Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is your bikini ready for YOU?

I have just spent the past 10 days with girls, all shapes and sizes from ages 13 to 65. From women who have given birth to 4 children, to 13-year-old girls with pure white skin, some hippy, some busty, even cover girls that are on the magazines challenging you to get bikini-ready. And guess what? We were ALL bikini-ready. It probably helped that is was scorching hot and that there were no men present, otherwise we may have banished ourselves from wearing that two-piece for fear we would be ranked. However, what I have found is that men are not really the judgers...men just like naked women. They like women's bodies, and those "last 5 lbs." don't really matter much. In fact, they probably don't even notice. Really, the freedom to just put that bikini on and be among other women who are not the same, and to accept ourselves, actually gives others the permission to do so too. Perhaps to allow the vulnerability and softness that mirrors our very own bodies is enough.

I found myself in conversations with young girls about what foods they should avoid to have a better body. Girls with awesome young bodies, hiding and covering them (if I knew then what I know now...), completely unaware of their perfection. I wanted so badly to take away the self-consciousness. To give back what it has taken me 30+ years to know. I shared with them that if I had a regret, it was that in my youth I worried and thought about and criticized my body too much. This knowing took time and experience.Ultimately my body and mind found their way into a relationship. A very accepting relationship, that has seen me through weight gain and loss, muscle tone, broken bones, broken hearts, exhaustion and resilience. Just like with any relationship, it took some challenges, time and experiences and to come through the other side. Oh to fall in love with this awesome and beautiful vehicle that encases the depth of emotion, that has the ability to enjoy sensations like getting wet when jumping into the ocean and getting to see with my eyes a magical sunset.

Of course, teenagers have an extra challenge. The hormones that cause the body to shift and morph. We find attraction, and begin to measure ourselves against others. Because they are noticing change for the first time, they do not realize the body is dynamic. I wondered, at that age what I would look like when I grew up, what my body would ultimately be. The funny thing is, it has never stopped shifting and growing and changing. Today, there is less elasticity and fat in some places, yet in others (like my back!!), I am seeing more folds. So the real change has come with the comfort in this body as it is. Soft belly, sometimes fleshier than other times.

The question remains: How to become accepting of this body? This life is a moment in time. The body is in constant change and flux. There is no perfection, except for in the unfoldment. The body is unfolding and falling right into place. When I take my clothes off and put my bikini on, I am saying "YES" to my body exactly as it is. 

So I say not are you ready for your bikini, but is your bikini ready for you?! Watch out, here I come.

1 comment:

  1. Reading this made me think back to when I was 13 (I'm 23 now) and how miserable I was with the way that I looked. I found that other girls noticed how skinny and lanky I was to the point where they would watch me eat to see that I didn't have an eating disorder. Now ten years on I respect my body and love my long legs and the only regret that I have is that I was influenced by others judgement rather than listening to myself. Sometimes it is hard to notice the positives when the world surrounds you with flaws. Embrace them!