Spandex is Satan’s Tool

by gillis

The swimsuit catalog arrived, uninvited, in the mailbox yesterday. In an attempt to avoid my school work, I opened the catalog and began flipping through it. The inside cover shows something they are calling, adorably enough, the 4 piece bikini. I don’t currently teach math, but the last time I checked, bikinis came with only 2 pieces to cover the girl parts from the harsh glare of the sun and keep them safe from shark attack. Somehow this company has cleverly added 2 pieces to the equation. If I had known that bikinis could have up to 4 pieces to them, perhaps I would have been buying them all along. Especially if one of the pieces was a superhero cape.

A further peek into the catalog shows an almost limitless combination of tops and bottoms in colors, patterns, shapes, and styles to please any female who wants to wear some form of the tradtional swimsuit. I find that I am not that female. There is nothing appealing to me about wiggling into some spandexy piece, or pieces, of material that expose so much of my flesh that I have to come up with a plan to deal with hair that was never meant to be seen publicly. I am the first to admit that I am not in peak physical shape at this point in my life, but even if I were, I think I might still walk away from the straps, ruffles, bandeaus, mid-rise bottoms, halters, and tankinis that all seem to be variations on one another. Nothing in this mix looks remotely funky or dignified. And for an item of clothing that weighs less than a pound, I can pay over $100 and still feel hideous in it? No thanks.

I think it’s time for women to rise up. Sure we need to fight for equal pay, better reproductive health options, and more representation in government among other things, but I think we also need to have equal freedom under the sun. We need to tell the manufacturers that these bathing suit options are unacceptable. No grown woman should be wearing a ruffled swim skirt in the hopes that it makes her look young, thin, or girlish. And who decided that a flimsy strip of fabric encircling the breasts – the bandeau top- should be a viable option for anyone over the age of 16? No more I say! It’s unfair that men are able to ย wear the same swim trunks year after year without a thought to their cellulite or bikini line. We need to figure out a way for women to have timeless, functional, fun swimwear that makes us feel powerful, not insecure. I have no idea what that would look like, but I know it would be fantastic to stop feeling like my physical shortcomings are on display every time I want to go to the beach. And I’m pretty sure it would involve a cape.