In addition to the issue of tattoos and piercings, a subject of much conversation was the decisions in bathing suits made by the various women there.

I came to the conclusion that bikinis are like master-planned community homes. Let me explain:

Ideally, a house is built to fit into its landscape. Windows are placed where the view is best. Architecture fits the motif of the area, if there is one. A house is built to blend in with its surroundings, such as a log cabin in a wooded area, stone in a rocky area, and maybe stucco in a dusty area.

One of the aesthetic problems with master-planned communities is that they are not built with their surroundings in mind. They are all designed in by some New York City architect or some guy in Toledo and then are exported to wherever it is that the developer sees a commercial opportunity. So a house in dusty Arizona looks like a house in swampy Louisiana looks like a house in rocky Colorado. I can understand and appreciate the amenities these houses have to offer, but I am spiritually an elite coastal snob when it comes to passing these places on the freeway because the terrain was redesigned to work with the house rather than the house fitting in to make the most of the terrain.

Some young ladies look outstanding in bikinis. Some look spectacular in 1-piece. Believe it or not some look awesome in those bathing suits with the little tutus. Some look cool wearing pants over a 1-piece. The list goes on and on. My basic point is that for every individual there is a bathing suit that brings out their best or shifts attention away from their worst.

But like the mass-production model homes, everyone seems to have shifted to a pretty standard model: the bikini. I would say less than 1 in 10 young women under the age of 30 wore a 1-piece and 7 of the ten wore a bikini. Some looked fantastic, others would have looked better in just about anything else. But by and large they went in the same direction.

There were three particularly disturbing groups wearing the more revealing outfits. The first is kids. It is apparent that there is no longer a minimum age in which a bikini is appropriate. For some of them I would have considered it less odd if they’d just worn male swim trunks they were so young. But in a way I actually find this the most understandable. Obviously they are not meant to compliment their completely non-sexual, prepubescent bodies, but they may have less control over their bladders as adults and I’d imagine that it’s a lot easier to get out of a pickle when all you have to do is pull bottoms down rather than wiggle out of a bathing suit altogether.

The second group are stick-figured girls. I honestly thought that the women carrying a bit extra weight looked better in the bikinis than did the girls without much breast and without much behind. Meanwhile, a tall, slender, and/or lanky figure can look great in a one-piece.

The third group is probably who you thought I was referring to prior to my delineation: chubby girls. I’m not talking about girls that aren’t a size 2 and I’m not even talking about young ladies that are overweight on the BMI scale. I’m talking about the women that have bona fide pot bellies or register in the “obese” category on the BMI. I really don’t like to just say “cover that up” but I’m not entirely sure what else to say.

Part of me feels a bit like a hypocrite for saying anything. My first day at the park I did not wear a shirt even though I’m not exactly thin and I have a 4-inch scar on my stomach that may be unsightly to some. I’m sure there are people there that would have preferred that I wear a shirt, but I hate the feel of wet shirt and was hoping to smooth out some unevenness of my tan.

The big thing, though, is that I didn’t particularly care what people thought of my body. To the extent that the aforementioned young ladies did not care about what other people thought, I can respect the utilitarianism of a two-piece. But by and large I did not get that impression. The fat girls in bikinis almost always had ornaments hanging from their navels and were more frequently tattooed than the average attendee in their demographic.

Even so, there is a notable double standard as far as this goes. As with most other venues of dress, men have it easy: we’re pretty much told what to wear. When it comes to bathing suits, we’re not particularly expected to wear a top. Even if a guy is overweight, I don’t hear nearly as much complaint as when a fat woman is wearing a bikini even though technically the latter has more covered up. About the worst a guy can do is inappropriately wear a speedo. That definitely would have gotten our attention, had we seen that.

So in my mind it’s sort of a stalemate. If I could honestly believe that the scantily clad heavy women weren’t trying to entice or show off, I’d probably cut more slack. But it’s a threshold that men have to go much further out of their way to fail to meet.

But to bring it back to the original point, to the extent that people are trying to look their best at such a gathering, it would seem to me that an evaluation of how the different swimsuits look would be in order. But it doesn’t seem that that’s happening. Either that or the self-evaluation women have about how they look in a bikini is exaggerated or the benefit they could have with a 1-piece, tanktoppy, or alternative style is unseen.

Category: Downtown

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4 Responses to Masterplanned Swimsuits at the Oasis

  1. Peter says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with an overweight woman wearing a bikini if she chooses. In a way it’s good that people have choices like that.

    When I walk to Penn Station after work instead of taking the subway, my usual route takes me past this woman who sunbathes in a bikini outside an apartment house. She’ll be out any day with at least partial sunshine and reasonably warm temperatures. Now, she may not be chubby like some of the girls you saw at the waterpark, but her 60th birthday (maybe even 65th) is definitely in the rearview mirror. In a strange way, however, I have to admire her courage to wear a bikini in a very public location.

  2. trumwill says:

    I used to hold that position, actually. I’m not sure exactly why my view changed, but it did at some point. My view shifted from “good for them” to “that’s just not flattering”.

    It’s not that I necessarily have it in for overweight women. Abstractly, I don’t have the same tut-tut thoughts about them naked as I do about them in bikinis. It may be a public/private thing, but I think it just has more to do with what bikinis accentuate (the stomach, the breasts, and sometimes the rear end). Bikinis look best on people with curves, which is why I’m not enthusastic if they’re lanky or hefty but like them fine on women with some (maybe 10-30 pounds, to pick a relatively arbitrary number) extra weight.

  3. Peter says:

    It’s not surprising that bikinis look best on curvy women. They were designed back in the late 1940’s/early 1950’s, at a time when the ideal female body was of a type that would be considered slightly heavy today. Even fashion models back then were much heavier than their rail-like counterparts today.

  4. trumwill says:

    Which brings me back to my point… that different suits were designed with different body types in mind. And yet people disregard that completely… boo hiss.

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