The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and the temperatures are rising. Many of us want to wear pretty, strappy dresses and cute little shorts. We want to wear sexy bathing suits to the pool and tiny bikinis to the beach.
However, if we simply allowed ourselves to be swept away by the excitement of the season, we would risk scaring the general public with parts of our naked flesh that are not up to par. As current magazines and advertisements keep reminding us, we should each be asking ourselves the question, Am I bikini ready?
Faced with this question, it seems that (as with other beauty questions) we have two choices. The first choice is to buy into it, to tell ourselves that we need to do certain things to our bodies in order to be beautiful. Around this time of year, the list is long:
1. Wax/save our legs
2. Wax/shave our pubic hair
3. Wax/shave our armpits
4. (Basically, get rid of any hair that’s not on top of our heads)
5. Exercise so that our stomachs are flat
6. Lift weights so that our arms, legs and asses are toned
7. Assess our body type so that we can buy a bathing suit that fits our type
8. For those of us who are white, we must moisturise with that tanning lotion before we go out, so we don’t blind everyone with our pale skin
I think most or all of us choose this option to some extent. I don’t think we should be condemned for that though – I think we often have to make that choice if we are going to survive, and there is nothing wrong with survival. I know that I used to do everything on the list and – if I’m being really honest – I would probably do it all again if I had the money to do so.
The second choice, if you can call it that, is to ignore or defy these demands. On a physical level, we do this by not getting our body “ready” for summer, by not shaving our legs or buying flattering outfits. On a deeper level, we have to keep reminding ourselves that we are beautiful and lovable all year round, even when we don’t do these things.
That’s the rub, though: if we choose to not get ourselves “bikini ready” it’s not really a choice, it’s a fight – and who wants to do that in warm weather?