In response to Planet Caroline's post last week about body image and swimsuits, I was thinking about my own swim suit issues.
Three summers ago a couple of my now husband's female friends from high school came up from NYC to spend the weekend with us in Providence. We went to the beach and to Waterfire, and they spent their evenings looking at old yearbooks and reminiscing about the past. A few weeks later one of the friends posted photos from her trip on Flickr and linked to them from her blog. This normally would not have been a problem. However, some of the photos were of me. At the beach. In my bikini.
They were very unflattering photos, and they triggered what felt like an involuntary, biologic reaction. Knowing that her blog readers, many of whom I knew personally, were viewing them literally brought me to tears. Tim assured me they were fine, and said that if they really bothered me that much I should just ask her to take them down. I felt too embarrassed to have her remove the photos. I'm a confident woman. I should be comfortable in my own skin. My husband loves all my soft spots, why can't I?
Time went by, and I eventually forgot about the photos. Then just a few weeks ago, this friend posted the same group of beach photos on Facebook. She tagged me in the pictures, so I was notified immediately after they went up. I was at work when I saw them, and I had that same gut-wrenching reaction. This time though, I just couldn't take it. I un-tagged myself and asked her to remove one photo in particular. I just couldn't be crying over my poochy tummy at work. She responded promptly, was sweetly understanding and didn't make me feel bitchy or pathetic.
When I read Planet Caroline's post it reminded me of this story. Then, Monday morning on the Today show, Matt Lauer interviewed a "plus-size" model and an editor at Glamour magazine concerning a paticular photo that has been getting a lot of positive attention.
You can read the Glamour article here and see a young woman apparently confident revealing her body. Little belly roll and all.
Photo: Model Lizzi Miller photographed by Glamour magazine. Photo credit: Glamour.com