Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Opposite of Tanning

Today was beach day. I'm not a huge fan of the beach, as I burn pretty easily. I'm more a walk-along-the-water-in-cuffed-jeans-and-look-pensive sort of girl, but in the name of this project I felt obligated to put some time into bona fide beach-going.

I read through all of the bathing suit advice in this month's issue. Most of it was about minimizing body flaws. I feel pretty comfortable in a bathing suit, though. My biggest complaint is probably that my skin is the same color as the sand, so often I imagine myself looking like a floating bikini. Seventeen didn't address this issue, so I just took bathing suit inspiration from a photo of Annalynne McCord that the magazine featured in their "Look Amazing in Your Swimsuit" section. Like her, I wore a ruffled top and frilly bottom. Unlike her, I refused to pose for a photo like I was in the midst of a spontaneous frolic.

I felt pretty comfortable in my bathing suit. If I am going to fuss about my weight, which I assume to be most people's issue with bathing suit season, I tend to do it more in winter clothes. Something about wearing a bathing suit doesn't really bother me, because I feel less constricted when I wear one. In winter clothes, I feel like it is difficult to find clothes that don't pull or stretch or sag uncomfortably across various parts of my body. A bikini merely covers the necessary parts, so I can avoid this issue altogether. I realize this is a matter of perspective, though. I am fairly petite, so I have the privilege of bypassing most typical bathing suit hang-ups.

Because it is May, and I'm in New Jersey, I didn't take any time to swim in the still-freezing ocean. I spent most of my time reading and sleeping on the beach under an umbrella. I finally got the chance to finish reading The Purity Myth by Feministing editor Jessica Valenti. I found it to be a little bit extremist, but definitely well-written, and definitely worth reading, if only for the sake of gaining some perspective into the role of virginity in shaping America's girls and women.

Seventeen suggested that I take some beach time to flirt with boys on adjacent blankets, but the beach I go to is mostly middle-aged Jewish men, so there weren't really any opportunities to apply this advice. After about two hours I went home, in fear of getting sunburned.

Tonight I am doing a little more shopping, then some dinner with my parents, then going all alone to see Conan O'Brein's "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour." The opportunity to see this show came to me at the last minute, and I wasn't going to turn it down just because nobody wanted to go with me. Not sure if this makes me lame or awesome, but I'm excited either way.