“Everybody’s a nobody in a bikini”
“I don’t do holidays. Everybody’s a nobody in a bikini.”
Magda, “Absolutely Fabulous”
I didn’t even really consider taking a bikini on holiday, let alone wearing one. I did try one on in Next, just to see – but I figured it was really designed for someone from a different species. My anatomy didn’t really seem to … marry with the thing. Things.
So, ASDA swimsuits with a full tummy-covering seemed to be the way to go.
I was interested, as a matter of semi-scientific research, whether anyone with a similar, or indeed worse post-childbearing tummy than I have would brave the silent criticism of other sunbathers and deign to tan their stretch marks.
Always, at the back of my mind, are the words of that post-natal physiotherapist who said, sympathetically, “Oh, yes, your skin really is quite badly damaged.”
So, one flight later and I am sitting at a pool, surrounded by every shade, shape and size of European possible. Of the women, I was pretty much the only one not in a bikini. I may have been the only one.
Magda’s assertion began to ring in my ears. Was it true?
I looked and looked for anyone looking like a somebody in a bikini. Truth be told, everybody looked like somebody in a bikini.
With nothing left to the imagination, one was struck by the variety of humanity. Newly arrived Brits dazzling with paleness, looking like they were lining up to audition for a part as a semi-nude Elizabeth I; gorgeous tanned Spaniards, “inclined to embonpoint”; the young, the old, the fat, the thin… And me, with my cozzy on, with my baseball hat on to prevent scalp burn and my migraine-preventative sunglasses shielding my face from the UV rays and giving me a nice “goggle” tan look by the end of the week.
Without clothes to express themselves, the bikini wearers only had themselves to express themselves. And, with the Emperor’s new clothes being the only clothes around everybody could only really be somebody. They couldn’t be anyone else.
So – to the important question. Did anyone with a worse gut than me wear a bikini? A resounding “No”. Not even close. No one I saw had a tummy even remotely like mine, let alone as bad. I can live with that.
Maybe next year I’ll stand up for the skin-damaged amongst us and go the way of the bikini and let the “quite badly damaged” pizza dough see the light of day. Maybe some nosy wee Scot will go home and blog about it afterwards…