I had intended to call this post, “Seeing Beyond the Cellulite”, but given the response to my titles as of late, I thought the chosen headline would be more compelling. (Marketing 101.)
I used to look like this in a swimsuit.
I will now attempt to read your mind: Look at missus posting pics of herself in a swimsuit. What a WHORE.
Stop looking at it then, SLUT. See, it’s like a car accident; you just can’t tear your eyes away. And honey, there’s junk in the trunk, trust me. I’ve always had a glorious booty. But now… it’s just not that bootiful. Not without fabric wrapped tautly around it, deceptively squishing it all together.
Now don’t get me wrong, the lovely lady landscape has not changed that much, even after gaining 40 pounds and producing an 8-pound baby. “You haven’t changed THAT much, babe,” says the husband, confirming that I have indeed changed. Asshole.
Where’d the other 32 pounds of baby bubble wrap go? I’ll attribute three or four pounds to the placenta, which Andrew took a picture of and showed me just moments after giving birth. Thanks for that, honey. I had endured the most unimaginable pain to produce a pillow sham made of raw caribou meat. So proud.
Most of the chubs evaporated with my breast milk; Max sucked it out of me like a rabid wolverine pup. And the rest of it – just a handful – went to that place where my ass says hello to my thighs, which we’ll call Hammityville. (People who dare to tread there are terrorized by the ghost of a scary, sabre-toothed pig.)
Now all you meatier mamas out there, don’t be hatin’. Even when you’re a small person, the shift in certain anatomical areas can be traumatic. And that’s just what this is: a shift. Some places inward, some places outward, all places downward. In a nutshell, it’s not the hard body of my 23-year-old self. It’s an increasingly mushy mass of lard clinging to an exhausted, hunched-over skeleton. A big stick of butter that’s been left on the counter to ever so slowly melt away into a wet, yellow blob.
Now I realize it’s not a great time to buy a swimsuit, but that’s exactly what I was shopping for this week. Summer is done like dinner, but I intend to keep Max swimming regularly at the pool. I am so not a Mom Jeans kinda girl (despite the matronly flats I wear because I think heels are somewhat ridiculous and also dangerous), but I need a swimsuit that’s a little more mother and a little less stripper. Going to the Aquarena in December in a hot pink push-up bikini top and a string bikini bottom with a palm tree on the butt just seems a little silly. I once hoped to never say these words, but… I need a one-piece. 🙁
So I skip off to Sportchek to try on swimsuits. (I’m a sporty thirty-something; I don’t need to shop for a swimsuit at freakin’ Tan Jay.) As expected, there were slim pickins: ironic wording when you’re looking for something that will make you look slim, which none of these do. Who designed these things – Gumby’s mom? Where do I shove my goods? Into my belly button? Shag it. I had some woolies in my butt crack, so I used the butt floss to at least solve one of my problems. (And no, I did not try the suits with the rushing. It hasn’t come to that… yet.)
Hmm, this one’s not so bad, I think. Amazing how Lycra™ can flatten out your tummy…
…and thrust your excess ass-flab out into the world!
It reminds me of when Nan used to bake bread. She’d mix it and knead it and leave it to rise in a big bowl on the table, covered in a dishcloth. Many hours later the dough would be spilling out over the sides of the bowl. That bowl couldn’t contain her expanding buns of sticky dough. Likewise, this swimsuit couldn’t contain my gelatinous buns of juicy ginger heinie. The white meat poofed out from around the elastic a little too offensively for my liking. If the elastic was a little less, well, elasticy, all would be well. But something’s gotta give. There’s not enough fabric here to make a fu*ken coaster.
And for some added perspective, the lighting in this change room was made to help you look tanned, and this mirror was clearly bought from a circus liquidation sale – one of those skinny trick mirrors. (Soon enough I’ll be seeing the bearded lady staring back at me.) If not for this trickery, I’d probably be in here slitting my wrists with my car keys.
And Sportchek would never sell a swimsuit. When I went into the change room, I joked to the young male attendant. “I’ll probably be coming out of here very angry.”
