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I have just been through the annual pilgrimage of torture and
humiliation known as buying a bathing suit. When I was a child in the
1940s, the bathing suit for a woman with a mature figure was designed
for a woman with a mature figure -- boned, trussed and reinforced, not
so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift and
they did a good job.

Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a
figure carved from a potato chip. The mature woman has a choice --
she can either front up at the maternity department and try on a floral
suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus who escaped
from Disney's Fantasia - or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill
department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a
designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and
entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first
thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch
material. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe,
by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which give the added
bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you are
protected from shark attacks.

The reason for this is that any shark taking a swipe at your passing
midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder
strap in place, I gasped in horror -- my bosom had disappeared!
Eventually, I found one bosom cowering under my left armpit. It took a
while to find the other.

At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib. The problem is
that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is meant to
wear her bosom spread across her chest like a speed hump.

I realigned my speed hump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full
view assessment. The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately, it
only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me
oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom, and sides. I looked like a lump
of playdough wearing undersized cling wrap. As I tried to work out where
all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped
her head through the curtains, "Oh There you are!" she said, admiring
the bathing suit...I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else
she had to show me.

I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking
tap e, and a floral two piece which gave the appearance of an oversized
napkin in a serviette ring. I struggled into a pair of leopard skin
bathers with ragged frill and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane
pregnant with triplets and having a rough day. I tried on a black number
with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning. I tried on a
bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax
my eyebrows to wear them.

Finally, I found a suit that fit...a two piece affair with shorts style
bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge
friendly, so I bought it.

When I got home, I read the label which said "Material may become
transparent in water." I'm determined to wear it anyway.....I'll just
have to learn to do the breaststroke in the sand.

And, summer is here........

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that was hilarious. When you were in the dressing room, did you yell "Boom!" LOL!

Vintage 40's-50's swimsuits are still available, hon. In good condition too. - look on ebay and On etsy, you can even get a nice reproduction custom made for your body.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

Very amusing, thanks for the delightful share

It gave me a hearty chuckle! In ‘her’ days fast forwarding to the 50’s, a young man’s dream girl looked like Annette Funicello (RIP)…in a bathing suit. My friends were the nerdiest of the nerds and graduating from a one piece to a two piece bathing suit and then to a bikini didn’t come easily. You have no idea of the identity crisis such a seemingly natural evolution in swimwear posed! A boyfriend who manufactured skateboards and owned a surf board and bikini shop in Santa Monica who was also a competitive surfer (young retired millionaire last time I saw him), an anomalous a match as there ever was in my mid 20’s, eventually remade me in the surfer image having succumbed to culture shock when he saw me in my dated two piece suit; my beach going days were thereafter forever transformed. The moral of this story is there is more to bathing suits than first meets the eye, and if you ask, it is likely every woman has her own favorite story to tell.

ConstitutionHugger's picture

I love you

Enjoy the beach this summer!


This is all too relatable, thank you for the funny reminder. Growing up in the 1950s in a beach town in southern California, I remember feeling we had to have a tan before setting foot on the beach to get a tan. Does anyone remember the dreaded QT which was suppose to give you the look of a tan only it turned your skin orange for weeks and was impossible to get rid of no matter how hard you scrubbed?

I have some great pictures of my grandmother and her friends at the same beach in Newport during their older years and their swimsuits were truly hideous but they look like they were having such a wonderful time... good for them! I wish everyone the best of summer stocked with lots of happy memories. Thanks for the fun post emalvini.

You're Welcome Gibson!

God forbid if you were not tanned before you went to Santa Cruz. My baby sister and I would get burned so bad we both shivered for about three days.

Ouch! I still can remember the pain of my youth..


Wetsuits - designer wetsuits

I see a market for them.

hilarious.....good times..I went swimming in Long Beach..

@ the bluff on Redondo yesterday and it was life affirming. The water was warm. The air was 80ish around 6ish. The only caveat was when my wife thought she saw a hair band (scrunchie) in the surf. Just short of grabbing it,to dispose of in a proper receptacle, she noticed it was a broken condom tangled w/hair. What is your favorite Californian swim beach? I like Laguna Beach and Malibu in front of the Adamson House (although it's illegal as it's surfing only ).I wonder where the bst swim beach is in Dana Point.

Aaron Russo, Nikola Tesla, Ron Paul, I'm jus' sayin'

Oh Yea! I Had A Beautiful Lady Friend in Redondo Beach!

She was the only platinum blonde I ever dated.. She must be worth a fortune these days..


Twin Creeks State Beach - Santa Cruz, CA.

Lots of eye-candy for those of us that are single foot-loose and fancy-free..

Don't get any ideas single women. I am a confirmed bachelor

My Favorite dining place - "The Crows Nest"


wax your eyebrows!



Are you trying to tell us that you are not hot?

She's a REAL woman.


deacon's picture


is a real woman?

Leave an indelible mark on all of those that you meet.
OH... have fun day :)