May 12, 2008

Bikini Update: Baby Got Back to Square One

Last weekend I went back to the mall for its last two leads: Land’s End suits at Sears, and Macy’s. Hoo, boy.

Macy’s... wow. Just, wow. Our Macy’s is relatively new; a short while ago it was a Jacobson’s (that I never went into),and I was all geeked to have an anchor store in common with the coasts... riiight up to when I actually went in it. The sun hats are $35. The beach cover-ups are $74, and they’re cotton gauze. So right away I knew this would be a long shot. I will say this for Macy’s: they have tankini options for full-figured women, something I have not seen in life. And not, like, one—several racks. With underwires and secure stitching. Woe that they do not make these for petites; short, large breasted women need support, too.

Sears had a fair selection, and was much more reasonably-priced (if predictably heavy on the catch-22 suits that would fit only the teens that should not be wearing them). Everything was also on sale, so I could rationalize a ridiculously cute beach towel and might even go back for a $14 sun hat (the only—and cheapest—hat to leap the hurdle of not being plug ugly). Unfortunately, after all the recommendations, good press and high hopes, Land’s End had not the suit for me. I can see the appeal; there is much better coverage than the well-placed fig leaves of VS and the ilk, and the adjustable bottoms do let you wear them a few different ways.


And this is a particular ‘but,’ and the opposite of a ‘big’ but, because it’s MY butt. My b-u-t-t. I do not have one. As those who’ve seen it can attest, I was shafted in the buttocks department,* thanks to my mother’s golden chromosomes not goal-checking my father’s flat hiney-ed DNA at the crucial moment. It is a constant source of consternation; I can get over the wide hips, the larger ta-tas and the long monkey toes that are my genetic legacy—but the total lack of ass makes it very hard to shop for my lower half. Buying jeans is difficult; imagine trying to find a pair of panties to walk around in, in public—panties impossibly hoisted on sticks, only the occasional sea breeze filling them out in the rear.

Before I get a lot of flak for this, 'Poor Sarah, she hasn’t got enough fat to stretch ‘round the back,' please understand. I have things I don’t like about my body, and so do you. So does everyone. This is not about stretch marks or teacher arms, which I also have, and which I have no problem showing on the beach in the unattainable Holy Grail of Two-Pieces. This is about structure. This is about ballast. The thing holding your bottoms to your form is as important as the shoulders holding your top on. So ladies, you lucky, lucky ladies with ample seating areas; please take Sir Mix-a-lot to heart. It’s hot. It’s attractive. I am jealous. Celebrate that bounty. While you’re poking your backsides with distaste and contemplating a dinner of carrots, I’m in the next dressing room with a deployed parachute hanging off my ass.

The assumptions retailers make about a woman’s body, while both misguided and legion, cannot even be held responsible; their viable tops defy science and any sort of real-life application; the bottom, well… they merely assume you have one. Compounding my woes is the further assumption that, if you need a larger pair of bottoms, the extra coverage needed is for the back bumper and not, say, a pair of hips given to the tradition of populating the old country. I can’t say whether this is logical, but I can say the lack of ‘less-butt briefs’ does not leave much room—or rather too much—for speculation.

Which brings me to the Mix & Match bottoms. Typically women have three choices, or variations thereof: briefs, boy shorts, or low rise.** A note to the ass-less: no amount of low-rising in the front (where it is not needed, thanks to the medieval-Venus-inspired goddess belly) can make this phenomenon look proportionate, or even genetically correct. Boy shorts are hit-or-miss; either the band is too wide and clubs your shapely curves into a cube, or the “shorts” ramp literal up to eleven and death-grab your crotch, forcing all fat to goosh, hippo-like, into the thighs. Which you haven’t shaved.

As the search goes on, I feel less like I’m shopping and more like I’m chipping away at the possibilities list. Next up: Marshall’s, which is where I found my first bikini, and Kohl’s, on the basis that I’ve never been in one, and therefore they may hold the key to everything.

* And I refuse to restructure that last sentence, because I’m interested to see what sort of hits I get.
** Not counting ‘thong’ and ‘skirt,’ which are obviously stupid.


Jackie said...

Dude, aren't you always supposedly saying that I have this amazing fashion sense? then why not listen to me and log onto J Crew's swimfinder and find yo'self a bikini. They have rocktastic suits. There is the caveat that you have to order them on-line, but you can return them if they don't fit. I've been getting my bathing suits from them since college, and have always been pleased.

Also, I've gotta say that, while the parachute is hanging off of your ass, some of us stand there pulling the panties/bikini bottoms up (because crack is whack) only to find ourselves then exposed in the lower butt region. Pull down, pull up, repeat, to no avail. The needed fabric will not appear.
Larger sizes are also larger all over, and ridiculously hang off of one's (also wide hips). I'd also like to point out that lower body fat is harder to get rid of, so those of us "blessed" with it, as you say, have to work that much harder to convince our bodies to let it go, that, no, we will not be needing it to help breastfeed our babies during the upcoming famine

Sarah Beedoo said...

AJ: I have a stack of catalogues that I will Sharpie to death when it comes down to virtual shopping; I just want to exhaust in-store shopping first. J-Crew's looked okay, but the colors were boring, which, at this point, may be the least of my worries. Whatever; I can applique.

I'm not sorry for your ample, promiscuous peeking butt cheeks. I'm just not. Especially since my famine fat is located in my stomachular region, which is only hot to hairy pagans and environmentalists. Nothing sexier than a first-trimester poonch.

Anonymous said...

Did I read that correctly, you've never been to Kohl's?! How have you survived thus far in life? I'd be more than willing to go with you as I'm in search of a Spring jacket. There's a brand new Kohl's that's opened up a mere 7 miles from my house. Jillian would have to come with, naturally. Let me know if you're up for it!

Sarah Beedoo said...

G: Dood, I am so there. I'll call you when I know when; might have more (grar grrrar) house-shopping to do this weekend. Early Sat?