Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bringing (Beach) Sexy Back

Apparently Victoria’s Secret sells a Brazilian bikini, I assume to complement one’s Brazilian wax. How I know this is part of a long story that ends with me accepting the fact that I’m gonna need a lot more than an intimate wax job to pull off a string bikini.

My trusty ol’ tankini had been showing signs of age for some time. I suppose I had too, which is why this summer I decided to invest in a new swimsuit. I needed one that would show the world thirtysomething really is the new twentysomething and, unlike my current one, keep me from inadvertently exposing my top half upon emerging from churning waters (my apologies to anyone I may have offended/confused/horrified in Wrightsville Beach last summer).

My first and only trip to the mall did not go well. I gave my children (yes, they came too) strict instructions not to bring me any suit unless it was tighter than sausage casing on the bottom and padded like a Tempurpedic mattress on top. They took their mission very seriously. In less than 10 minutes my four kids had felt up the cups of every suit on every rack, shouting “Are these big enough, Mom?” from all corners of the sales floor. As stealth as they tried to be, I sensed from the glaring looks on my fellow shoppers that a quick exit was in order. We left empty-handed, though well before security closed in.

I returned home defeated but soon found assurance I would never have to shop for a swimsuit in public again. For waiting for me in my mailbox was the Victoria’s Secret Swimsuit Catalog.

And Vickie was offering a Miracle – a Miracle Suit, that is. One that would push, pull, or drag my anatomy back to its starting point using any Miratex, Ipex, or industrial-grade underwire necessary. One that would seamlessly conceal all evidence of my body’s stint as host to 36 pounds of humans and create an illusion greater than anything Doug Henning could even dream of: Cleavage. Making twin hills and a valley out of dried up flatlands.

But the best part of all was that this Miracle would be delivered to my door, where I could try it on in the privacy of my own gently-lit bathroom. No more scouring the racks only to stand barely-clad and whimpering in front of the fitting room mirror for me. In fact, with Victoria, I could confidently and without fear order any swimsuit I liked, all I had to do was look at the pictures to see what these things look like on everyday, average women.

I immediately got to work, studying each swimsuit, weighing every feature. But even after two semesters of college physics, I still couldn’t figure out how these things were going to work their magic on me. Did I need moderate coverage or a mid-rise scoop? Was the removable wireless push-up padding going to help me pass myself off as a B-cup or did I need the underwire with secured gel-packs to make that dream come true? Am I really ready for fringes and rhinestones or should I push it no further than paisley print? Retro, modern, Greek? Bi-kini, mono-kini, mar-tini?

Overwhelmed, I consulted with my husband. He seemed to show great interest in my search, in fact he couldn’t put the catalog down. “How about these?” he suggested, pointing to one swimsuit with two flotation devices busting out of the top. “What? Where are you going? She looks really happy in that one!” he called after me as I snatched my catalog back and headed to the next room.

After days of searching, envisioning -- and furiously doing crunches -- I finally ordered a few pieces; each promised to push up and hold in all that tried to slide south. Victoria had me convinced that 2008 was to be my summer of “beach sexy”; all I had to provide was a sultry smile, a setting sun, and a credit card number.

Five business days later the FedEx man was at the door with my Miracle and prophetic words, “Good luck ma’am!”

That night after dinner (which I hardly touched), when everyone was well-occupied with Guitar Hero, I snuck upstairs to my room, locked the door behind me, and carefully pulled out each piece as if it were the Shroud of Turin. Only these pieces were waterproof, brightly colored, and in no way bore the image of the face of Jesus. But I prayed over them, all the same. Then I slipped into the closet to change and strutted out to the mirror fully expecting to find a “beach sexy” Julie staring back.

Oh, but the Julie in the mirror looked nothing like the models in the catalog! I grabbed the page I’d marked thinking I must have done something wrong but found I had the thing looped, lifted, and tied just like the lady in the picture. Unlike her, though, I was grossly distorting the tiny floral design on the fabric with my assets large and small.

“How could this be happening?” I asked myself out loud through my quivering bottom lip. I tried sucking in my breath even harder, arching my back, striking pose after pose, but nothing worked. I took a closer look at the picture and had a revelation. “Wait a minute," I calculated, "it’s gonna take three trips to the plastic surgeon and a diet of wheat grass and tapeworms to look like that!" I trudged out of the bathroom and flopped down on my bed. Victoria has a secret, alright, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got it figured out.

***Editor’s Note: Last week Julie found a non-offensive “beach cute” suit at Dick’s Sporting Goods and wants to pass along Dick’s now has all suits 50% off. She also cautions that the swimsuit fitting rooms are located dangerously close to the gun and ammo counter and recommends popping that Prozac before you go.


Hilary said...


you not only have a sexy bod but a sexy super mind! You had me laughing out loud ~ not too loud because I have the sleeping 3 week old in the room next to me. Thanks for being you - you are a totally fabulous! I am looking forward to reading it every week and sharing it with all my friends.

Love you!!!


Tova Darling said...

Oo, yeah... Victoria's secret will get you like that. Even the sweaters in their catalogue never look as good on me as they do on the models.

Morgan the (Almost) Muse said...

Yeah, my mom swears by what she gets at Victoria's Secret. Me? I do not look...

Moi said...

I once ordered some slacks from the VS catalog (that looked gorgeous and sophisticated on the model) and when I got them they barely resembled the same pants at all. I can just imagine the swimsuits....
Glad you found a good one anyhow-
Cute post!