Hell Is Buying A Bathing Suit

by Kelly on September 21, 2008 · 17 comments

in Humour,Women. Beauty. Feminism

swimsuit-hell.JPGThis weekend’s joke is courtesy of my aunt, and taps into my fear about the coming summer and the fact that I need a new swimsuit. I am especially terrified because I have spent most of winter NOT running, NOT boxing, and indulging in TOO MUCH chocolate cake and TOO MUCH red wine.

Despite the following being WAY TOO CLOSE TO HOME, it had me in stitches. Hope it gives you a giggle while you enjoy your weekend. :)


When I was a child in the 1970s the bathing suit for the mature figure was boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered.  They were built to hold back and uplift and they did a good job. Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.

The mature woman has a choice – she can either go to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus who escaped from Disney’s Fantasia


She can wander around every run of the mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of florescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have?  I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room.

The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which give the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you are protected from shark attacks as any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place, I gasped in horror – my boobs had disappeared!

Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit.  It took a while to find the other. At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.

The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups.  The mature woman is meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.

The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it.  The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom, and sides. I looked like a lump of play dough wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, “Oh, there you are”‘ she said, admiring the bathing suit.

I replied that I wasn’t so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two piece which gave the appearance of an over-sized napkin in a serving ring.

I struggled into a pair of leopard skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan’s Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day. I tried on a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.

I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.

Finally, I found a suit that fit…a two-piece affair with a shorts style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it.  My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured.

When I got home,  I found a label which read —   ‘Material might become transparent in water.’

So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I’m there too, I’ll be the one in cut off jeans and a t-shirt!

“Life isn’t about how to survive the storm,  but how to dance in the rain”

– anonymous

Photo by frank servayge

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1 Mike Goad 09.22.08 at 12:46 am

Very funny! Now I can kind of see the issues my wife has with finding a new swim suit.

Fortunately, all I have to worry about is finding a pair of trunks that I can fit into…, and not tight trunks, either. Also, I still have the trunks I bought three years ago and they still fit!

Mike Goad’s last blog post..They’re heading South!

2 SpaceAgeSage 09.22.08 at 6:58 am

(Mike — you’re not helping!)
Kelly — we need to challenge each other to some exercise — I hear ya!

SpaceAgeSage’s last blog post..Can wisdom contradict itself?

3 Evelyn Lim 09.22.08 at 10:48 am

This post is so funny!! I burst out laughing! You’re absolutely right. Today’s clothes are not meant to help those with a less than perfect figure. It’s not that easy to shop!

I have given myself another 3 months to look fabulous before Christmas! It used to take a ton to pry me away from my laptop. But with a goal before year end, I’m feeling more motivated nowadays. Wait for my good news!

Evelyn Lim’s last blog post..Attract Our Travel Dreams

4 Lance 09.22.08 at 1:03 pm

Funny! Funny because it’s true…

I’ve seen my wife go through this ordeal (and ordeal it is!)…

Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

5 Vered - MomGrind 09.22.08 at 2:10 pm

Chocolate cake and red wine. What an awesome pairing. :)

This was so funny, Kel. Thanks!

Vered – MomGrind’s last blog post..A Weekend In Napa: 3 Days, No Internet, No Problem

6 Kelly 09.22.08 at 8:12 pm

Hi guys
There are two pieces of clothing I hate to shop for. One is trousers because I have very long legs and a big butt, and the other is the dreaded swimsuit, well because I’m a woman who’s not a rake!

And reading this again, it still makes me laugh. I particularly like this line:

“I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them” – so visual and so so funny.


7 Marelisa 09.23.08 at 9:15 am

These two were my favorite:

– coming away looking like a hippopotamus who escaped from Disney’s Fantasia
– I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.

Too funny :-)

Marelisa’s last blog post..Creativity Insights from Seth Godin

8 Natural 09.23.08 at 9:29 am


I found one boob cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other.

My dream is to wear a two piece, but my midsection is like you better not put us in show and tell. got some work to do, i mean er um exercise. i do wear bathing suits, but only when i have to and it is black and I have a wrap too.

