Despite the fact that I’ve been a truly body loving person for over five years, I had never done this before.
I had planned to go with a friend. I was all packed and ready to go, and then she texted me that she couldn’t make it. So I decided to hop on the Q train myself and take it all the way down to Brighton Beach.
Brighton Beach has a special place in my heart, because it was there that I first saw fat women in bikinis.
About 10 years ago I took a train to Brighton Beach on a whim just so I could walk along the boardwalk.
What I saw there just amazed me. I saw lots of bigger women in bikinis. Most of them seemed to be in their 40′s, 50′s and 60′s. They were unabashed in their comfort with themselves. I couldn’t imagine being so comfortable with myself. All I ever wore to the beach were tight miraclesuits that were hard to get on and even more difficult to take off.
A lot of those fatkini wearers were apple-shaped like me. For the most part, they weren’t fabulously curvaceous. Lots of them had big bellies (like me) too.
I’d been to Brighton Beach many times since then, both in my pre-fat-positive days and more recently, but always in a one-piece.
Until yesterday, I had worn a bikini just a few times in my whole life. My first one was when I was twelve — it had been my mom’s from the early 60′s. It was really cool, and I loved the freedom of not wearing a one piece. I always felt (an unspoken?) criticism that I shouldn’t be wearing it, but I somehow ignored it and wore it. Unfortunately, I soon grew out of the suit and my ability to ignore that criticism.Nearly 20 years later I was in Miami and a friend convinced me to go bikini shopping. I was somehow able to squeeze myself into an XL and wore it on the beach, which was honestly nerve wracking. I think I just wasn’t ready. I only wore it once more at the NAAFA convention in 2009. I hadn’t worn one in public again until yesterday.
Wearing my bikini yesterday made me realize that it’s really not a big deal. I mean, it is a big deal in that we’re reclaiming the right to wear whatever we want, which is really important. But, I mean that wearing a bikini, in the scheme of things, is really just a choice. Once you make that choice and get yourself to the pool or the ocean or wherever, it’s time to (possibly literally) dive in.
Have you ever worn a fatkini? Do you plan to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. To learn more about Golda and her work, click here.
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