Yeah, it’s four degrees outside on a regular basis, but that doesn’t stop the stores from stocking up on bathing suits for everyone who’s lucky enough to escape the cold for a warm winter getaway.
And yes, we should just dig out last year’s swimwear to pack our bags with, but the summer clothes bin is buried somewhere and the reality is, the newest styles are just way too enticing. You’re lying if you’d say you’re not drawn in by a display of bright colors and straw beach bags in the middle of winter. That’s just 100x more fun than a trip to the basement to maybe find last year’s pushup bikini top.
But here’s the thing. That new one piece style with side cut outs and a choker collar? It looks great on the model, doesn’t it? And not because she’s tall and thin, that’s not where I’m going with this. I mean yeah, OK, she is tall and thin
and way cooler than me, but anyway…
Thanks to #AerieReal, CVS and other “real beauty” campaigns, we’re finally seeing models of all shapes and sizes showing off clothes, swimwear and beauty products. And it is encouraging to an extent, but I’ve gotta say it does NOT always help the perception vs. reality issue of shopping online, especially for swimsuits.
I’m going away in a few weeks and of course, like the stereotypical millennial I am, I want the most Instagram-worthy bathing suit I can find. So, I’ll scour the internet for a few days and wait so long to pull the trigger on an order that I’ll have to cave for express shipping to make sure it arrives on time.
Guess what will happen when the suit does arrive? I’ll try it on, look at myself in the mirror from 27 different angles and think...”Hmmmm, this could work.”
ABOVE: Adorable, right? Except I would look like a half-naked wannabe housewife who accidentally burned off the lower half of her cooking apron if I wore this.
The second thing that will happen is that I’ll be sitting on a lounge chair in Palm Springs holding my hand out to get my iPhone phone back from my mom so I can check out the photos she took. And then, the mirror moment with the real-life moment will turn into an epic downfall like this:
Wait, why don’t I look like the beautiful model in the photo? Did I pick the wrong style? This bathing suit photographed so well in a professionally-lit setting with a high-quality camera and enough touch-up makeup to make even Donald Trump look attractive –I just don’t get it.
I’m supposed to look like a photogenic social media influencer as soon as I put on this magical suit, I thought! But instead:
And why? Is it because I have body image issues? No, actually. Here’s the reality about all those hot bathing suit styles you’re seeing lately, no matter how rockin’ your bod is when you’re wearing them: 99 percent of those are just impractical AF.
Who is rocking a high neck one piece in an actual beach setting? Who shows up for a day of sunbathing with a soft pink lip color and perfectly brushed bangs? Who tans and takes pics with one arm raised up like this?
I always forget when I travel for vacation that I have to be practical when I’m there, and practical means buying a one-color strapless bathing suit so you don’t come home looking like you just got hogtied and thrown in a tanning bed.
When you travel, you go for the experience, not for the pics to prove it. And no matter the shape or size of the models showing off these trends, guess what? They’re still models…and…I am not. These styles don’t always work for an actual vacation where you want to get your tan on and your drink on. If you really just go to get your Instagram on, then go for it. Wear all the straps! All the high waisted booty bottoms or cheeky thongs! Do it and sort through 187 versions of the same picture your mom took for you, then narrow it down to the 87 that didn’t have her fingerprint covering 75 percent of the camera.
So, even when I think I’m showing up poolside looking like Kourtney Kardashian,
and wish that I was, I’m actually showing up unshowered and ready to have a fun time. My mama ain’t a professional photographer and I just don’t think it’s possible to work the iPhone camera the way these gals can do in a professional photo sesh. Don’t get me wrong, though I will DEFINITELY still try so I can deceive you all. Wish me luck!
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