Cherries by the pool
I talk a lot about how much I love Ottawa (and I do); it’s my hometown, it’s where my heart lives. But if we’re talking about my soul, where I go when I close my eyes and dream of paradise, we’re talking about Hawai’i. Specifically the North Store of Oahu.
I was lucky enough to get to go to Hawai’i for nine days last winter, on the trip of a lifetime with eight of my closest friends. We rented a house, we ate an obnoxious amount of poke, we drank and watched Teen Wolf (what, that’s not something you do on vacation?) and, obviously, we hung out on the beach and swam.
I remember when we first booked the trip, I had this whole diet plan. I was going to lose weight. I was going to exercise, eat right and drop the fat around my belly so I’d look gorgeous in that bikini. As the trip got closer, it became apparent that not only was I never going to have what I’d previously thought of as a ‘bikini body’, I didn’t want one.
I spent a lot of time on the fatkini tag on tumblr, psyching myself up. The women on there were gorgeous. Powerful, beautiful and confident. So, holding onto that, I tried on my first bikini at Old Navy, in about October, three months before the trip. It was a cute off white string bikini with cherries, and I loved it on the hanger.
Surprisingly enough, I also loved it on me.
I have no idea why we were making sharkfins, but don’t we look cute in our bikinis!
I proceeded to buy four more bikinis. The cherry one turned into a floral one, a sport one, one mismatched set and, one of my favourites, a pink leopard print one, that we called a ‘display only’ bikini, since one rogue wave was going to wipe it right off me.
And when we got to Hawai’i, the first thing I did was strip down and put one of those bikinis. I let people take my picture, I forgot about how I might look, I enjoyed being exactly where I was in that moment, and looking back at pictures of me now, I definitely don’t have a single regret. Ok, maybe one. But it’s only that the trip wasn’t longer, and that I didn’t get to wear my bikini for another week straight.
I’ve worn that first cherry bikini (my gateway bikini?) a few times since then (including, memorably, once to a work pool party) and every time I wear it I’m gratified by how I feel wearing it. I feel gorgeous, sexy. I feel like I’m defying something prescribed by society, like I’m going against that ‘bikini body’ theory.
Because anyone can have a bikini body; just buy a bikini and put it on.
Waves and babes.