SWIM PANIC PART 1
By Christian Warren
Swimsuit season... it’s like a dark, thick, low slung cloud looming over me, my third Peroni and the entire ten ounce container of T.J.’s “Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds,” that I polished off, promptly before falling into bed last night. I have a pool party invite, but the LA swimsuit season is really rather season-less. Even in the dead of winter there is a chance, nay...a likelihood, that you will attend an event at which you should be either casually spilling out of a crop top or completely naked. Such occasions include: brunch at Taste on Melrose, a choreographed nip slip at Bar Lubitsch or a last minute weekend in Palm Springs. You should always be primed, ready and waxed if you’re a single woman living in Los Angeles. Swim season is a universal panic. It begins soon after your frenemies stop posting pictures of themselves cradling pumpkins in an orchard, sipping chai in front of a fire, and blushing next to what is surely a funeral arrangement of red and pink roses, given its imposing scale, crude display of ribbons, and proximity to a heart-shaped coffin of truffles. It’s arrival is signaled when the insta-definiton of “self care,” morphs from bubble baths, face masks and boats of white bean chili, to photo shoots at the peak of Runyon, taking up aerial yoga (again) and lounging poolside with your hair done, face beat and body contorted in such a manner that your waist proves you spent the winter months sipping green juice while your ass protests that you never stopped eating waffles or lunging.
It is instilled in me, to participate in the female tradition of “gearing up for swim season.” I must honor the generations of starving, kickboxing women before me. My flat stomach is a tribute to foremother of fitness, Jane Fonda. The very least I can do, is forego carbohydrates and Sweet Rose Creamery for the three to four month duration of swimsuit season. However, as I round out my twenties, and I collect experiences that are not for the once faint-hearted girl worried about her muffin top, I notice that things are different. The anxiety that seared my belly leading up to swim seasons before, is not quite so crippling. When I was teenager, I calorie counted. And I was sure not to eat anything with a lot of fiber right before a poolside lounge session, lest I bloat and the long cut down the center of my stomach I had been laboriously crunching for, be obscured. In my early twenties I found Tracy Anderson and a method of fasting akin to the diet Emily’s Blunt’s character employed in “The Devil Wears Prada.” Today, I am less concerned with that. I eat when I am hungry. I don’t put crap in my body that makes me feel badly and I workout because the endorphins ward off depression and I like feeling strong. And still, with all of this growth and genuine love for my woman self, I am making resolutions for beer and chocolate free nights (I should be able to have ONE). But of course I worry...swimsuits pinch and pull. They’re way less flattering than lingerie and no one ever expects me to strip down to my bra and panties and splay my bare body on a beach towel. That might actually be a more flattering look. Everyone looks better in lace, than spandex!