Tips For Combating Summertime Swimsuit Insanity

With April winding down in the city of Chicago, we are left with roughly a month until the weather is officially hot enough to go out in crop tops and sit in the grass without your mother fearing you will get frostbite and freeze your kidneys (one word: Ukrainians). This also signals the start of a massive flood of ridiculous magazine articles in waiting rooms and salons drowning you in tips for how to control your stomach, accentuate your ass, and hide your boobs, but not too much (it will look like your chest is a loaf of bread stretching from armpit to armpit) in one or two pieces of fabric. Swimsuit season is returning to the fashion world and goofy trendy tips are here to make you miserable. Fear not, collegiettes, for I am not here to tell you how to fix your fruit basket figure. (Who the hell came up with “pear” and “apple” to describe women’s bodies anyways? I thought we were humans, not things that grew on trees!) Instead I shall present information that is actually constructive and useful for summertime fun.

1. Think about your favorite t shirt. For whatever reason, there’s a shirt inside your dresser that is THE shirt. The lucky one. The good one. It has a sweet soul that supports your messy casual chic look and never gives a “I have not brushed my hair in 2 days” vibe. Think about its colors and patterns, and see if you can find a suit in a similar color. You feel good in it for a reason, collegiettes. For me, it’s my environmental club t shirt from Earth Day 2011. It still fits. It isn’t destroyed. It’s a trooper just like me. It’s a cloudy purple-y blue color with a lil green frog, and I have found that different shades and tints of these colors look nice on me. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, so stick with your fave color pallettes.

2. Screw anyone who is trying to dictate to you what kind of top to wear in regards to your bust size. You know your boobs better than anyone else, and whatever style you feel will be most comfortable while moving and grooving and safe from accidently flashing everyone is the style you should pick. Bronzer exists, so if lots of straps make you feel secure, get strappy and happy. Same applies to bottoms; whether they are high waisted or super cheeky, if you feel confident they fit well, they compliment your top’s design nicely, and they won't float away in Lake Michigan, then you're all set.

3. If you are a member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, please do not feel obligated to buy a top with excessive padding. That stuff soaks up water like a sponge, and the second you lie down or cross your arms, squish and there goes a gallon of pool water. If someone will not leave you alone, try handing them this card:

4. If you have a scar somewhere on your body, it is your decision and your decision only as to whether fabric should cover it or not. Scars are not ugly, but sometimes people’s attitudes are. Skin varies throughout the body, and sometimes tanning will help reduce the appearance, while other times the possibility of that patch of skin getting sunburnt is not worth the risk. For myself personally, I have a little scar on my chest from a minor surgical procedure. Time and sun has blended it to match the rest of me very well, and a little powder makes it wholly invisible. My doc gave me the okay to do this once he believed it was fully healed. I have never burned my neck and chest area in order to speed up the skin tanning scar hiding process, and I implore you all to never try something like that. Do not let anyone give you a headache about whether “you need to embrace your flaws and show the whole world because covering blemishes means you are insecure” or “that looks weird no one wants to see that." No. You know how to care for your own body, you know what makes you comfortable. You can choose a swimsuit or outfit that covers it, or one that does not. Your call.

5. You do not need to have flawlessly shaved legs and or arms every single day to step outside. My blonde Wookie legs have never been the reason why I missed my serve at volleyball camp or fell down while rollerblading. That was my own damn fault, and buying an overpriced pink tax razor would not have given me any protection from clumsiness.

6. If your doctor is not concerned about your figure and dietary habits, neither should anyone else be. If a medical professional does happen to be concerned with your current weight, however, that does not mean you are banned from summertime. In fact, popular sunshine hobbies where swimsuit attire can be worn, like swimming and cycling, are great ways to build muscle and get into a healthy weight range, so someone telling you not to go to the pool or ride your bicycle because of their distaste for whatever size on the spectrum you are is technically counterproductive. Plus, Target, every college gal’s favorite store, carries anything from a size XS to a size XXXL, so joke’s on them. The Magical Target Goddess says otherwise so you do not need the approval of peasants.


7. While you are at Target, BUY A BOTTLE OR TWO OF SUN BLOCK. It will literally give you life because melanoma is an incredibly deadly disease, and you need to live a long, lovely life so you can grow old and be everyone’s favorite sassy senior citizen.