The AARP Bulletin's "What I Really Know" column comes from our readers. Each month we solicit short personal essays on a selected topic and post some of our favorites in print and online. Below, reader Turiya S.A. Raheem of Capitol Heights, Md., shares what she really knows about "bathing suit season."
Most of us 50+ers don’t give a darn about how we’ll look in a bathing suit. We’re not getting anything nipped or tucked so we can wear the latest fashions. We didn’t start any special diet on New Year’s to prepare for the big beach body-fest this summer. And we’re not having anything custom-made for our huge-breasted-small-hipped (or vice versa) bodies.
We see bodies like ours all year long at our swimming or water aerobics classes. After class, we sit unashamed in the locker room, some of us completely naked, catching up on grandchildren, sharing cake recipes and discussing articles we’ve read, movies we’ve seen and the upcoming presidential election.
With so much to explore, we have no room for bathing suit dread. We’ve tried every whole-piece, two-piece, bikini and tankini on the market. We’ve finally found the skirted ones we really like, ordered two, and hope the catalog will carry it for years (otherwise, we might have to resort to a T-shirt over shorts).
What I really know is that most of us are too happy about being healthy enough to swim—in our bathing suits or anything else we darn please—to worry about how we’ll look doing it.