a million 90 degrees in Seattle, which is miserably hot because we are simply not equipped for such heatwaves. And so I’ve been spending a shit-ton (real unit of measurement) in my polka dot bikini that I FREAKING LOVE. But with this heat wave, I have also noticed an uptick in stories online about moms and bathing suits and not taking pictures of themselves with their kids because body shame. Literally Google bikini and mom and you will get news stories (don’t get me started on what constitutes NEWS anymore) about women who went in public in bathing suits and literally nothing happened. Yeah, they didn’t implode. Nobody threw eggs on them. Wow, maybe even their kids had a good time with mom for once instead of begging her to leave the lounge chair hidden in the back corner of the pool deck.
I don’t get it. I mean, as a therapist I get it, right, conditioning and stories we tell ourselves and upbringing and a culture of shame. But, in my opinion, if we just strut confidently in the direction we want to go then we will eventually get there. If I overanalyzed every step I took, worrying that my thighs touched too much and that I don’t look like I did in 10th grade pre-babies, I would be a nervous wreck. And my kid would probably drown in the pool because I wasn’t paying attention to teaching him to swim instead of picking apart every little thing that could possibly be wrong with my body.
Just a few weeks ago I was the ONLY mom in Lake Washington with Potamus. All the other self conscious or ill prepared moms were rolling up their jeans and trying to wade around in the mucky water with their toddlers who were filled with GLEE that they were in WATER! And dads. There were dads in the water with their kids, wearing awkward basketball shorts to drag their kid around on an inner tube. And one mom told me, “you’re so brave,” and I was basically flabbergasted because, “huh?” It’s fucking hot lady, why are you wearing jeans in the lake? It’s fucking hot, so put on your goddamn bathing suit and get outside and play in the sprinkler, mmkay? Once you’ve done that, then take it one step further and go to the pool or the lake or the beach and get in the water with them. I promise you’ll be the envy of those hiding in the shadows.