The Bathing Suit (author unknown)
- 8/4/2012 <--Prev : Next-->
When I was a child in the 1950s, 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 up front to the
maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking
like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney s Fantasia, or 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 fluorescent 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 tensile 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 gives the added bonus that if you
manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from
shark attacks. 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 now 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
The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fitted 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 Playdough 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 that gave the appearance of an oversized 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
I tried on a black number with a midriff fringe 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, it was 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 it home, I found a label that read, "Material might become
transparent in water."