snowy white, but at least I now have some well-tanned calves and shoulders. In any case, I was reminded of this old post from my former MHD site that will be new to some of you. Given my most recent swimsuit debacle, I figured this was worth a replay before the season is well and truly over.  🙂 So here goes…

*cue drifting back in time sound effects*

Wowsers. This is some trip down memory lane! (I wouldn’t stare at this too long, folks…) gif:

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I am actually quite shy.   For those of you who know me only peripherally, you are rolling your eyes and saying something along the lines of, “Oh, P-LEASE…” It is true that I am pretty much the self-appointed cruise director of every social function I attend. But for those who truly know the soft chewy center beneath this hard candy-colored shell, they will agree: I am, in fact, shy. A bit bashful. Easily chagrined and embarrassed by all things fleshy.

Brash conviviality and a sense of humor are skills honed by being one of six children, and viewing childhood through soda-bottle glasses. Well, that and getting picked last for dodgeball. And never making cheerleader, not that I’ve spent much time analyzing it.

So, to go out on a limb here and write a post like this is, for me, pretty risky. Also pretty risqué.

With swimsuit season fast approaching and our tickets for a family getaway to Tuscany barely a few weeks away, I have been shopping for swimwear.   Now, swimwear shopping for me can be summed up in one word: NIGHTMARE.   As I have often mentioned, women come in all shapes and sizes, and I celebrate such differences. Each of us has our “trouble” spots. Even Claudia and Naomi have their problems.   Ok – well, maybe they don’t. But for the remaining 99.9999999% on Planet Woman, we DO.

In my case, I have a problem. Two, actually: They are called The Girls.


Keep a tight leash on your chihuahuas, everybody!  Image:

When I say large, I am not talking like, “medically in need of surgery”. That would be taking it a bit far, really, and for those with a genuine need for reduction mammoplasty or even for reconstruction post-cancer, I honestly mean no disrespect. I am truly grateful that my twin moons of Jupiter are, for the moment, anyway, healthy.

However, like all large, dense and heavy celestial objects, the girls do actually exert their own gravitational influence on the surrounding universe. I would advise you to use care with light objects such as chihuahuas, paperclips and crumpled Kleenex when I am in the vicinity, as they are likely to be caught up in my field of influence and rotate round me like the rings of Saturn.

Now, I’m not talking about male attention – this is one modest girl talking here. (I told you I was shy!) You will never – EVER – see intentional cleavage on this Mother Hen. I take no responsibility for unintentional cleavage – some things just can’t be helped. But just let me state, for the record, that when that does happen, I can best be described as MOR-TI-FIED.

Which brings me back to the subject of my swimwear. Like it or not, The Girls are on show – for better or worse – in a swimsuit. Modesty must be tempered here with sheer necessity. And since this is an unavoidable fact, why on earth has there been so little thought put into making them look good while they are out there?

So I have posed a few questions (and suggestions) for the swimwear industry:
  1. Who on EARTH developed the maillot (one piece)? Fire him. Seriously. It would not be possible to find anything less flattering if I tried. A one piece smooshes me into lumpy sausage from breastbone to pubic bone, rendering this hourglass into a misshapen apple. I am NOT an apple, people. Why? WHY OH WHY is there no support? In fact, the only spot on a one piece with anything resembling support is the band around the top of your thighs. Right where you need some extra squeeze, apparently. Yay.
  2. Who developed the shelf bra? This person needs to be sacked. Immediately. No ifs, ands, buts, no retirement plan. Seriously? A shelf bra is only useful for anyone who does NOT actually need a bra. For the rest of us out here in the real world, the built-in boob-tube just becomes at best a speed hump, at worst, a double speed hump scribed horizontally through the middle. Kind of like a 3-dimensional equal sign. Or really big lips. In any case, the effect is positively awful, not to mention seriously uncomfortable. Let there be an end of shelf bras. Amen.
  3. Who thought limp, neon colored spandex rendered see-through at the first drop of water was ever going to work poolside? This is clearly the work of some sick voyeur. A sick SADISTIC voyeur who should probably be doing prison time (if he isn’t already). Call your local authorities and have him hauled away posthaste. No trial by his peers – they will probably be perverts too. Just lock him up and throw away the key. Women – and more than a few men – everywhere will thank you. Remember there is such a thing as T.M.I. Trust me, people, we wear swimwear for a reason. I’ve been in the ladies’ locker room… I’ve been to France… I KNOW the brutal truth underneath swimwear. We do NOT want to go there. I know waaaaaaay more about sunbaked anatomy than I ever cared to. *shudder*

It is my hope that the swimwear industry take on board these facts: It is people shaped like me who can actually AFFORD to buy their wares. Your average teenager, for whom they are designing, is generally broke.

Even I can do the math on this one (I didn’t get picked for the math team, either. Just sayin’.)

Mother Hen

Originally published by motherhendiaries 17 April 2014:

Feature photo: Shutterstock

© motherhendiaries 2014 all rights reserved

8 replies »

  1. This is too funny, Dorreen! However, I can’t relate to your problem…my girls have never grown past a 34B! haha But still, I admit, swimsuit shopping is.the.worst. Pre-shopping champagne should be offered before one leg is slipped through a suit. At least then we would THINK we looked better. All the best! ~Karen~


    • Why didn’t I think of pre-swimsuit champagne??? Haha! That would make all the difference. Well, that and decent dressing room lighting. Maybe they could install fun-house mirrors… hmmmm.Thx, Karen! Dorreen

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have the opposite problem. When I was young, I stuffed socks in my suit to make it look like I had some shape. Problem was when I went in the water. So much for a really bad idea.


  3. Oh my, MH! You crack me up! I am so glad you are honest and not shy on your blog! I enjoy every time I get to visit here, laughing all the time. I have kiwis and you have coconuts. That is the way life hands out these things. I look good with my ‘fake’ boobs, in my bathing suit. But I have become a lot less shy, tell guys on my first date with them, “These are fake, don’t get your hopes up!” I really do! smiles!


    • Hahahaha! I am so glad you took this on the spirit in which it was intended, Robin – as for the honesty, I know it is all a bit of an over share, but we ALL have struggles of one kind, be they kiwi or coconut sized 😊 Swimsuits are the great leveller of womankind. At least on the inside…


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