Are these what you call close encounters of the Speedo kind?

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Dear friends,
I’m very excited to finally publish this post. Why? Because it’s due time we all enjoyed a good laugh.

I confess it wasn’t easy to capture these shots. With the Daughter unable to join me this summer, I didn’t have a decoy. As a result, I got the stink eye from avid Speedo wearers on more than one occasion.

However, not one to stray from my mission, I donned a large hat and sunglasses and pretended I was photographing the Mediterranean sea.

Over, and over, and over.

Some of these shots will make you groan, others will make you cringe, and the last one will restore your faith in men’s ability to select appropriate beach wear.

In the past, earlier Speedo posts have been a bit controversial.
Hence, I want to address the issue by stating the following:

To any reader who thinks it’s his or her right to defend Speedos and the men who wear them, I say, don’t bother. Not only because this post is done in good fun, but also because you are never going to convince me there’s a reason for men to go out in public wearing something that resembles an undersized loincloth. As far as I’m concerned, the only man who’s ever been able to pull off a Speedo has been Michael Phelps, and that’s only because he wore it in a tub. So instead of going on a useless crusade, I suggest you sit back, check out the photos, and chuckle to your heart’s content.

Camouflage attire is a must when going on a Speedo mission.

Camouflage attire is a must when going on a Speedo mission.

Glasses and a hat--the perfect way to disguise you and your companion when a Speedo is in attendance.

Glasses and a hat–the perfect way to disguise you and your companion when you’re wearing a Speedo.

This man gave me the stink eye when I captured his self-made Speedo.

This man gave me the stink eye when I captured his self-made Speedo.

Add a bikini top and this man and his wife look like they're wearing twin suits.

Add a bikini top and this man and his wife look like they’re wearing twin suits.

The self-made Speedo--for those times your real Speedo is in the wash.

The self-made Speedo–for those times your real Speedo is in the wash.

I don't know what's more disturbing, the addition of a yellow swim cap or the emerging butt of the blue Speedo user.

I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the addition of a yellow swim cap or the emerging butt of the blue Speedo user.

Not even a tattoo gives this Speedo an edge.

Not even a tattoo gives this Speedo an edge.

Next up, the  Speedo and back hair combo.

Next up, the Speedo and back hair combo.

This year's hottest trend--the Speedo boy shorts.

This year’s hottest trend–the Speedo boy shorts.

A large tote bag--something to carry the board shorts he should be wearing, perhaps?

A large tote bag–something to carry the board shorts he should be wearing, perhaps?

When you manage to pry your eyes away from the six pack, I urge you to look at what stylish and appropriate beach wear looks like.

When you manage to pry your eyes away from the six pack, I urge you to look at what stylish and appropriate beach wear looks like.

When and where was your last Speedo encounter?

XOXO,

Is elegance innate?


cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo shared by Helga Weber

From across the street, I watched her.

Her red pashmina had caught my attention the moment she had stepped out of the car.

I looked on as she expertly drew the pashmina around her shoulders, transforming it into a stole.

She looked so elegant.
So sophisticated.

Just then, almost as if the universe took delight in mocking me, another beautiful woman waited for a car to pass before swiftly crossing the street.

Dressed in a beautiful black knee-length coat, with a pearl-colored scarf delicately wrapped around her neck, she resembled a graceful gazelle.

I couldn’t help noticing how the ends of her scarf floated behind her like wings.

As I slowly made my way home, I wondered how some women have the ability of making elegance seem so effortless.

Convinced that they were born with a special gene, I sought comfort in the fact they were but a lucky few.

Nevertheless, I sighed as I thought how wonderful it would be to have that look.

That look of “je ne se quois.”

That look of sophistication that says, I am beautiful and I know it.

These thoughts put me at war with my belief that all women are beautiful.

Yet a part of me conceded that while it was true that we were all beautiful, this didn’t necessarily mean that we all had the ability to exude elegance.

