i am tired of one-piece bathing suits. bathing suits are one of the most gendered articles of clothing in existence, and the more time i spend in a beachfront community, the more i notice it. i will never in a million years understand why breasts are apparently so frightening and powerful and titilating (d’oh!) and ILLEGAL that most of us that have them are required to keep them covered at all times or risk arrest. because hey, dude, we’d like to be out there surfing in a pair of speedos, getting a great all-over tan and working on our fitness, but instead we’re wearing a restrictive garment that gives some of us dysphoria and many of us yeast infections, AND leaves half my body a different color if i spend too much time in the sun.
hey, here’s an idea, world: help minimize our discomfort by decriminalizing our bodies.
i’ve been thinking about this LOTS. i love the reasons you list (dysphoria, yeast infections, general discomfort, awkward tans) NOT TO MENTION how many young girls/women feel obliged to shave their pubic hair because of how modern bathing suits are cut. i mean, who hasn’t had a rash in their “bikini region” because they were too embarassed to ask how to properly remove body hair there?
i have an almost finished draft about how there is NO SUCH THING as “bathing suit season” (PEOPLE. IT’S CALLED SUMMER YOU ASSHOLES) because only women are told their bodies must be “bikini bodies” or “beach ready.” i love your analysis of how hypergendered of a space it is, because it’s definitely something i’ve felt uncomfortable about. but i’ll leave the rest of my thoughts for that article which i will post in june!
that said, i would really like to find a bikini this summer. i feel like i wear bathing suits because as much as i’ve changed a lot and gotten way more comfortable with my body over the years, (showing) my belly can still make me self-conscious.