Underneath it AllPosted: July 16, 2010
Remember the bikini that helped me celebrate my body for the first time in years?
Yesterday, it saw me through another major image breakthrough.
The little ones were scheduled for free swim at a tennis club, and, little mermaid that I am, I hustled them off of the bus and into the water. In the 100 degree heat, nothing sounded more inviting than splashing around in the icy water for the next several hours.
Even modestly tucked underneath a tank and board shorts, the bikini had me beaming with confidence. I walked past my adorable coworker who was on lifeguard duty with no reservations about my appearance – I felt mesmerizingly curvy and athletically toned, and as I held struggling swimmers above the water and showed them how to backstroke, I was proud of the strength in my body and what it was capable of.
As amazing as that was, I managed to go a step further.
I dunked my head underwater. I dove from the diving boards, participated in splash wars, and turned somersaults until I was too dizzy to stand straight. My curls were pulled straight, my makeup was washed off, and I was left with just me – no makeup, no sunglasses, nothing to hide behind – just me.
For a split second, I felt naked. No concealer to camouflage dark circles, no mascara coating my lashes, no gloss to plump up my lips; just me, stringy hair, and imperfect skin.
No sooner did I whisk the water away from my face that I realized there was nothing wrong with that. It was so freeing to just be the girl who wasn’t stressing over being perfect. That, right there, in and of itself, made me feel like a knockout.
I could have spent all afternoon perched on the steps, shying away from the water lest it wash away the cosmetics I had carefully applied earlier that morning. I could have turned down the invitations to join in games of volleyball or Marco Polo to keep my hair done and my makeup perfect. Instead, I got in and in Kailey‘s priceless terminology, I did the damn thang.
I almost convinced myself that the swimsuit was magic. The reality, though, is that the magic is within me – it’s within every woman, waiting to be channeled.
We don’t need top hats, we don’t need rabbits…all we need is to realize that who we are right here in this moment is more than adequate. The sheer joy of accepting what and who we are is truly unrivaled.