the bathroom sink. These are just a few of the things I’d rather do than wear a swimming
suit. I was going to add “in public.” But even in the privacy of my own home, I
loathe wearing a swimming suit.
were, on a Sunday afternoon, looking for something fun to do, and they all want
to head to the Y to go swimming. They’re excited. They’re resolved. I’m torn.
age have an adult in the pool area with them. What I want to do is exercise while they swim, but that’s not an option. I could sit at the edge of the
pool working on some writing projects. Except that moisture isn’t good for the
old laptop. I can bring a book and read. Except that I’ll just be thinking about the
writing projects I need to be working on, twiddling my fingers. I’m not good at
just sitting still.
him a blank stare, perplexed that he would even think this is a possibility. Oh, sweet, naive little boy. So much to learn. “Uh,
no. I hate wearing a swimming suit.”
him that I hate the way my body looks. I’ve given birth to three babies, and
there are stretch marks and varicose veins and this poochy belly. And we won’t even bother with the thighs. I don’t want to teach him that chunky girls want to be skinny girls, that our culture holds disdain for the Not-So-Fit among us. Ugh.
I tell the boys to go get their swimming trunks on and I head to my room to find a book as they squeal in delight and run up the stairs to their room.
Would I make these comments if I had girls? I hope not! I hope I wouldn’t try to reinforce the idea that girls have to be skinny in order to be appealing. I would want my daughter to focus on expanding her mind, not shrinking her waistline. So why am I making these comments to the future men who will one day love a woman who isn’t a size zero? I know how it feels to be judged by a spouse who demands bodily perfection, who compares you to the Victoria’s Secret models, and tells you repeatedly that you’re no “trophy wife.” I want better for my future daughters-in-law.
And so, I shall wear a bathing suit. And I shall be proud of the stretch marks that proclaim my baby-making superpowers. My pale white skin shall glow in the sunlight as evidence of the many hours I spend working in the dark of a windowless newsroom in order to provide for my kids. Because it’s the character of a woman that counts– not her waist size.