A body positive guest post about a plus size red bathing suit by blogger Sarah Sapora of SarahPlusLife.
“Sarah… its… so… RED!” One of my dearest friends is holding in her hands a bright, fire truck-hued, cherry apple-colored, plus size red bathing suit.
“So?” I question. She smiles at me…nervously.
“I mean, it’s not even burgundy or something—its just… RED!” She goes on and I raise my eyebrows at her. “You’re going to wear this?” she asks. And I love her. I do. And I know she doesn’t mean anything bad by asking but…yes, this overtly voluptuously large plus size woman is going to wear a fire truck / cherry apple red bathing suit and not give it a single damn second thought about it.
“Yup!” I answer, grabbing the plus size bathing suit from her hand and going back to my Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee (almond milk, no sweetener please) which tastes pretty amazing.
“I don’t think I could…” she admits sheepishly. And I look at my friend, this beautiful, 36-year-old woman with the naturally beautiful body of a woman who runs almost daily and wears, at most, a size 8. “It’s just bright. No,” she shakes her head, “I don’t think I could.” And at that moment I am reminded of the universal possibility – that, regardless of shape or size or age, all women can easily be afraid to stand out…
When we are children, our irreverence is encouraged. They tell us to color outside the lines and we’re rewarded for being imaginative and fearless and brave. When we pair polka dot socks with a floral dress they call us independent, or when we wear a Super Girl outfit to play dates or, dress up as a Hot Dog on Princess Day at school, they call us bold.
Somewhere along the path of growing up… this changes. We find ourselves pulled towards the concept of adapting and fitting in. Playing up the commonalities between ourselves and our peers. Wearing matching scrunchies and shopping in the same stores as our besties. And, in turn, maybe we feel an unspoken pressure to adjust the wattage of our inner light bulb to be acceptable and pleasing for all… We want so desperately to be seen and acknowledged yet society tells us to praise others while muting ourselves. Picture the teenage girl who has the audacity to like herself yet is teased by her friends and labeled as “vain” and “stuck up” by those uncomfortable with her love of self.
Fast forward, fifteen years later. With millions of messages bombarding in on us time and time and time again… to be “acceptable” we need to be thinner or taller or have perkier breasts. We need to be tanner or younger or wear this face cream or use that mascara. We need to be toner or tighter or anything other than we are… how dare we have the audacity to * gasp * feel comfortable standing out!
Cue the cliché tale of the Woman Who Wears Red. Fearless. Brazen. Undefined by societal pressure. Comfortable in her body and in the power of her sexuality. Breaking the rules. Straying from the pack. The ultimate in power… a woman unbothered by the opinion of others.
And so I can see why she pauses. My dear, beautiful and kind friend. Because every force in our lives pounds down on us to BE a certain way. Live inside the lines. Blend in. Step into formation. When she holds that fire truck / cherry red suit in her hands she holds the ultimate statement. This bathing suit does not give a damn. The woman wearing this plus size bathing suit lives for herself. She stands tall, she stands proud. She doesn’t need to shrink into your definition of her to feel accepted because she accepts herself. That’s scary. I can see that.
And maybe, just maybe, not all of us are ready for that. We’re not ready to be rule breakers and statement makers and big, bright shining light bulbs radiating wattage so intense you have to wear sunglasses to see in its rays. There’s comfort in the quiet.
But me, on the other hand… I’m ready.
Want to shop is plus size red bathing suit for yourself? Find the Isabella Tankini Bathing Suit online here.