BELLY Flop

female belly, bikini

©2008-2014 SuperSizeArtist

I’ve always had a “belly.”

I’m not talking about my stomach – which I realize I need to digest my food.

No, it’s my belly that has been a constant source of hardship and complaint since I was a teenager.

I cringed as I flipped through the pages of teen magazines.  And at 14, 15, 16 my confidence lowered each time I wore my 2-piece bathing suit that showed up the roundness of my belly. Never flat and taunt like the swimsuit models I envied.

I remember, clear as a soft summer day, a green polka dot 2-piece bathing suit I saw on the cover of a teen magazine. I lusted after that suit. It covered enough area that it couldn’t be called agreen polka dot bikini bikini, but it wasn’t my mother’s era of an old-fashioned 2-piece either. The green was the color of grass just watered, and the white polka dots were sharply round, the size of doughnut holes.

I searched and searched for that suit while shopping all summer long, and finally found it in the middle of August. Yes!

I tried it on and nearly cried right there in the dressing room. My bust fell out of it like I was a Madame in a brothel. It didn’t do that on the swimsuit model. And my belly was rounded, not flat, above the too-tiny suit bottom.

In other words, I looked like a chubby 15-year-old awkward girl in this suit, not a svelte, pretty teenager.

I took the suit off and left it hanging in the dressing room while trying on five other suits and finally buying a boring 1-piece navy blue tank.

At that point, I realized I would never be a cute, adorable, green-and-white-polka-dot bikini-wearing footloose and fancy-free kind of girl.

At that point, I began to discover the real me.

Round belly and all.

 

 

 

 

 

31 thoughts on “BELLY Flop

  1. Yeah, I’m sort of that stage too. Wait…I have been at that stage for about 30+ years – ever since I had my son. I give up! It’s too much work. Now, working at the college, I am walking every day again. That will help, but who wants to do endless crunchs? Not me! Funny you should post this blog now. I went past the State Fair entrance last night…saw two young things in teensy tops, shorty-shorts, both fair-haired beauties. My first thought? I wish I could see them in 30 years after they’ve had children and worries and real grown-up problems!

      • I know! I only wore a non-bikini once (okay a couple of time during one summer) and then never again. I think I have a picture to prove it but don’t care to. I was presentable because I hadn’t eaten for probably a month to look good for the picture. *kidding*

        Nice to share that we all had hang-ups. How we worried everyone else was perfect but not us. Sigh. Ah the angst of youth. ❤

  2. I remember when I was a kid…I have always had a belly also even though I was thin. Like REALLY thin I have never had a flat stomach. I could wear a size 5 to 7 when I got married and I was taking a jazz dance class all the way up to my 8th month of pregnancy. But I have not been in shape since my daughter was born and she is 27 today! We won’t even talk about now. I am totally disgusted with my weight and my appearance and started a serious diet last week (last Friday to be exact) and I lost 2.5 lbs in the first 4 days then stopped. Nothing after that and I have been perfect! Then to make matters worse I am UP .5 this morning. I am so depressed 😦
    Wait….I said I wasn’t going to talk about now! HA HA!
    Thanks for sharing. I can soooooooooooooo relate! *sigh*

  3. What is it about we women and our poor body images? I’ve never liked my body…Mom says I always thought I was “fat” and it was so frustrating to shop with me. That hasn’t changed except I wasn’t fat then (to look at old pictures) but I am definitely overweight now (at age 64). I’ve tried positive self-talk (“I love my body,” “I’m beautiful just the way I am.”). None of them quiets the other voice that says, “Who are you trying to kid?” 🙂

    Oh well, clearly I’m not alone!

    • No, you are not alone! I had several friends call and e-mail and tell me how brave I was to ‘bare all’ on this post. But really, the majority of us have gone through this bikini angst.

  4. Ahhh, a few tears just winkled (I like this word whether it exists or not) thinking of the girl in all of us (which still exists) and our quest for that perfect body. I haven’t settled at that place called Perfection yet (ha ha, notice the “yet”) but I do lovingly embrace my belly at times and feel her smooth skin, her delightful curve.

  5. Come on ladies…the rest of the world is critical enough of us! Let’s love ourselves enough to make up for all the societal images we can never or should never have to live up to! Can you say photoshop? That’s half the problem. Thanks for bringing up an important subject, Robin! Great post!

    • I know – when we were teens, we were unaware that most of those models didn’t REALLY look like that. But now, even though young girls are more aware, they still aspire for impossible bodies (ie, flat bellies), which really, come on, are just not natural!. Thanks so much for commenting here. Pam.

