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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I’m sickeningly aware of the gap between my boobs right now. 

Sweat is dripping in crevices long forgotten as I trudge towards the beach. The sun glares above me and my friends as they laugh gleefully in their string bikinis.

I wear an oversized cardigan and Adidas track pants.

You’d think in the summer I’d trade my baggy clothes for shorts and tank tops, but I refuse. The more space between me and my clothes the better. The alternative – fabric hugging my skin so tight I see every little curve I want to erase – is worth suffering near hyperthermia for. 

So I continue this torturous pilgrimage to Del Playa. 

I usually avoid events like today – a beach day – for many reasons. Actually, that’s a lie. Ignoring the slight smell of seaweed, the incessant buzzing of flies, and the gradual invasion of sand granules in my flip flops, the sight of the sunlight on the waves alone is enough to make me daydream about living on the beach. I’d make this trip every day if I could, enduring the wait for the bus and the long walk to the shore. If only I could see it all from the comfort of a hoodie and sweatpants. 

I hate swimsuits. Shorts, too – anything that shoves the image of my body right to my face. I have many reasons. There’s the little things I hate about little clothes, like my thighs chafing, everything riding up, and having to give a damn about my body hair. And then there’s big things, confidence-crushing things, like the splattering of red bumps across my cleavage and the darkness under my arms, and worst of all, the pudge in my stomach, hips, thighs, everywhere. That’s enough to keep me locked up in long jackets and leggings.

It’s as if seeing my body is my personal hell, and I’d do anything to avoid its burning touch.

The funniest thing about it all is that I live in a school that hugs a shoreline, a stunning one. It’s a place filled with people sporting flip flops and thin clothes so to catch the slightest bit of breeze as a reprieve from the heat. Heck, I live in a dorm that boasts a pool that practically begs me to take a dip every time I come home from classes. 

There’s just so many more reasons not to sport cardigans in 70-degree weather.

At some point, the one I’ve chosen to wear today is strewn across a towel in the sand, lifeless and powerless just like the bottle of sunscreen lying next to it. I think I laugh so much that I forget about how my body jiggles in certain places, or the bumps on my chin, or the roughness of my elbows. Being with people I love – people that don’t give a damn about any of that – helped a lot. It was a good beach day.

I haven’t been to the beach since, though. When will I ever begin to tolerate the way I look?

I’ll leave that answer to another day.

Alexa Tan

UCSB '25

Hello! I'm Alexa, a first-year Communication major. I enjoy all things fashion and beauty-related! Music is the way to my heart; some of my favorite artists are Leehi, thuy, and Ariana Grande.
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