I wish, I wouldn’t care what other people think. I admit I do. I wish, that next year, I will be able to write a version of this post where I say, Yes I do care, but I am BRAVE enough to live my belief that everyone has the right to enjoy a day at the beach without being ashamed of how they look. And how fantastic wouldn’t it be, if in two years time I could report, that Hey, I was at the beach, and without being neither slim, nor ashamed, I wore a swimsuit and I let my whole body enjoy the warmth of the sun, the cooling breeze, the sand, water, and all that loveliness, that makes my inner child squeak with joy. The inner child that wants to catch a butterfly in the air, or a fish under water. Throw a ball and catch a frisbee. Do somersaults under water and dive after coins. Dance and eat ice cream. The child who lives fully in her body, who isn’t ashamed, who thankfully doesn’t yet have a notion of why anyone would have a reason to be ashamed of and in their body. That girl still lives on there, somewhere within me.
Shame is a debilitating emotion. When we’re ashamed, about whatever, we don’t live fully. Today’s girls (and boys!) don’t get very much time to be in their bodies, to be themselves, before feelings of self doubt and shame start invading their minds. I can’t describe how sad and angry that makes me feel. And how incredibly frustrated I, as an adult woman, am for not being able to disregard all those crazily unrealistic messages about how we are supposed to look, in order to have joyful time at the beach, or wherever.
This summer, would I even consider wearing a bikini, even if it was only on my own balcony? Hell, no! Would I want to feel like my excited five year old self, on the beach in Spain, proudly showing off her new white bikini with a print of bright red strawberries? Hell, yes!