“You all do,” he replied.
Clearly, none of us is ever completely satisfied. We are idiots and can’t even help it.
My problem: I need a medium to large bottom, and a small top. One-piece suits just don’t come that way. Otherwise they’d look this like:
They do not.
I have junk in the trunk, and nothing on the roof rack. What little was up on the roof has migrated to the trunk. My husband can’t even fit his golf clubs back there now. Not even his putter. Not even his balls.
Come to think of it, I’ve always wondered why my husband, a self-declared “breast man”, ever chose yours truly of bitty boobs and ample badonkadonk. (Oh come on you know I chose him but you get the point.)
So I buy the one-piece that fits my top half, because I can’t have my wobbly, deflated water balloons slipping out of my armpit holes.
Which means the bottom half of the suit is a bit too small, and Nan’s Loaf is assaulting the world around it from all sides.
Here is my theory. I am 33.5. This is nature’s way of preparing me for what is to come. A little bit of cellulite here, an extra fold of skin there. Am I thrilled about it? Hells no. But I accept it, because hey, it could be worse. (And it will be. Check back in 10 years.)
Besides, I have distractingly fabulous hair on my side. Sure my posterior is bigger, but I can make my HAIR bigger to divert the eyes. If I combed my hair our with a brush, you’d mistake me for one of the Pyramids of Egypt. And who wants to look at someone’s ass when there’s a wonder of the world before their very eyes? Exactly.
I imagine myself in 30 or 40 years, old and crusty and decrepit. But from behind and fully-clothed, all you see is my flowing, golden hair. Onlookers expect a young Celtic dame to be on the other side of that magical mane. But I whirl around – in slow motion, of course – and reveal the face of…
Mama. And then they throw me from the train.
Maybe I’ll let the hair go grey to soften the blow. But I don’t know… long, flowing GREY hair is more like a smoke trail than an asset.
So yeah, it’s a gradual decline into fugliness, and thank the baby Jesus. Think about it. If you were a red-hot sex goddess, went to bed, and woke up looking like Bea Arthur, you’d die of sheer horror. This way, we accept our downward spiral a bit at a time, and nobody needs to kill themselves.
Just let it go, ladies. Do what you can to stay the best you can be, but don’t be bat-shit crazy about it. Is it really that important to you to look like you’re 21 in a two-piece? (Especially those of you in my neck of the woods where summer is but a fleeting glimpse and one swimsuit could last a lifetime.) Perfection is unattainable, especially as we get older (which we all are getting, by the way, no matter how much Oil of Olay you’re bathing in.) Those 21-year-olds are just a couple steps behind us; we all face the same fate, we’re just on different timelines. And you think celebrities look like that naturally? They work their butts off because their careers depend on it. (And they have chefs who make lettuce taste like pizza.) Imagine that pressure though. The one day they’re spotted looking a little thick, they’re on the front page of the National Enquirer with a starburst that says, “Celebrities who are actually Hippos!” No, thanks.
How many 70-year-old women are mega hot? Exactly. It’s just not possible. Okay, maybe it is for Raquel Welch; have you seen that b*tch?
Wow. And she’s ginger – holla! She looks good right? “For 70.” She used to wear a fur bikini. Not no mo. I saw her on Oprah last year. She looked amazing, but I am pretty sure she was wearing a head-to-toe Spanx bodysuit.
So listen up all you 20-30-40-50 even 60 year olds out there. All you mothers out there whose bodies will never, ever be quite the same. Take care of your body for the sake of your health and your self-esteem, but take your flaws in stride. And be glad you actually have a body at all. (Some of us, for example, are dead.)
And for God sake don’t let it keep you from living. Work with what you got. Wear that dress. Shake that ass. GET IN THE GOD DAMN POOL. Because guess what – in 10 or 20 years when things are significantly worse for wear, you will look back at your former self and say “damn, I wasn’t so bad.” You will hate yourself even more, not because of how you look now but because of what a self-loathing douchebag you were back then.
Don’t let the cellulite go to your head. Better to have it on your sweet ass.