We live in a little beach town not far from world-renowned Cocoa Beach. It’s the home of I Dream of Jeannie, and the pubs where 1960’s astronauts would unwind after a hard day at the rocket-factory. As we were driving up world-renowned (catching a theme?) Highway A1A, an intersection was clogged with gorgeous young people in tiny bikinis, mini cut-offs and low-slung surfer shorts. Ahhh, youth!
A lone middle-aged woman was making her way across the street. She was soaked from a swim in the ocean, hair plastered. She was wearing a nice, old-fashioned bathing suit with a little skirt at the bottom. She had a bit of a suntan and she looked wonderful to my eyes. There’s one of us! I said to my husband, whose eyes were most certainly only on the traffic light at that point.
Seeing a happy, healthy 50-something woman enjoying the beautiful beach day was therapeutic to my spirits. Yes, she was out-numbered 50-to-1 by hard-bodied teens and twenty-somethings. But dammit, we not-perfect bodies have the right to be free and visible at the beach too (and everywhere else). The media would have us think we should hide ourselves, or at least our flesh, from public view after a certain magical age. We say NO. We want to catch some waves, some rays, or just sip an iced tea on the sand.
We all have to find our comfort zones at flesh-resplendent places like the beach. I would not wear a revealing bikini because I don’t feel comfortable showing that much of myself to the world. I didn’t wear one at age 22 either, come to think of it. But I surely don’t have to swim and frolic in a Burka just because I’m 50-something (unless I choose to; I’m looking at you, Nigella, rock on sister).
Life is for living and enjoying, and please, let’s not let any artificial “rules” keep us from enjoying the outdoors. Wear a swimsuit of any type you like, swim, fall asleep on your towel (do use sunscreen!), eye-ball the surfer guys if you care to. We’re Not Dead Yet.
Do you have any thoughts about over 40 women at the beach? Please share.