Swimsuit Bravery?

by Be Heard on May 21, 2013

in Self & Body, Style & Beauty

Last week, I casually mentioned I needed to go bathing suit shopping and thousands of people (or maybe just my six remaining friends) told me how “brave” I was. I started worrying about why bravery was required to go bathing suit shopping, and then I remembered that my ass looks like it lives down the street from McDonalds (which we do), so then I went there instead and never made it bathing suit shopping because there are too many cheeseburgers in this world already and somebody has to deal with that, right?!

Except that didn’t actually happen. But, it could have because once we start believing that bravery is required to wear a bathing suit we may as well find a vat of vanilla milkshake to dive into and drown.

What is wrong with us?

{digression: I also mentioned that  I’m petrified of flying and not a single person told me how brave I was for flying which is so messed up because getting on an airplane that you know only stays safely in the air if you wear the right colored underwear can be  really terrifying. It’s pink by the way. I checked.}

So when did heading to my very suburban mall to spend loads of my husband’s money to buy festive colored lycra that I get to lounge around in earn me a bravery sticker?  I want people to think I’m brave for like, um actual brave things (like eating soft-cooked eggs or writing a blog!)

I’m self confident, not self delusional. This body has bathed in Oreos and milkshakes for years. It’s also popped out babies (and other things)  and then nursed those babes and so now it looks like the part. But I  don’t care anymore, and also, I really like the way my ears look in a bikini. Seriously. Hot. Ears.

I’ve been everything from a size 16 to a size 8 (sitting somewhere in the middle now) and have always been tearfully aware of my physical flaws. They still exist (and the list continues to grow, WHEEE!!) but as my best friend in the making Cheryl Strayed has said,

“I used to spend a lot more time fretting about my beauty,” she says. “I used to invest energy in being a woman who turned heads when she walked down the street…I still care about my looks, I want people to find me attractive, but I don’t spend an awful lot of time or energy making sure that happens. I’ve let go of beauty as a primary source of power.

“I don’t fault young women for struggling with that. Beauty is, after all, the one form of power young women are granted, so why wouldn’t they bank on it? The fact that I no longer do has to do with my own personal growth, not with anything on the outside.”

What it comes down to is that there’s not a single fun thing that does not happen in a bathing suit.


Sitting poolside sipping on a Margarita. Running through sprinklers like it’s 1963. Accidently whipping water balloons at your cute neighbour then offering to dry him off. Now picture doing any of this in your Corral Gap Skinny Jeans and Mint V-Neck Tee. Ridiculous, right?

See, no bravery required.

demureBio1-300x199 (1)Marci O’Connor is a freelance writer, social media shenanigan-maker and avid pie eater. She has crushes on tons of really smart people so that makes her a smidgen smart. Known affectionately as a non-housewife, her husband and two boys think she rocks anyway. Currently, she lives in Canada but often contemplates moving somewhere over the rainbow. You can read more from Marci on her blog, Being Marci, and on twitter.

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Cindy May 21, 2013 at 8:26 am

No bravery needed, just self love and self confidence. On a side note, I like the one piece as it’s a really nice suit, but you look really good in the 2 piece.

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Thanks Cindy! I think you’re right about self-confidence…just took me longer than most to find mine~

Jodi aka KarmicEvolution May 21, 2013 at 8:47 am

Damn straight Marci!

I wear a bathing suit comfortably and happily for most of the summer. I have pictures of me in a bathing suit having fun and enjoying myself. Lumps, bumps and my big ass are not going to stop me from having a good time, especially not with my kiddo. I don’t think it’s brave, it’s common sense.

People need to stop worrying and freaking out about something so trivial… Shut up and get in the pool folks!

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm

New summer tagline #ShutUPandGetInThePool!

Katja May 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

I hope you bought that 2-piece? It looks amazing on you!

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Katja…you KNOW me….I bought BOTH!! And, thanks!

Jen D. May 21, 2013 at 9:36 am

Yes, thank you! Wearing a bathing suit does not make you brave. I see women of all ages, shapes and sizes doing it all the damn time. It’s just not a big deal! Wear what you want to wear and go on with your life people! You look great in both of those suits. Rock on!

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Thanks Jen! A few months ago I was at a local Y and all the women in the changerooms were just so natural and comfortable (the average age was probably 75)

Suebob May 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Here’s my thought: if someone has a problem with seeing me in a swimsuit, that’s THEIR problem, not mine.

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Best thought ever! I’m stealing it!

Bridget May 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Love both of those suits, but I want the black one for me! Where’d you find it?

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Thanks Bridget…I bought it at a local shop but it was an Australian bathing suit company. I cut out the tag but will check again and let you know!

Steph May 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE the suits!!! Please let me know where you got them!