Natural’s last blog post..A Million Little Pieces

9 Shelley 09.23.08 at 10:15 am

Hi Kelly. Yep, article is fun! If there are two things I positively hate to shop for, it’s jeans and togs. It must be done on an ‘I feel sexy’ day but then it’s also mirror dependant. Changing room mirrors either give me the confidence boost I need, ie the lighting shadows the unsatisfory or make me crumble with despair. Now, I’m not a full figured woman as you know. Still the opposite in fact. But I can’t think of one woman I know – buxom or slight who enjoys a good strip off to reveal all the new season’s masked surprises hiding under her winter layers. May well be enlightening but just isn’t welcomed! Slinky summer cossies are made for models. And for such a teeny rag of material, they cost more than a bull can shit. I’ll probably stick with the cycle shorts and bra like I usually do. God, I ooze glamour!

10 Harmony 09.23.08 at 12:55 pm

Painful, purely painful. Right up there with buying the perfect bra and almost as bad as the swimsuit…

I am with Shelley above – I ooze glamour too…by NOT buying a swimsuit. :-)))))

Harmony’s last blog post..The Art Of BEING in My Own Business – Part 1

11 Stacey@createabalance.com 09.23.08 at 1:35 pm

I can relate to the story. I’m all about the tankini. And I love the quote about dancing in the rain. One of these days I need to take my kids outside when it is raining for an outrageous dance party.

Stacey@createabalance.com‘s last blog post..Do What You Love

12 Roz Mitchell 09.23.08 at 4:36 pm

Hi Kelly oh so can relate ,my pet hate is when I know I have to buy new bras the dread before even getting to the store and then taking them off the shelf all looking so pretty,then woh and behold they dont look the same when you look in the mirror.You know they should do something about those mirrors you know so I look good in them .Ha Ha Have a good day.

13 Barbara Swafford 09.23.08 at 4:47 pm

Hi Kelly,

This is just what I needed. I’m still laughing and love the part “The mature woman is meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.” I had a vision and cracked up laughing. Superb post. I think it’s well worth a Stumble.

Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..NBOTW – Her Spirit Will Move You

14 Cath Lawson 09.23.08 at 8:12 pm

LOL Kelly – that was so funny and so true. I hate choosing swimming costumes and I bet that one in the picture is not one bit flattening to most normal people.

I was brave in Mexico & wore bikini’s for a change but I don’t usually. After two caesarian’s your lower stomach sticks out no matter what you do.

Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Free Gift Ideas That Help You Sell More

15 Kelly 09.23.08 at 10:19 pm

It’s great, isn’t it?

I love wraps too. We call them sarongs here and I have at least 5 of them.

I couldn’t imagine you freaking out about buying a cossie. You’re so tall and slim. Have I mentioned I hate that about you! :)

I hate buying jeans too. All the ones which are long enough for my legs cost so damn much!

Love the tankini. I was always a bikini girl because my short body and big boobs look strange in a full piece, but my post baby jelly tummy has now embraced the sexy coverage that is the tankini.

Yes, bra shopping sucks. No question. And it’s an expensive affair for me too. Why is it that us busty girls have to pay more for bras? Size 14 clothes don’t cost more than size 8.

Thank you :)

I agree. I think almost no one would look good in that cossie. It’s made for mannequins, not a real woman. Like most fashion.


16 Shelley 09.24.08 at 8:21 am

Yep. Most people think I either ‘don’t eat’ or somehow, the calories I do eat magically fall off me on a walk to the letter box. My choco, booze and exercise intake does make a difference. But hey, isn’t it comforting most of us are all blessed with broken capillaries, stretch marks and cellulite. Even a lovely forming varicose vein. Now, there’s a real woman! Lol!

17 Robin 11.02.08 at 3:13 pm

I can relate to the cut-off jeans and T-shirt (and too much red wine over winter). Ha!

Robin’s last blog post..How A Lot Of Wind Changed My Plans

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