Okay, so I’ve told you before about my reverse body dysmorphia, right? In which I look at clothes and think, ‘Shit, I’d look great in that’ and then get monumentally hurt when reality crashes in?
Well, its worst manifestation comes with swimsuits.
|Kinda like this in my over-vivid imagination|
Last year, when I was going to Israel and realized I only had a five year old M&S swimsuit with fabric fatigue, my beloved best friend Jane sent me a voucher to buy something swish, smart and sexy. After much frowning, I plumped for a sort of understated slinky swathed number in iconic black. Hey, it looked bloody brilliant on the model. Unfortunately it was utterly out of its depth with my boobs – either offering them up on a plate (the kind of cleavage that could hide entire pencil cases) or sending them veering off in opposite directions. Which was fine until I had to do a shoot for a magazine in a floatation tank.
‘Umm. You do know I float naked?’ I told the picture editor.
‘Oh.’ Long pause. ‘Crikey. Not sure the magazine is ready for this.’
‘What? Seeing me naked?’ Trying to keep the slight hurt tone out of my voice.
‘Oh, er, no, of course not. Just it would be a first for us.’
So we went the swimsuit route. Let’s just say that lying in a float tank with a photographer looming over you on a stepladder ain’t the best experience (practical note: don’t ever float in a swimsuit – you get bloody cold).
‘Oooh, you look just like a mermaid,’ said the photographer. Oh yeah.
|You really thought? :D|
Except. Oh no. When I saw the pictures I nearly died. It looked like I’d had a botched boob job and some kind of weird pudendum augmentation op. Seriously, I looked deformed.
‘Don’t try to tell me that looks normal?’ I said to the pic editor. She snorted. Really, she did.
‘It’s the water pushing up the costume,’ she said. ‘We can airbrush that. And the weird tit thing.’
Shit. So now I’m being airbrushed to look normal?
Anyhow. I was still smarting from this when the PR for Simply Swim asked if I’d like to try out a Speedo swimsuit. I had a sudden rush of nostalgia for my youth, when Speedo was THE only swimsuit. The plain blue old school one didn’t have particularly happy memories but I spent a large part of the happiest year of my life wearing two Speedo swimsuits – one green, one blue (no, not at the same time!). In the US. Driving my Toyota (the one where you could watch the road passing under your feet) to the lake to lie on the beach. Swimming lazily out to the swimming deck, lolling for a while and then swimming lazily back again. Not to mention long lazy days on Cape Ann beaches and brief forays into the Pacific surf (no, not both at the same time - I know they're 3,000 miles apart). Yeah, happy happy memories.
So I looked, like a kid in a sweetshop, at the website. Heck, they’ve changed. Gone all high-tech and serious. And there I was, doing it all over again, choosing something on the way I wish I looked.
‘I love the Fastskin Recordbreaker,’ I said to the PR.
‘Er, right. That’s a high performance suit for top level competition swimming.’
And? You’re suggesting I’m not a top level competitive swimmer?
‘But it’s a nice design.’
I could almost hear the sigh over the email.
‘They’re a very snug fit,’ he said. ‘VERY snug.’
Shit. He knew. He KNEW. That I have a body that looks deformed in swimsuits. Holy crap, can you imagine the mountain, nay the entire Himalayas, of Venus in a skin-tight costume? Then again..maybe the very snugness would stop the water getting in underneath and doing the puffy thing? Oh hell, it was all too much.
‘I’ll think again.’
And so, eventually, I let reality have its check and requested the Women’s Endurance Plus Hydrafit 2 piece Tankini. Offering ‘advanced support and comfort for lots of movement in the water.’ And snorted a bit because really my aqua expertise lies in advanced floating. But, hey, wearing this, who knows? And if I do make lots of aerobic moves in the water I can rest assured that the ‘lightweight power mesh’ will ‘eliminate rubbing’.
So. Is it good? Yeah, it’s good. Let’s be very honest, when companies say ‘support’ they’re talking about keeping small boobs pinned down. Mine require industrial haulage (let’s not get onto sports bras which are another, VERY sore point). So, not entirely sure I could bounce with total abandon. But it’s kinda cute and the short thingies are well nice. Best of all you don’t have to hoik it all to one side if you want a pee.
And DON’T say ‘ just pee in the pool’ because that is, really, not nice, right?
PS - you really thought I'd show you the floatation pics?
PPS - Simply Swim are a decent bunch, they really are. They do a whole load of swim stuff - not just Speedo... They get your cossie out pretty smartish and, if (when you try it on) it really does look like a dog's dinner - they'll swap with no quibbles (providing you haven't worn it for, like, five years).