My first impression wearing a bikini? I felt so…exposed. Here’s how it happened.
I’m 25 and have never worn a bikini until March 2017.
I stopped going to the pool around 15 when puberty came on full force and I got awkward with my body. I think I wore body suits back then.
Anyway, someone killed herself in my pool so that cemented the fact that I was never going back in there.
Circa 2017, while planning to go to Bangkok, I found that the hotel has an infinity pool overlooking the city. And who doesn’t love infinity pools overlooking the city view? And everyone knows the best photos are taken when you’re IN THE POOL, no?
Excited, I decided that I had to crush life goals here, and I went ahead and got myself not one, but TWO pairs of bikinis. And I made sure they mixed and matched with each other, so then I will have FOUR ways to wear them. Economical, right?
The shopping was the fun part, then it came to executing the plan.
There I was in front of the hotel mirror trying to figure out which string ties where.
I was nervous.
I was going to go out in public in this piece of cloth. I looked at myself in a bikini and WOW it definitely looked as scanty as it felt.
My skin had never seen so much of the world before and for a while I was having second thoughts about getting out of the bathroom.
I just didn’t have faith that two thin polyester strings would be enough to hold everything together.
I felt vulnerable.
And these thoughts kept running through my head:
Are the knots tight enough? What if it comes loose and falls off? Dammit, why did I even buy the one with strings??? Oh right, it was on sale for RM10 online. Wait...is my butt crinkling like clingwrap behind me? Oh, God…
Sure, I’m used to wearing really short shorts and singlets but, somehow, a bikini feels different? Different in the sense that, I always knew I was wearing two layers of clothing. In a bikini, it feels like it’s just me and these flimsy strings against the world.
Not the best body armour.
I live in a Muslim majority country. Seeing someone in a bikini out in public spaces are extremely rare, also sometimes, inappropriate. So, the thought of wearing one never occurred to me until, of course, social media happened.
Yeah, it was a little bit social pressure that made me want to wear one. No one pressured me, I did it all to myself. I was shy and awkward about my body, always on the skinny side with stretch marks around my thighs and butt cheeks.
I saw more of my friends embracing their bodies, being proud and happy with it, and I wanted that.
Growing up, I saw images of super thin, tall models with long flowy hair. And now, the models have morphed into toned, shiny bodies still with long flowy hair.
And I don’t have that kind of body. My stomach may look flat but when I sit, I have rolls like the Michelin man.
Plus, my hair is flat near water. When I’m swimming and come up like a beached whale, I look like THIS:
But you know what?
Despite all the insecurities and overthinking, I survived and I feel a sense of accomplishment. That I've let go off one more thing holding me back.That's motivation to keep moving forward and crushing it.
I’m going to wear a bikini again, all the way into my grandma days.
Though I’m not sure if two strings would be enough until all hell breaks loose.