Women are funny creatures, and by funny I mean at times deranged and delusional. Of course I put myself firmly in that boat because I too suffer from Nowayitis! A condition so far engrained in the female psyche that it can be quite difficult to recover from. But before you can be cured from it you must first understand what it is.
Nowayitis is when everyday women are mortified of doing certain things because they feel somehow unworthy – too old- too fat- too skinny. It came to my attention during a conversation with some girlfriends in Melbourne where we were chatting about my impending trip to Europe and how amazing a Greek summer is. I casually dropped in the fact that I needed to get some new bikinis for the trip and I swear to God my normally confident women warriors instantly cried out in horror.
“No way, would I ever wear a bikini. No way at my age. No way I’m too fat. No way I just don’t feel comfortable!”
See…NO-WAY-ITIS! A condition that had instantly reared it’s ugly head at the mere mention of the word bikini. Now let me be clear…these are women that have had children and still manage to look A-MA-ZING! But that’s not the point here. It’s how we as women are made to feel about our bodies. It’s about the constant bombardment of images on social media. We’re made to feel that unless our tummies are flat and our thighs are cellulite free then we have ZERO right to even contemplate wearing a bikini.
I too felt like this until a few years ago when I was on holidays in Europe. I was wearing my one piece bathing suit, in fact it may have been a tankini, and I was covering my legs in a sarong each time I got upon to go to the beach bar for a frappe.
While waiting for my coffee, a stunning woman at the bar wearing the most beautiful red bikini looked me up and down and said ‘girl, why on earth are you covering up in that bathing suit?’ She said it in Greek so trust me- it sounded much cuter! Was I offended? Was I shocked? Yes and yes. but then I had a good look at her and the sheer confidence that exuded from her eyes- I mean her aura was magnetic! I hadn’t even noticed her belly and voluptuous thighs. All I saw was a goddess of a woman who owned who she was and didn’t give a flying toss about how others ‘think’ she should look. I adored her confidence and curves instantly!
I smiled at her and said ‘I don’t know!’
But I did know. My belly wasn’t flat and I hated the rolls I saw each time I sat down. My thighs had no ‘gap’ and my arms were nowhere near toned. But I felt kind of stupid even thinking those thoughts cause they were so superficial.
(Now don’t get me wrong, I know my body. I know I’m not overweight. But I also know I love to eat. I’m not the girl who will have a salad at lunch so she won’t look bloated at the beach. I’m the girl with the fries and the Aperol Spritz!)
So the next day, I went to the local supermarket (yes they sell swimwear in Greek supermarkets) and bought myself a bikini. I wore it for the rest of my holidays and I owned it. I wish I could’ve seen the woman in the red bikini again so I could thank her but I never got the chance. So if you’re reading this … EFHARISTO! My tan lines are so much better thanks to you!
Women in Greece, and in fact most southern European countries have a much healthier body image. Sure the beaches are filled with stunning model types with the long limbs and flat tummies but there’s are also a whole myriad of other shapes and sizes. And you know what, I for one love it! I look at a larger woman in a bikini and I think ‘you go girl!’ Why should a two piece only be for a size 8 chick? I mean seriously, do men have to be a certain size to wear a swimsuit? Cause I’m here to tell you that’s a resounding, NO.
So here’s to celebrating who you are with zero F’s given! And here’s a photo of exactly where I want to see myself and my husband in 40 years time…rocking the two piece AND the speedo!