Stylish Simplicity – Eres Bikini (and a short rant)

Today’s edition of Stylish Simplicity highlights the ERES bikini.

Vogue-US-June-2012-Jennifer-Lopez-Eres-Swimsuit

Work it J.Lo 

Photo. Vogue June 2012

This French brand has some of the most beautiful bathing suits on the planet… classic and well made.

I never wore a bikini until I moved to Italy.  NEVER.  I grew up seeing magazine covers constantly saying, “Get A Beach Ready Body!” or tabloid headlines that screamed, “Worst Beach Bodies!”   In Los Angeles many of my colleagues gleefully ripped celebrities to shreds, calling them fat and what not.  Celebrities who were no larger than a size 4.

What’s the point of starving oneself for the season?  What happens once the summer is over, back to bad eating habits? I blame the Puritans for this madness.

The first time I went to the beach here I was stunned by the variety of shapes, sizes, and ages wearing bikinis and Speedos.  Italians were chilling, just doing their thing.  I stood out with my very sensible one-piece for a woman of a “certain age.”

How do my friends in Italy get ready for beach season?  They put on a bathing suit and go to the beach.

I’m not sure what made me decide to take the plunge and finally buy my first bikini.  In the fitting room, I told the saleslady there wasn’t enough coverage on top. She looked at me like I had two heads.   She said that’s the way a bikini was supposed to fit.  I was skeptical.

The day came when my Eres bikini and I went out in public.  The world didn’t stop spinning.   The Italians couldn’t care less.  The only reason I stood out is because I was one of the few people of color on the beach not selling a trinket.

Now my sensible one-pieces (which actually made me look heavier) are sitting at the back of my closet.  To me function is just as important as style.  A two-piece is more practical than a one-piece.

I wish I could go back and talk to my critical younger self. I’d tell her to get a grip, just go to the darn beach, and enjoy herself.

2 comments
  1. Shania said:

    Wow! This is practically the same for me. I, too, didn’t start wearing a bikini until I came to Rome. I remember my ex- boyfriend’s mom practically making me feel so juvenile and out of place in my one piece. However, after reading this post, I’ve realized that maybe her intention was NOT for me to feel juvenile or foreign, but instead I think she wanted me to feel confident with every inch that my bikini revealed. Thanks for the enlightenment Arlene. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post.

    • Thanks Shania for reading!

      It takes a long time to undo years of “programming”. I really was one of those women who thought bikinis were only for women with “bikini ready” bodies. What the heck does that even mean?

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