      • Hope my comment wasn’t seen as flippant, Pam. It was meant to inspire all the beautiful women who had commented. You see I had the opposite problem – I was so naturally skinny that when I wore a bikini my hipbones stood up like flag poles and everyone made fun of THAT! I know your laughing right now – aren’t you my friend!?!? 🙂 have a wonderful weekend. hugs ~Karen~

        • I totally appreciate your comments- each of us have body issues that others don’t understand. I never had the skinny issue but several men in my family have- you are so right. We need to just be happy with our bods! 🙂

  6. We sang that song to Celia in the car on the way to the shore yesterday! And, please, you are gorgeous – what belly?

    • Doesn’t that song bring back NJ shore memories?! We NJ girls are so loyal and sweet to each other – that’s why we stick together, still, after all these years. See you at the shore – yippee – in my (not) yellow-polka dot bikini. 🙂

  7. I wish the message that we were giving girls and women today was that being healthy, whatever you look like, is the important thing. I was afraid of the bikini as a teen for the opposite reason – I was too thin. Nothing I did on purpose, just the way I was. My sticking-out hip bones would hold a bikini bottom away from my body when I would lay down, so that was no good! I’m just starting to have the confidence to wear a two piece suit again this summer after I began a journey last year to become the healthiest me I can be. 🙂

    • Thank you for putting a different face to the age-old body image problem. So many of us feel too fat, yet some of us struggle with being too thin. All the same thing though – takes years to accept our belly, or flat rear, or brown eyes, or freckled face, and realize we are great the way we are. Loved having you visit here. THANK YOU.

  8. It is good to be accepting of oneself! I love the sense of humor you showed in your honest description of that day and the moment you came to realize bikinis weren’t for you!
    I had to lose some weight, which is a different subject, but it applies I think. When I was in my 40’s I had that stress (cortisol fat) gain, early onset menopause, juggling a teaching career in a subject I did not have a master’s, (No Child Left Behind Act deadline, 2008), so going to college or waiting tables 3-4 nights a week, after teaching all day. My husband, unemployed while we had a wonderful house, that was nearing repossession. My OB/Gyn gave me a challenge to lose 20 lbs. in one year or go on anti-cholesterol meds. The side effects are atrocious to those, so I found myself doing odd weight loss techniques. On my 40 minute drive to work, I toned my belly, butt and got a chin line back! Yeah! It was the wheelchair exercises that helped, watching the physical therapist showing elderly when I was an Activities Director in a nursing home (another period of my life). While driving I would put on rock and roll, count to 100 butt ‘crunches.’ Start a new song, lean forward, grab an imaginary apple in the air, over the steering wheel and pull my head back with my neck tucked in. It is like bobbing for apples, it is not hard to do, both hands on the wheel at all times! I got a trim belly, too! I lost another 20 lbs. the next year, then 5 lbs. since I turned 50. People don’t believe my age of 58 years. They really cannot believe the “lump” I had become while 5’2″ and nearly 160 lbs! I show pics to motivate others! Smiles, Robin

  9. I’ve always had a belly, too. Can’t even imagine what it would be like to be one of those flat-stomached girls who don’t ever jiggle. Which is exactly who my daughter has turned out to be. She’s built like her dad. She’s absolutely gorgeous and loves her body. It makes me so happy.

  10. Funny We should read this today. Just this week two of my pubs friends went for Liposuction consultations. They are all 50-plus.

    yes, my pub had those flat abs and looked great in a bikini decades ago but let it be known it was a lot of work. Lots of work. Those flat bikini abs are not the norm and not part of a healthy lifestyle. Another thing,once flat, your stomach is NEVER flat enough. It’s an illusion we’ve been sold by marketers. Look at the image of Diana, the Renaissance’s vision of beauty. She has belly flab and she is beautiful.

    You have prompted a great post idea, Pam, thank you, xo LMA

    • Thanks for the belly comments, LMA! Funny, I look back at photos of me in early 20s ‘trying’ to wear a bikini and guess what? I look fine! (as you say, back then we could do it, but it was work). We were never flat flat, but that’s pretty impossible for most. I agree, I like the Renaissance’s vision of beauty (and more importantly, their pleasure with the ‘real’ body). Let’s strive for that! 🙂

  11. Loved your post here. I just wrote about my buying a bathing suit 55 years later this week. I am 76 and trying to lose my belly and butt to help my poor knees. I think I qualify for the old folks exercise.

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