Tasty – A Tribute to the Floridian Flesh Parade

I need to go on a bit more about swimwear. Yes, I’m very obviously obsessed, and the 14 swimsuits in my drawer are proof. I’ve previously mentioned that since January I have been shopping for suits. Searching and searching for the perfect combo of swimwear coverage, color, cup size and class. Hey, this could be similar to the list of qualities to look for when shopping for an engagement ring and possibly just as important.


We just arrived home from a wonderful (stressful) family (just a pinch too much of them) vacation (lots of packing and unpacking and wondering where things are) in beautiful (beautiful) sunny (sunny) Florida (land of old people). You better believe I had the best of my swimwear arsenal packed and ready to go. I even stuffed my favorite suit in my carry-on, just in case. But when we arrived, what I saw on the beaches lining the fabulous Gulf of Mexico made me feel as if my many hours of online shopping for perfection to cover my imperfections were a complete and total waste.

Chubbies in bikinis! Retirees dining in their swimwear! Strings where there should have been briefs!  No modesty anywhere! Taste? What’s that? (“Four tiny triangles are covering me just fine, thank you.” Or should I say. “Thank yEwwwwww.”)  It was all hanging out. But you know what I found to be most shocking?  The more I took it in, I think I was becoming desensitized. It really, wasn’t all THAT bad. Hmmmm. Suddenly I began feeling like a nun or worse –  that I looked like a page from the Land’s End swim catalog.

Note to self: The beaches of Florida are definitely a different fashion arena than the swimming holes of suburbia.

I surprised myself with the feeling that the abundance of skin, beautiful and otherwise, was all very refreshing.  As much as I’d  typically scoff at seeing the 45 year-old neighbor-lady’s beer belling hanging out of a hot pink bikini in the chaise nest to me at the neighborhood pool,  it all seemed to be “ok” on the Florida beaches. I should tell her about. Maybe she’d consider moving.

Could it be because the natural sunlight reflecting off the water is so forgiving (unlike the fluorescent lighting created by an evil, woman-hating mad scientist)?  Or because the breathtaking ocean back-drop makes everything look better.  . . OR maybe it’s the tan? (Thank you Mary, my Floridian friend who let me in on a secret; it’s all about the tan in Florida and that means ALL YEAR ROUND for the natives.  I’m stealing her quote, “Tan and tasty. White and pasty.” My apologies to the American Dermatology Association, but I think she’s right.)

So – Do you think I’d forget to mention that my shopping adventures in Florida took me to a FAB-U-LOUS surf shop? It was there that I stumbled upon the most jaw-dropping selection of swimwear I’d ever seen. It was the anti-department store swimwear section. It was filled with a glorious selection of one and two-pieces that I’d never seen before! Not even in cyber space!!! Ahhhhhhhhh. The Vacation Gods have shined upon me! The gleam in my eye must have been undeniable, because my husband let me buy 3 new suits (or should I say “he didn’t bitch about it,” because I’m not one to ask permission to buy anything). Yes, I got 3 new suits on top of the 3 I had just bought at home in anticipation of this trip.* You know, you can’t just wait and hope that you’ll find something on your vacation, because then YOU WON’T. It won’t happen. Proven fact. This is how it happens. Sort of like when you adopt a baby and then get pregnant. (Yes, I can turn any analogy into a clothing-related one.) Back to the swimwear . . .

While shopping at the marvelous Mango Bay Beach Shop, I chose outside of the box. I went out of my swimsuit comfort zone. Not all “beaches of Brazil” out of my comfort zone, but I ignored the ripples on thighs and the squishiness of my J-Lo booty and went for it. They are cute suits, they are quality suits and they are very different from the suits my friends have to choose from at the mall. Victory!

So the shocking Floridian flesh -parade turned out to be a good thing. I got 3 new, un-suburban-mom-like swimsuits out of the experience.  Oh, and I almost forgot about all of the quality family time on our trip and lifelong memories we created. (Oops.) Most importantly, it was a much needed reminder to me that even though our bodies aren’t perfect doesn’t mean we have to cover it under a bushel –NO! We CAN let it shine. Maybe not at the community pool, but it works on the beaches of Florida where almost anything goes . . . and it does help if you’re tan and tasty.

*See: www.swimwear.com

2 Responses to “Tasty – A Tribute to the Floridian Flesh Parade”

  1. Jen July 18, 2011 at 9:01 am #

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    Yes, somehow Mary can pull it all off….

    OK Mrs Stylista – help your suburban sis find a one-piece suit that isn’t matronly. All I find are Plain Jane boring… or the patterns remind me of the ladies of the pier circa 1988…

    Please help guru of suburban style

  2. Jen July 18, 2011 at 9:05 am #

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    Oh and sculpted molded aka Bridget Bardot bra cups are a no no… take on too much water when diving in

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