This will tie in nicely with my previous post, affirming without a doubt my weirdness.
There is a lot of hullaballo about this latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and the advertisement for “Swimsuits For All.”
Let me go on record as saying that I am an ardent admirer of women. All shapes, all sizes, skin colors, hair colors, etc.
I have preached (to anyone who will listen) that a woman’s beauty, value and sexiness has NOTHING to do with a number on a scale.
Not a damned thing.
Let me tell you a quick story from my teen years: Being a dork, I spent a few weeks one summer at a Journalism Camp. Shocking, I know.
It was co-ed, and my first real unsupervised experience with the opposite sex. Me being me, no supervision was needed. As with the most of my years, the fairer sex pretty well ignored me at this camp. That’s beside the point. I have a memory of an incident at the pool that was my first vivid impression of the unhealthy view that a lot of women have towards themselves. A view that the media and certain male types have conjured up and inflicted upon them.
There were a number of girls at the pool, and one girl (who had a beautiful face and a willowy, model-type figure) came to sit on the edge of the pool. She was wearing a relatively modest one-piece suit, but you could almost physically feel her shame and discomfort. She sat for about ten minutes, and then fled back into the locker room in tears.
Because she had convinced herself in her mind that she was fat/looked fat.
There was another girl who went in to check on her reported that information to us. She was a redhead, lots of freckles and a thicker (but certainly not fat) build then the other girl. And while her face was pleasant enough, she wasn’t in the same class as the girl now weeping in the locker room.
But hot damn, she was so much sexier than the model-type.
I have never been able to put a tangible criteria on sexiness or whatever qualifies someone as sexy in my mind. But I have been fortunate enough to know a good number of sexy women who don’t fall into the archetype from magazines/movies, etc.
I think that it’s mostly due to confidence and attitude. The second girl was very comfortable in her own skin and with her own appearance. The first girl had everything a girl is/was supposed to have (in all the appropriate places, best as I could tell) but lacked that major piece of a belief in her own beauty or sense of self.
I still feel bad for her, and I hope that these many years later that she has come to peace with herself. As I feel bad for any woman who doesn’t believe that she is beautiful. I am amazed at the callousness that exists among other women with remarks like “She doesn’t belong in a bikini” or “Why is she wearing THAT?”
Such drivel. Who gave them the right to decide who is fit to be in a bikini and who is not? I’d like to know, because they deserve a kick in the ass…
That’s why I am SO pleased to see the #Swimsuitsforall campaign in that bastion of potential body-shaming, the Swimsuit Issue.
Ladies, you don’t need my permission to wear what you want during swimsuit season. Or anyone else’s for that matter. Wear whatever makes you feel the way you want to feel.
But it never hurts to hear from another source that you can be sexy. You can wear the swimsuit you desire. You are beautiful. And none of those depend on what your scale said this morning.
That being said, allow me to also say “I get it.” I’m sure that I am not the only guy to feel that way, but men get “fat-shamed” as well.
My own weight has fluctuated hither and yon. I have never felt really good about what my body looks like. Even when I weighed whatever I was supposed to weigh.
I have recently embarked on a exercise plan. Been at it about three weeks. I am cutting back on soda and other unhealthy foods.
All with one goal: this summer I will be frolicking on the beach in Jamaica. And I want to feel okay with being on the beach with my shirt off. I know that I won’t look like Jax Teller or Matt McConaughey, but I want to feel okay.
Just okay. Maybe sexy if I am REALLY lucky. (Or really drunk!)
Out of respect for your breakfast, I have decided not to post any “Before” selfie. But if I feel okay, I might post an “After.” I make no promises.
But I do promise this: I am determined to feel better about myself. I am determined to walk on the beach shirtless (it helps that I will be in another country where people who know me won’t be able to see).
And I promise to be an unwavering supporter of women who wear what they want and women who choose to be sexy.
Be who you are. Wear what you want. Be happy. Be confident. Be brave. The sexy will follow.