The Tankini Manifesto

You know what time it is? Time for my annual swimsuit post! So hold on to your cover-ups, ‘cause here we go...

First of all, can I just tell you how THRILLED I am that we do not live in Miami or LA? Because despite all the hoopla about body image and unrealistic standards for women, I do not live in a place where most people look like they just sashayed off the pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. THANK GOD. Because battling my own insecurities is plenty without having to compare myself daily to hordes of thonged, bronzed goddesses.

No offense to my fellow pool-goers, of course, but I am very happy that most people I encounter on a daily basis look like normal people. Except for that one lady in the bikini with the tan and that stomach – holy moly, I’ve never seen a six-pack on a mom before outside of the Olympics! But I digress.

At our pool, you see all kinds. All ages, shapes, and sizes. You see everything from teenage babysitters in itsy-bitsy bikinis and belly rings to women who opt not to shave and wear swim dresses down to their knees. Seriously. I found myself wondering if that woman was Amish. But anyway...

Everyone knows I’m a bit of an O magazine junkie, but I almost choked on my chardonnay when I opened the June issue to see creative director Adam Glassman’s “10 Swimsuit Commandments.” #1 is Thou shalt not buy a tankini. Say WHAT?! Listen here, Adam. The tankini is my saving grace. It’s a GODSEND. And I know 90% of the women at my pool agree with me. That sexy maillot you’re pushing? Is a nightmare when you’re trying to go the bathroom with 2 kids in tow.

But wait – it gets worse. #5 is Thou shalt not hide under a skirted suit and #6: “Boy shorts are unkind even if you have toothpicks for legs.” I FINALLY embraced the swim skirt (remember that?) and bought a cute pair of swim shorts that I don’t constantly have to pick out of my butt every time I bend over to pick up my toddler and now you’re telling me those are DON’TS?!

I beg to differ, Adam. You try taking a couple of small kids to the pool. You try schlepping a carload of crap and changing 2 wiggly little people into swim diapers and board shorts and swim shirts and then greasing them up from head to toe with SPF 50. You try bending over to fish the preschooler’s goggles out of the pool and catch the toddler before he takes a header into the deep end. A toddler who, I might add, is constantly clutching and pulling on your bathing suit, risking a Janet Jackson moment at every turn.

And then you might realize that some of us dress for action at the pool, not fashion. And anyway, I’m pretty happy with my tankinis, so there.

LAUGH O’ THE WEEK: I may be the only person ever who’s gotten a bathing suit tailored. I bought a suit that came with, yes, boy shorts, and then decided they were too risqué so I got the leg holes sewn up a little. That actually seemed easier and more preferable to spending more time bathing suit shopping!

READ O’ THE WEEK: I was browsing through my archives and found that last summer wasn’t that relaxing either. Shocker.


Laurie said...

Until he has to wear a woman's bathing suit, while managing two or three kiddos - he can take his advice and stick it anywhere he likes but in my face.

I love my tankinis and don't plan to ever wear anything else. I hate one piece suits, especially if you need to go to the bathroom!! And little skirts are cute - I like them on anyone I see wearing them pretty much, so it's not just because I like to wear them either!

angie said...

I wear bikinis... I didn't say that I should be wearing a bikini... just that I do. Last year, I tried to wear shorts over my suit at the water park and kept getting stuck on the slide! I think when you're exposing your body you have to do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. Love the photo of the tankini. If my hips were slimmer I could probably rock it. :)

Adrienne Gomer said...

I read that SAME thing and was shocked! then it dawned on me... tankinis ARE unflattering on EVERYONE. I actually went out and tried on a few one pieces and found that they actually make me look about 10 pounds thinner than a tankini.

McMommy said...

I seriously can't believe you used my picture up there without even asking me.

Miss Miami

Loukia said...

I live in tankinis since having children! I've totally okay with that too.

Life with Kaishon said...

That is so funny. I wonder why he would say that. Tankini's are a Godsend. Truly a God send! I am so glad you have normal people at your pool. There are a few stuck up super models at ours. Whatever. I just don't sit near them. Who cares if they look PERFECT : ) not me! : )

Anonymous said...

Once you have a child I think women tend to wear a tankini instead of a 2 piece bikini.

Jennifer Larson said...

This post makes me want to stand up and clap.

That writer can stick it. When he's given birth to two babies and has the stretch marks and/or stretched out skin to show for it, then he can criticize what moms wear to the pool.

I wear a cute, halter-style tankini top and a little skirted bottom, and I think I look both decent and kinda cute at the same time. But more importantly, I don't have to worry about Wardrobe Malfunctions or the Rear Window (of Flesh) effect.

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