Diapers and Diamonds talks mom bathing suits.
No, I’m not splitting an atom or barreling into a burning building to save anyone, so this is definitely not the bravest public act, but, to me, this is an edge-of-a-precipice moment. I am putting pictures of myself—IN A BATHING SUIT—on the Internet. I may have lost my mind.
Even pre-child, I was no bikini model. Italian women come in two molds: petite and feisty or big-boned, big-hipped, big-thighed, and bosomy. I fall into the latter category. I’ve had a body image complex since I was aware I owned a body, and swimsuit season has always highlighted that.
As a result, I’m all about coverage. I’ve been rocking one-pieces since childhood, with only a brief collegiate two-piece phase that was fueled mostly by jolts of alcoholic confidence. To me, bathing suits have always been an annual annoyance to endure, like taxes or license plate renewals. I’m the girl who wears the cover-up to the pool and removes it inch by inch as I slip into the water. I always have that post-swim towel at the ready, so not as to offend the eyes of onlookers, lest they spy even a sliver of dimply, pasty butt cheek. And you will always ALWAYS see me donning a large sun hat to draw attention up towards my head and away from my body. I’ve got the tricks figured out.
But here’s the thing about all those tricks: it’s exhausting. And, honestly, I’m probably not fooling anyone. All the work it takes to hide my body in the summertime was fine when all I had to do was lay in the sun with a drink in one hand and a book in the other. But I’m a mom now. I don’t really remember what books are, and I certainly haven’t had a drink near a pool since my son could walk. Toddlers do not care what you want to do or how you look while you do it. They want to throw their little bodies into the unknown depths of the sea the second you let go of their hand. So for the last few years, as I chase my toddler around the pool deck to ensure he lives to see another day, I haven’t had the luxury of caring about what I look like in a bathing suit or who sees bits of me wobble. But I still wasn’t documenting it on camera.
So why the big change today? Well, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my mom bod. Anytime my mom friends and I talk about the changes our bodies have undergone, there’s always this sense that we’re lamenting the loss of something, not celebrating the evolution of something. Now, I’ve read all the Kumbaya, earth-mother articles about how my body is a temple to adore because it is full of miracles and all that, but, to be honest, I’m not there yet. Yes, I love what my body gave me, but, no, I’m not at a point where I can say I love my body.
For me, the biggest turnaround hasn’t been about loving my body; it’s about not caring what it looks like in motion anymore. I spent a week on vacation with my whole family, and my husband snapped a few shots of me playing with my son in the pool early in the week. I looked at those pictures, and what struck me most wasn’t my jiggly tummy or my freakishly white legs. My eye went immediately to our faces. All I could see in those photos was my son’s joy and my own love mirrored back. As far as I was concerned, they were the most gorgeous photos. So we took more. And now I have these beautiful moments in time documented, and it doesn’t matter that I was wearing a bathing suit while they happened. And that’s a huge perspective shift in my book.
Other one-pieces I love: