Between A Bikini And A Dead Place

bikini problemsCan 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.

Stephanie Dell

Stephanie Dell

Stephanie Dell writes humorous commentary on social living experiences of life after 50. After a longtime career in marketing and promotions, she’s following her passion to pursue a writing career. She has recently completed a full-length screenplay and is at work on a novel. Stephanie blogs at www.dogandabeer.com. 

  21 comments for “Between A Bikini And A Dead Place

  1. Danuta Baenen
    July 23, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Great

  2. Danuta Baenen
    July 23, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Love BA50

  3. carie
    July 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Love this! Thanks for the laughter.

    • Stephanie Dell
      July 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks for reading this – so glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Donna Piraino
    July 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks! I needed a real good laugh about myself! I am comforted that I am not alone…

    • Stephanie Dell
      July 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      The Sisterhood of the Traveling Panty Liners stick together!

  5. Bea
    July 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    You nailed it! Thanks for the laughs…totally enjoyed it!

  6. July 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    this is hysterical: “What a great time of life to let those unregulated hormones speak their minds and show off well-earned flabby abs.”

    can’t wait to read more from you!

  7. Denise
    July 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Great article Stephanie..I was right with you the entire time…and it IS BA50 ! !
    I hope you continue to write because I truly enjoyed your article .

    • Stephanie Dell
      July 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks for reading this article and your comments.

  8. Faye
    July 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Stephanie- LOL- i think we should all get the bikini as a reunion of life and celebration. If we are laughing at this and loving this, then why not join together! Keep writting- seems you are having fun!

    • Donna Piraino
      July 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Faye, a Bikini Party for gals over 50?? What a great (kinda scarey) idea!!!

    • Stephanie Dell
      July 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      It would be a blast!

  9. Dianne
    July 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Too funny! . Fifty,Flabby ab’d and Fabulous!
    Great job Stephanie!

  10. Marcia Reich
    July 24, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Great article! Yes, many of us have been there. Even when in shape I had to stop and decide if I could really be comfortable wearing a bikini at this stage in my life. I decided no and while watching a group of young women in the ocean recently I began to wonder who designed these things anyway? The amount of sun exposure is horrendous, you can’t swim, you are constantly readjusting and checking – bah humbug! When we just sat on the beach to look pretty—before skin cancer prevailed—perhaps. But now a bikini seems best in places where the sun can’t see you and you don’t have to be so diligent about what you don’t wan to show.

    • Stephanie Dell
      July 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Amen to that. Thanks for your comments.

  11. steve p.
    July 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

    love t he artical. had a few laughs, but please stick to the one piece bs over 50. pass the torch.

  12. July 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I only wear bikinis at home. Anywhere else, it’s cute tennis-dress-style one-pieces. And to reorient yourself to the fact that not being able to wear a bikini is about the dumbest thing to worry about, here’s an old bit from the incomparable Anne Lamott: http://www.salon.com/1997/06/05/lamott970605/

  13. Stephanie Dell
    July 26, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Thanks for your comments. Ann Lamont’s perspective is shared by many of us who no longer judge ourselves by the perkiness of our boobs, or butts!

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