Off Season

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Cover-Up: Anthropologie Aracari Mesh Cover-Up
 
 
"Eyes wide open. Naked as we came." - Iron and Wine
 
It's almost Fall, and I'm pretty sure I'm suppose to be posting pictures of myself in sweaters, tights, boots, and the like, even though there is barely a chill in the air. Yet, here I am in a swimsuit. You see, mid-September is my favorite time to go to the beach. The temperature is comfortable, the sun is less powerful, and, most importantly, there is less people. I know, I know. I'm from Eastern North Carolina, so I'm suppose to live to go to the beach every weekend during the Summer. However, I'm not your typical Eastern North Carolinian. Hell, I'm not your typical person.
 
The beach makes me very uncomfortable. Well, more accurately, the beach is great, it's the people that make me uncomfortable. It's just so weird to me how we are expected to cover up in clothes when we go out in society except when we go to this one special place where there is sand and water. Yes, I know we are technically still covered, but I see a lot of things I don't see on a everyday basis when I go to the beach. People's crotches, butt cracks, boobs, and fat rolls are hanging out or, in some cases, on full display, and then there's the scary thought of putting my own body out there. When it comes to the beach set, hard and tan bodies are the ideal, and my body is about as far from that as you can get. I've got some pretty old school shit going on with my soft curves and pasty white skin. It usually takes me about 30 minutes before I get the nerve to take my cover-up off and then another hour before I will actually get up and walk around in my swimsuit. It's just so stressful for me, and it's the reason why I don't go to the beach that often.
 
I know this sounds funny, but my fear of naked people is something that I'm really trying to work on. I'm not exactly sure where it came from. I mean, it's not like I'm conservative in other aspects of my life. I think it was a combination of things. My mom has never been a fan of naked people. If she sees even a hint of cleavage, she freaks out and starts pulling up my top, and God forbid, if we have to be subjected to a complete stranger's cleavage. She bitches about how disturb she was by it for hours afterwards. Her definition of the beach is "that sinful place where everybody goes and gets naked." So, yeah, there's that. Then, there's my general lack of self-confidence which makes me think that every woman's body is better than mine. This leads to me comparing myself and not measuring up and then it just goes downhill from there. It's all very exhausting, and it has trained me to just cover up and avoid naked people at all cost.
 
I don't think this is a healthy way to be, so I'm trying to push myself out of my comfort zone. I'm not going to lie, though, it's hard. When I'm watching TV shows like Boardwalk Empire and boobies come up on the screen, my first inclination is to look away or fast forward through the scene, but these days I'm forcing myself to just look at the boobies. I know how silly this sounds, but I'm telling you, I'm fucked up when it comes to naked people. My reaction to naked men is even worse. They usually just make me laugh hysterically.
 
This is my second time posting photos of myself in a swimsuit on the blog, and I think that this time was even more difficult than the last. I've sat on this post for awhile, terrified to hit publish. For one thing, I've put on some weight. Also, I have on a one piece this time which adds even more to my "mom in a swimsuit" mystique. Looking at these pictures, I find myself wanting Jerry to put them in Photoshop and thin out my waist, erase all the cellulite, and just make me better. However, that would be defeating the purpose. The purpose is to love and accept myself just the way I am. My daughter is always telling me, "You're beautiful, mommy, just the way you are." It's time I start believing it.

Iron Wine - Naked As We Came

 

CONVERSATION

25 comments:

  1. You might notice the extra pounds, but all I'm seeing here is growth, and not the physical kind. I've noticed a real shift in your blog over the last few months, Bonnie. Your writing is that of someone who is maturing.

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  2. I love the one of you splashing under the pier. You look great in your swimsuit, which is nice, but the smile seems so totally authentic — I think it's one of the best pictures I've ever seen of you.

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  3. You look like a beautiful mermaid!

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  4. You look gorgeous! The swimsuit is really nice and I love the color on you! There is nothing more peaceful than breathing fresh air from the ocean! Embrace yourself! You deserve it!

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  5. Completely agree!

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  6. A beautiful, real woman is what I see! I agree with your daughter! :) Bravo for posting these and for getting your butt to the beach! That is one of my most favorite places to be, mostly because of all the reasons you are reluctant to go there. I love how freeing it is. I don't worry at all about what I look like when I'm at the beach. Nobody does. I think the ocean has a way of making those worries seem so insignificant.


    I'll be there again in June! Can't wait!

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  7. Hi Bonnie, I can totally relate to you about being body conscious at beach. You look great in these pictures, especially the one under the pier!

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  8. that shot under the pier is incredible- wow! Print that picture and hold on to that moment/memory because it looks like one worth remembering.

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  9. Bonnie, these pictures are wonderful. You have a beautiful body and being out in nature, in the spectacular light on the beach just brings it out more. Jerry is an excellent photographer as well to be able to capture the light. On the side note, I am size 00, and despite being happy in my own body, I've always wished to have curves like yours. When I look at you I see a real woman's body, "the way nature intended" if there is such a thing. Enjoy your beauty!

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  10. The pic under the pier is FABULOUS! Like someone else said your smile is so genuine, but pic 2... not so much! I have some of the exact same feelings about nudity (not sure where they came from) and feel more comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts at the beach, so you are definitely not alone.
    Just curious- what NC beach is your favorite to visit?

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  11. i love the photos and your swimsuit

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  12. You look beautiful! The green looks amazing on you and I agree with the person who likes the picture of you splashing under the pier. It looks like a picture straight out of a catalogue. You really do look beautiful!

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  13. I heartily agree with bzzzzgirl, Dee and Katie - and I too think that photo of you under the pier is the best one ever. Love it!

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  14. the picture of you under the pier is GORGEOUS. like it looks like it should be in a magazine. love it!!!!!!!!!!!

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  15. You look seriously gorgeous in these pictures and I LOVE the one of you under the pier. Seriously.

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  16. Pictures 5, 7 and 8 are so beautiful :)!

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  17. These are great photos- especially the one under the pier. You look real- and fantastic.

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  18. I have never commented, but I have been reading for a while, and I think the picture of you under the pier is frame-worthy. Enjoy your body now, someday you'll wish you did.

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  19. What I have learned as I got older is that we are always so self-critical in the moment. But when we look back at photos from the past, we usually think of how much better we looked in the photos than we gave ourselves credit for at the time. You look great, the swimsuit is nice and yes, your legs are fantastic. If we compare ourselves to models or celebrities, yes, we will always hate ourselves for not matching up. So do what I do, just don't. Focus on the good and don't even think about the bad. I have gotten so good at it that I only realize I had gained weight after I lose it and people point out I lost weight. I don't even focus on that because then I will focus on wanting the attention when I am skinnier. I love myself with love handles or none. Still me.

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  20. You look beautiful at the beach: happy to be there, happy to see Jerry behind the lens, happy to soak in that beautiful place! That suit flatters you in style and color and this is a wonderful set of pictures of you! Thank you for sharing. Now we should all go to the beach!

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  21. I think you look beautiful in these pictures!

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  22. Thanks for sharing such fearless and beautiful photos. The light is perfect so as composition. My favourite is #5, playful and fun. :)

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  23. These are beautiful pictures! Don't you EVER worry...YOu are such a beautiful person...inside and outside...

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  24. My goodness! The pic of you splashing is gorgeous! Not staged and totally happy and natural. More!!!

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