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Thanks Steph! I cut out the tags but if I can find the name, I’ll let you know…I remember it was an Australian line…

Michelle Rattigan May 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Marci, from someone who thinks LOL are the most over used words on the internet, this actually did make me LOL. Yes, brave is akin to someone saying “good for you, who cares about how you look.” Why is wearing swimwear brave? Why is wanting to wear the appropriate summer clothing unusual. Perhaps it is the fact that ‘normal’ women in swimwear might cause the earth’s tectonic plates to shift? Maybe it’s because ppl might see a perfectly normal sized human without airbrushing and think ” I could do that.” How the hell would d’industry cope with normal ppl doing what they want shamefree. Because, we are ashamed.We are taught, told and shown at a young age that girls are small and smooth(everywhere) and boys are big and lumpy. What would abercrombie and fitch do if the cool kids were the ones who didn’t give a shit about perfect and were the ones who did what they wanted to do.Like….wear a swinsuit. See u at the beach!

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Michelle, if you don’t often LOL, I dont’ often get teary…and yet, here we are…your comment was spot on, and you nailed EXACTLY how I feel. Thanks so much!

Naked Girl in a Dress May 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

You look beautiful. I hope you have a fabulous summer in your new swimsuits.

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Thanks!! {running to check out your link because your name has me way too intrigued!}

Amanda May 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm

“…the one form of power young women are granted…” so powerful.

Focusing less on the head-turning…
Maybe it won’t be in our 30s or 40s that this wisdom comes.

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Amanda, I swear, everything Cheryl Strayed writes is powerful!! And that is the exact phrase that has stuck with me, way past the interview.

LindyShopper May 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm

The bravery comes in braving the horrible malls and their bathing suit offerings of poorly cut/tailored lycra, though it looks like you found a pair of wonderful suits. Thank goodness for Esther Williams and whoever manufactured the suits you are modeling – suits for all!

@beingmarci May 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm

yes, bravery in the malls indeed, especially in these bathing suit shops with their manufactured “tanned” lighting and “skinny” mirrors!! UGH!

Claudia May 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Sorry Marci. No bravery here. You look really good in a bathing suit. What, are you just fishing for compliments?

@beingmarci May 30, 2013 at 7:40 am


wendy May 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Love the suits! You know you miss out on a lot of life when you aren’t who you are! So I have the bumps the lumps and every other flaw known to mankind…own it. I am who I am. The post above is so right…if someone doesn’t like the way I look in a bathing suit that is THEIR problem!!! That has taken me a long time to learn that lesson…but I have. Party On! ;)

Angelique Beauregard May 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Awesome article, as usual. I think you look STUNNING in the suits! xo

Don Heuerman May 22, 2013 at 11:59 am

As a man all I can say is you look fabulous, and anyone that tells you differently is an idiot.

Don Heuerman May 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm

As a man all I can say is, you look fabulous and anyone who tells you differently should get their head examined.

Don Heuerman May 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

All I can say is you look fabulous!

Lee May 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm

It’s brave because every culture has different standards of beauty and to unabashedly deny those standards takes at least hubris, if not bravery. Some cultures prefer voluptuous women. Others prefer skinny women. And like it or not, our popular culture prefers skinny women. Does Marci look fabulous? Maybe in Jamaica or Cuba or Mexico. But here in North America she’s just charmingly chubby.

Maria May 30, 2013 at 9:32 am

You look FAB Marci!

@beingmarci May 30, 2013 at 10:15 am

Thanks Maria!

Randi Chapnik Myers May 30, 2013 at 9:38 am

Every woman feels naked in a bathing suit (gee, maybe that’s because we’re just about naked in a bathing suit!). You can’t cover up your flaws in quite the same way – which makes wearing one an act of courage. If nothing else, it’s the courage to say This is Me, Exposed! You look beautiful, Marci, and damn, you have style, girl.

@beingmarci May 30, 2013 at 10:15 am

Love that Randi, This is Me, Exposed! Would make a great book ;)

Nicole May 30, 2013 at 11:17 am

Marci looks fabulous in any country! Especially in the real world – aka – not someone’s living room/video game/altered reality. Rock on Marci!

Lise June 18, 2013 at 8:41 am

You look great! I agree, the two piece is smashing on you.

Keyz Karanza June 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I don’t get this whole thing about swimsuit bravery. Us guys will go out in just shorts (and sometimes even less!) with the most dilapidated, atrocious bodies; we don’t care. You women go into a panic about doing the same. I have a news flash for you…YOU ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!! No matter what you may think you see in the mirror every day, you are perfect in every way. Anyone who says anything different (including yourselves) is lying. The female body, no matter what shape or size, is a work of art. You all are poetry in motion. Please never forget how gorgeous each and every one of you are!

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