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The Swedish Bikini Team and me – a different approach to body image

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A beer commercial in the early 90s featured a visual reference to this fictitious “team.”

At about the same time DH & I were planning a cruise and I went shopping for a new bathing suit. Unlike the cartoon character Cathy, this was never a horrible experience for me. I had a flat stomach, a waist and with the super construction and discreet padding of the fashion industry I could even simulate cleavage. Well, I did have that other ‘ass’et, but I figured that it would spend most of its time hidden in the deck chair. So, I chose a tasteful “bikini.” DH approved with “uh, yeah, you look fine.”

Once onboard I put on my new suit and my cover-up and off I went to get some sun.
I plopped myself down in a lounge chair and suddenly noticed that I was surrounded by clones of the Swedish Bikini Team. They were tall and blonde and buxom and there were a whole bunch of them. Oh dear, I looked much better by myself in the dressing room.

What to do? Perhaps I should wear my cover-up?
Maybe, change to a different suit?
No, there was another option. One deck up I discovered a whole bunch of ladies, my age and even older, all in their own 2 piece suits. They were talking and playing cards.

Now this is where I belonged. Attitude is affected by whom you hang out with.

I don’t mean this to be taken as an excuse not to improve oneself. Eventually, I got serious and dropped the weight. However, I won’t chase perfection or the media’s vision of perfection either.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NASFKAB 2/25/2013 5:19AM

  great

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MJZHERE 2/24/2013 11:07AM

  We are definitely "affected by" our company. DH and I choose to spend a large portion of our week with two dynamite late 70's ladies trying to keep up with them (and they do much without us!). Wisdom can often be found in age and I would choose that wisdom over youthful appearance anytime (learning from these ladies all the time).

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DAWN14163 2/22/2013 3:31PM

    Very true - context is everything!

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COCK-ROBIN 2/21/2013 9:06PM

    That is wonderful!

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SVELTEWARRIOR 2/21/2013 6:41PM

    I totally agree with you!!!!

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CAROLCRC 2/21/2013 5:49PM

    I bought my first bikini in 20 years on a trip to greece where i found myself the only woman under age 70 in a one-piece. Context is important!

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CELLISTA1 2/21/2013 5:02PM

    Context is everything. :)

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MNNICE 2/21/2013 4:05PM

    Even when I was 10 I wasn't comfortable in a bathing suit -- just don't like my skin showing, I guess, no matter how much or how little of it there is!!

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DONNA5281 2/21/2013 12:09PM

  Great blog. Thanks for sharing!

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KJP2013 2/21/2013 11:51AM

    Great post! I like to remember that the "media's" version of perfection is done with special angles, lighting, air brushing and photoshop...and lots and lots of surgery and expensive make up. Who has the time for that? We're too busy eating right, exercising and staying healthy!
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SKINNYPOWELL1 2/21/2013 11:13AM

    emoticon

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FITMAMA_ 2/21/2013 11:07AM

    Awesome blog!!

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AUGUSTDRAGON 2/21/2013 10:06AM

    Bathing suit, you actually own a bathing suit! I haven't owned one of those in years, not much call for them up here in the mountains. If, if I had to get one it would be something comfortable and would allow me to breathe while I had it on....like a t-shirt and shorts! emoticon

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BOILHAM 2/21/2013 10:03AM

    Ah yes, those amazing 20 year old female bodies. The bad thing about them is, eventually the heads upon which they rest will, at some point speak.



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DR1939 2/21/2013 9:45AM

    emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 2/21/2013 8:49AM

    The only one I compare myself with any more is myself. Do my clothes fit the way they used to and the way I prefer?

Thanks for another insightful blog!

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NELLJONES 2/21/2013 8:26AM

    In my 60s, it's way too late to look like the gorgeous 20 something beauties out there, no matter what I wear. My belly button sags even though I am thin, and I am not interested in surgery to lift it (yes, they can do that). I spend most of my time with people my own age, not because we look alike, but because we have all left behind pretensions of youthful appearance. Like Celia, I am free of comparing myself to others. Another joy of aging.

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CELIAMINER 2/21/2013 8:15AM

    Ha, ha, Jilliewillie nailed it! Another advantage of getting older is that I don't have to give a rat's royal behind that I don't look like the airbrushed trophy wife one of my high school buds has taken on. Good for him. My DH likes me just the way I am, loose skin, "character lines," and all.

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 2/21/2013 7:26AM

    This is a little like what I call, "playing with people my own age."


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NANNABLACK 2/21/2013 7:14AM

    emoticon

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JILLIEWILLIE1 2/21/2013 7:08AM

    That is probably the best attitude. I will be adopting the "will not chase perfection or the media's version either". The one advantage of getting older, is that our eyesite is not as sharp as it was 10 years ago! Its like having photoshop vision! emoticon

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