Monday, July 5, 2010

The Camera Doesn't Lie

Summertime is here. Well not so much today but yesterday and all of last week it was here. And to celebrate my husband and I loaded up three of our four children and headed out for a day at the beach. We did not lock up the fourth, he simply had to work. Anyway, beach=swimsuit. So I showered and shaved my legs from hip to ankle, underarms; you get the idea. Then I donned the dreaded 'tankini'. I believe this suit was created to keep people from feeling completely matronly. Because really it's a one piece that was cut in half. I, mother of four and lover of food, cannot wear a bikini. I, 33 year old woman, is not ready for the skirted one-piece. Therefore, the tankini it is.

Yesterday I learned it really is 'not'.

After putting on the suit I stood in front of the mirror with perfect posture, belly held in tight, feet shoulder width apart, not moving a muscle and I looked: okay. I even looked from the side to see how far my belly may or may not be protruding; in the exact same stance. Okay, this too was: acceptable.

I threw on a shirt and shorts for the trip out to the lake and we were off. The trip was not without setbacks though.

Setback #1: arrive to find spot on the beach right next to size 4 French tanned mommy in a bikini. Wearing a tank top over bikini but flat stomach, pert breasts, tiny ass and legs still clearly visible. Very tanned and long brown hair. Fuck.

Setback #2 (closely connected with Setback #1): Not French. Less tanned. Puffy stomach, sad tired breasts, flat ass and mediocre legs. Wearing a tankini. Short frizzy hair. Fuck.

However, I am a woman of self-confidence and I have the right to be me in my swimsuit and enjoy this time with my children and not make them pay for the error of my alcohol sugar fueled ways by sitting perfectly still at the perfect angle in my beach chair. So, I cavort, I dig, I build sand castles.

I take photos. So does my daughter.

For the love of God who invented the camera and why? I should've let the children suffer and stayed put. The camera shows a tubular shaped woman who's belly is no longer contained by her tankini when moving (or breathing for that matter). It shows a soft woman with upper thighs ghostly pale in comparison to the more tanned lower 3/4s of her legs. Despite my feelings for the original camera inventor I'm thankful for the digital camera and it's ability to erase the evidence of 33 years of life and poor food choices.

The tankini has got to go. Or 20 pounds. Which do you think will go first?


  1. I am not a big fan of having my picture taken, but my girls take my photo all the time. Know what? In ten or twenty years? I want them to have the photos of us doing fun things together, of Mom running and cavorting and looking the fool.

    Because that's who I am.

    And a few extra pounds? A certain ghostly whiteness?

    Those things will fade into insignificance when the only memory one of us has of this lovely day together is this photo.

    You don't have to share them. But don't delete them all.

    You (or someone you love) will want them.


  2. Thanks Kris. I didn't delete all of them. Just the one where one of my love handles was desperately seeking some sun!