Can you be over 50 years old and still wear a bikini? You bet your low-rise bottom from Victoria’s Secret you can. Ah, but should you? Let’s be honest. I’m envious of those catalog models in bikinis, all air-brushed and spray-tanned mocha. But the day I magically grow seven more inches, lose 30 pounds and perfect a pout that says, “I’m so hungry I could eat one entire string bean,” I will wear a bikini.
But for you ladies with more courage than me, I say: You go girlfriend. Rounding 50 entitles us to the “I don’t give a crap what you think” attitude. What a great time of life to let those unregulated hormones speak their minds and show off well-earned flabby abs.
Frankly, at this age we are more in touch with our mortality than some judgmental wet-behind-the-belly-ring twenty-year-old nymph who thinks the drinking and partying will last forever without consequences. Hear that girls? It’s the collective laughs of mature women everywhere who once wore your bra size. We sense our time is running out and the window of opportunity to wear the tiniest strips of fabric is closing fast. So if not now, when? At 60? At 70? God, at 80?
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, about thirty-five years and three kids ago, I had a slim body. And if I squint really, really hard without my trifocals, I turn sideways and see that skinny chick in there dying to strut up and down the beach just one more time. What keeps me from acting on this impulse? Fear.
It starts in the dressing room. If you have the nerve to pull a few bikinis off the rack and grab a number from the dressing room clerk and not lie that these are for your daughter, you have my attention and admiration. Or if you are fearful to take your flabby thighs to shop in public, we could have been separated at birth. Instead you flip through a catalog or website and order a few pretty Band-Aid-sized bikinis to try on in the comfort of your home. When the postmenopausal blubber could not be tucked into the hipster bottom, I was, what? Shocked? Appalled? Infuriated? I recently sent such a purchase back and checked off “too big” on the return slip. Pathetic, I know.
For now I’ll pull on a one-piece bathing suit made of Spanx-like material, in basic black, with support cups and extra-wide straps. This winter I will vow (again) to shed the extra pounds, exercise like a beast and get ready for next summer. With any luck I’ve still got my 60s, 70s and 80s to pull it off.
However, in case I don’t make it, I’ve left instructions to be buried in the cute floral push-up halter top and side-tie bikini that I just could not return. It’s in my bottom drawer behind the sweatpants. Don’t forget the spray tan. I want to look good.
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