This post was guest written by curvy style maven, Melissa Walker Horn AKA Suger Coat It.
Let me tell you about my favourite season of the whole year, summer! My love of all things summer started young. My mother, always the queen of the beach saw to it. She was a curvy woman with a vast collection of coordinated swimwear and sarongs.
They (she and Dad) would rent a house at the beach that we would escape to every weekend. A dual life for farm kids who would run free on an acreage during the week and trade the dirt in for sand to become suburban beach bums on the weekend. During the summer break, we would be there for almost three months straight while our parents came and went from their businesses keeping things running.
How can you not love summer when it looks like that, right?
Childhood memories filled with sandy beach pics, poolside grins and adventures on the back of Dad's bike. We played and laughed and tanned. I never once saw my mother wear anything more extreme than a sheer oversized shirt over her togs. EVER. It was the beach.
She certainly didn’t care to cover up her curvy size AU18/20 body.
An attitude, try as I may, hasn't always stuck during my life as a curvy woman. Being a teenager can suck. No matter how confident your parents have raised you to be. I've blogged about my mother's disbelief when I asked for boardshorts to wear over my swimmers in summer around the age of 12. She couldn't understand why.
“How will you swim in these?” she asked. Knee length, men’s short were all that I could find in an AU14/16 at the time. “There’s so much material? Won’t you find it hard to swim?” she persisted. I didn’t elaborate; I just want them, I said. And she bought me those board shorts even though she thought they were ridiculous.
Bless the heart of that proud curvy woman.
Like I said, my mother was something special. She didn't have a complicated relationship with her body image and dieting (hello Low Carb – it was the 90s, remember). And she was pretty great at reminding me that I was born this way and that life is to be lived. Summer is to be enjoyed, especially if you can make it last all year long.
As the years passed, I grew into the woman I am now and ditched the boardshorts. I swim in the ocean (pool, river, wherever) without pants, just as my mother would have done. Strong hard strokes as I pull myself through the waves. I float with the sun in my face. Musing about life and being caught in the tumble of it all.
It’s not about the scraps of material we wear during summer.
It’s about the feeling. I know now that I'll never trade the feeling I get being free in the water (or anywhere else) in exchange for hiding my body. I allow the summer to happen and dress for comfort, whether that means slipping on some anti-chafing shorts under my maxi dress or working from home in soft bras and leggings as pants. My body is not an obstacle to living my life or enjoying my summer. It's the vehicle in which I do it. My mother knew that.
Let's all take a leaf out of her book, shall we?