And Another Thing – Swimwear, Feminism and Body Issues

Last week, I paid horribly for the fact that I am going on holiday. Post tropical illness injection (needles, ew), I had to go bikini shopping* on Oxford Street. It. Was. Horrifying. I felt attacked by swarms and swarms of crappy, tacky, badly made beach attire without even one or two things in the middle that were acceptable. And the more everywhere was peddling the same crap the more I got annoyed. It wasn’t just that this season’s swimwear is not my style, it’s that they are in no way practical, functional, or fit for purpose. It got my inner feminist working overdrive, and not so much because of the horrible frills, trims and tack-central shapes and colours but rather because every bloody bikini and swimsuit is padded here or a bit tucked there. By the time I had reached Marble Arch I was properly enraged, with feminism steaming out of my ears.

Terrifying Frilly Swimwear From The Highstreet
Terrifying Frilly Swimwear From The Highstreet

WHAT is with the assumption that girls with small to medium boobs want giant knockers and therefore everything must be padded? Now ladies, if you’ve got a good rack, props. I ain’t hatin’, celebrate those boobies! My point is though, why can’t us ittybittytitty girls celebrate too? I am comfortable with the size of my chest. I don’t want it to be any bigger, especially as a result of a bikini or a bra that pushes (pun intended) the idea that I need big boobs to be womanly. No, I don’t.

It’s the same point I am always trying to make – that women are all different sizes and shapes and that so long as you are healthy you should be happy in yourself and society should leave you be the way you are. I don’t want a weird tummy tuck swimsuit. I don’t want my bikini to look like a wonderbra. Fair enough if you do, but it is a seriously depressing state of affairs when buyers won’t even entertain the notion that women are comfortable with themselves. Of all the masses of swimwear that I saw, there was maybe less than 1% that was just simple, unenhanced, the way nature intended. This was not an unconscious decision, the high street seems to have decided that women are not good enough as they are and therefore need all this padding. You know what, it might even be true, but it is not up to some buyer to decide that for me, so I shall be heading to sportsdirect.com and buying a Speedo. And, if I had loadsa cash, these.

Mara Hoffman SS12 from Asos
Mara Hoffman SS12 from Asos
ASOS Digital Beach Scene Cut Out Bandeau swimSuit SS12
ASOS Digital Beach Scene Cut Out Bandeau swimsuit SS12
Wildfox swimsuit from Asos SS12
Wildfox swimsuit from Asos SS12
Emma Cook One Piece Digital Print Swimsuit from Asos SS12
Emma Cook One Piece Digital Print Swimsuit from Asos SS12
Mara Hoffman Print One Piece Swimsuit SS12 Net-a-Porter
Mara Hoffman Print One Piece Swimsuit SS12 Net-a-Porter
We Are Handsome Digital Print One Piece from Net-a-Porter SS12
We Are Handsome Digital Print One Piece from Net-a-Porter SS12
Yves Saint Laurent One Piece Swimsuit from Net-a-Porter SS12
Yves Saint Laurent One Piece Swimsuit from Net-a-Porter SS12

images via net-a-porter and asos.com

*Yes, yes I know…first world problems…

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2 thoughts on “And Another Thing – Swimwear, Feminism and Body Issues

  1. I love a feminist rant!
    I have bikini issues too, but for different reasons. Being publicly almost nude in a bikini feels like a vulnerable position to be in because I’m used to mystery-keeping loose clothing, so I’m completely lost in something so… tight. And small. I currently wear the super simple type, but I actually quite like the scary frills and ruffles(!) (so long as we’re talking Meadham Kirchhoff free spirit rather than River Island Barbie); I feel like they might be endearingly unsexy and provide a bit of fun distraction.

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