It’s taken me a year and a half, but I finally tried on bra-sized bikinis yesterday. Interestingly, I loved them in the mirror, but I’m aghast at them in the photos. Maybe this is one case where a digital camera is NOT a busty woman’s best friend when it comes to shopping.

My chest looks amazing in every one of them. I’m even kind of okay with my tummy. However, I’m struggling with my upper arms. When did they get that big, and why don’t swimming suits come with sleeves? If there were a shrug for swimsuits, I’d buy it. (Did you notice how much of my arm I cropped out of yesterday’s picture?)

Before I share the images with you, I need to deal with the disconnect between what I prefer to imagine that I look like and what I actually look like. That’s because the air-brushed images that we love to hate are no longer my standard for what I should look like. Instead, I have a new unattainable standard:  amazing-looking bloggers in their twenties who know how to pose for the camera. I need to get okay with not meeting this standard.

It may not be too difficult–the only reason I’m thinking about swimsuits right now is because of an upcoming vacation. On the beach. With a pool. For two weeks. Every happy swimming suit memory that I have is surfacing as I prepare for this trip. When I wear a swimming suit, my hair is stringy and wet, and I don’t have any makeup on. If I’m not going to worry about my hair and face, why should I care about my big arms?

Of course I’d like to look back at pictures of this vacation and think, “Wow! Did I ever look good in that swimsuit!” But more than anything, I want to look at the photos and think, “Wow! Did we ever have fun! We sure were carefree! We sure laughed a lot.”


Since I plan to be carefree at the beach the last two weeks of June, would you like to send me some of your happy swimsuit stories to share on Hourglassy while I’m away? It can be anything swimsuit-related that makes you smile–a recent purchase (pics and/or link please), a game you used to play in the pool, a favorite vacation, a challenge that you overcame. Basically, I’m looking for anything that reminds us to associate our swimming suits with self-abandon rather than self-consciousness. If you have anything to share, please email it to me at darlene [at] hourglassy [dot] com with “swimsuit” in the subject line. Also let me know what name you’d like me to use and if you have a blog you’d like me to link to.


This is my best swimming suit memory of all time. I found the suit in a department store in Thailand before we went to Malaysia when I was in 8th grade. We were living in the Philippines then, and my parents saved two years worth of vacation money to take my brother and me to the places we used to vacation in when we lived in Vietnam.

favorite big bust swimsuit

When you’re in the deep end, who really cares what you’re wearing?

big bust suits when having fun

The pool where my dad taught me how to swim when I was five (the Cercle Sportif in Saigon).

carefree swimming no big bust

Junior year in high school with my two best friends. My green suit was a Roxanne, the first cup-sized suit I’d ever found. I think this may have been a C. The friend with her head on my lap had borrowed my second-favorite suit of all time. It was purple with flowers up the middle.