Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, Travel /

Never. It must be a French thing. I hadn’t realised that there was a bikini police, but apparently when a woman hits 35 or 40 she has to dress more conservatively. This means that we are not supposed to wear crop tops, mini skirts, or bikinis. I know that it may come to a shock to you but although I feel 25 in my head my official age says something slightly different. What can I say? Time flies. It’s part of the many unwritten rules more mature women have to follow: dress sensibly.

Seriously? Says who?

IMG_4704

My response is as follows: enough with the fashion diktats. In fact, I believe that it should be a woman’s duty to wear a bikini. Don’t get me wrong, I am not patronising anyone here. I just believe that wearing a bikini at the swimming pool or the beach is just as normal as breathing or walking. Why? Because no woman, of whatever age or shape, should be ashamed of her body. There it is. It must be my French side. I shocked a few when I posted a picture of myself with my white bikini at the pool in sunny Singapore (yes I wear bikinis. What a shocker ! And yes I am normal).

So, tell me, when did we become such prudes? I remember that most women were sunbathing topless in France when I was growing up, and nobody batted an eyelid. Some were well in their 70s or even 80s. Others had scars of an old C-section. And what was wrong with stretch marks again? Nobody cared. Your body was telling your story. Frankly, there was nothing to be ashamed of. Quite the opposite, in fact. You were showing that you were proud of your life story. What happened? Where did it all go wrong?

We have reached a different stage. Only a happy few can be now photographed in bikinis. You need to be young & sexy, and preferably not too chubby. You need to be stylish and well-groomed.

For various reasons, being fashion, religion or self-esteem, women’s body is now something to hide. Or denigrate. And I believe that’s the real shame.

As much as I respect the right for anyone to wear what he/she likes (as long as you don’t flash your private parts in public, obviously ), these new rules bother me. Have you noticed that it is always about control in general, and controlling women in particular? Personally, I have had enough. I will do as I please. Yes, I am older, and if I want to wear a bikini I will do so. Period.

I say it’s time to unleash your inner French, and wear a bikini, or whatever you like. Go for the crop top if you must. Post the pictures on social media. In fact, I am now thinking of getting a huge henna dragon tattoo on my back, and doing a photoshoot with it. It’s all those silly rules, you see. It makes me want to break them. Once again, it must be my French side.

  • MrsB @Mind over Matter

    I didn’t see any negative comments on the photo on Instagram – who was shocked by it? I started wearing bikinis once I hit 30 and now only wear a one piece when I’m swimming for a long time or doing fast intervals.

    • Let’s just say that I had to block a couple of trolls on Twitter. But hey, onwards & upwards. And I can’t believe that you are doing intervals for swimming too! You simply never stop!

  • Miss Bougie

    Go for the bikini; I know I do. My son is 25, so that says something about my age. So what? đŸ˜‰

    • Exactly! So what? Shouldn’t we be proud of being older?

  • Catherine Urbanski

    Exactly! And that is why I LOVE going to the beaches in France! Depending on my annual weight, sometimes I only wear HALF of a bikini–the bottom half. Oh and I’m 60! I love the fact that women way older than I am will wear a bikini or just a bikini bottom on the beach. People need to get over it. My body belongs to ME and nobody else. I proudly nursed three babies in public as well. I’m tired of the self-righteous and sanctimonious people who “decide” what we women should wear and what we should do. Bring me back to Cannes already!

    http://atypical60.com/2015/07/10/paris-may-be-a-good-idea-but-the-cote-dazur-is-always-a-better-one/

    • I say Bravo Catherine! Way to go. We have had to put on with what others wanted us to do for far too long!

  • Karen Sellers

    Totally in agreement here; have body, wear bikini. Or not. As you choose. All about feeling bien dans sa peau, non?

    • Exactement! Old or young, fat or skinny, seriously, who cares? When will we stop judging ourselves so harshly?

  • disqus_72GXGq6drQ

    However, children of parents may think differently…

    • Parents can be so embarrassing sometimes đŸ™‚

  • I couldn’t agree more, bikini, swimwear, any clothes shouldn’t have restrictions, it doesn’t for men so why for women, another feminist issue to add to the list. Loved this and I’ve been releasing my inner French for many years now!

    • Good for you. And for the record, we will keep doing it, right?

  • As you say, as long as you are not being immodest, wear what you want to wear. That being said, I’m not one for swimming. Never really have been. But then again, I’m also very self-concious about my own body. Especially now that I’ve gained weight over the years. I don’t think I’m being prudish, just being embarrassed. But my weight certainly tells my story without dressing down to my pants. I suffer depression and look to food for comfort.

    • Jeffrey, you need to unleash your inner French and wear shorts (and the likes). Your body tells your story, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. As for suffering from depression and looking to food for comfort, you are far from being the only one. I also think that we put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect (you know, handsome, intelligent, well-balanced…). Where does it stop? We need to be proud of what we are. Period. After all, we have come a long way. Take care.

    • I only wear one when I’m swimming in my own pool or on the private beach in Florida where my mom has a condo. When I am with other moms or at a club or the lake I don’t. Why embarrass myself and my kids, LOL. Age doesn’t agree with bikinis for me.

  • I moved to the USA at 28, before I had had children, and it immediately became apparent to me that only the very young (ie. early 20s, younger and possibly not married) wore bikinis. When I holiday in Europe (after 25 years of living in the US) I am amazed (in a good way) at the way my lot let it all hang out.

  • Pingback: Posing In My Underwear | French Yummy Mummy()