Determined to put this theory to the test, I called out to the Significant Other to bring down the basket where I store my scarves.

Bewildered, he looked on as I hurriedly threw scarf after scarf on the sofa until I found the one I was looking for.

Holding it up, I noticed how it sparkled against the beam of light that emanated from the reading lamp.

I smiled as I remembered my mother’s words the day she gave it to me.

“Here you go, Bella. So you can feel pretty and warm.”

I carefully wrapped it around my shoulders, trying to mimic the movements of the woman I had seen on the street earlier.

My breath caught as I spied my reflection in the glass.

There, standing in front of the Significant Other and Roxy I stood– looking like a badly wrapped burrito.

“Dare I ask what you’re doing?” I heard the Significant Other ask.

My sharp look and pursed lips indicated that this was not a good time.

Convinced it was my lack of expertise in arranging the pashmina just so, I pulled out another scarf.

This time, a luxurious cashmere little number I had bought back in the day when I didn’t have to worry about college tuitions bleeding me dry.

Twice around the neck, and voila!

I turned once again to look at my reflection.

This time it looked like I was wearing a high end neck brace.

At that point, I jammed all the scarves in the basket and instructed the Significant Other to take them away, no questions asked.

As I poured myself a cup of coffee, I thought that perhaps the look of sophistication was learned and not innate.

Perhaps these women attended a special “elegance learning” school where they were instructed in the fine art of tying scarves, faking the look of a stole, and walking in a way that prompted their scarves to come to life.

Or perhaps they all looked like badly wrapped burritos and it was my ID who was romanticizing their appearance and making them appear like unstoppable goddesses.

Calling out to the Significant Other, I stopped him midway up the stairs.

Reaching into the basket, I pulled out the pashmina.

“Don’t ask,” I hissed as I walked back to my room.

Opening the small cabinet door, I carefully placed it on top of the clothes already stored there.

It was irresponsible of me to conclude that my theory was right or wrong.

I would have to put it to the test once more.

Tomorrow.

I would try again tomorrow.

Do you think elegance is learned or something a person is born with?

Return of the Speedo Part III

This morning, as I searched in my closet for something warmer than the cardigan I’ve been wearing to walk Roxy, I realized fall has arrived with a vengeance.

The warmer, sunnier days of summer have been substituted with the colder, damper, rain-filled days of autumn.

I sighed as I remembered past summer days spent frolicking on the beach, drinking ice cold sangria, and laughing at the silly things.

It was this nostalgia that prompted me to look through my photos and relive some of those memories.

And in so doing, I discovered I still haven’t done my traditional Speedo post.

Busily scrolling through the hundreds of photographs, I quickly selected a handful to share with you.

Why?

Because it matters not whether we cringe or whoop with delight, a Speedo post possesses the ability to make us smile.

Or giggle.

Or sigh.

Or wonder what the heck these men were thinking when they put them on.

Nevertheless, this year I’ve decided that I shall not bash the Speedo.

Instead, just for fun, I would like to encourage you to express your thoughts regarding this controversial strip of cloth.

You can do this by leaving a comment or voting in the poll found at the bottom of this post.

(Hopefully, both!)

And now, without further ado, I give you men in Speedos!

First up, the “retro” Speedo.

Some men believe wearing a Speedo is the best way to bring sexy back.

I call this one the “underwear” Speedo.

If you don’t have a Speedo you can always make one.

If you don’t want to sport a homemade Speedo, you can always turn yourself into a human net.

I have to admit this one made me wonder if not all homemade Speedos are bad.

Finally, no summer would be complete without the white Speedo.

What do you think of the Speedo?

Don’t forget to check back to see the results!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Note: This post is written in a humorous vein.
For further explanation, please refer to the post titled, Should I label this post a disclaimer?

Why exactly are we calling a bikini a fatkini?

I love fashion blogs.

I know this may surprise you, considering how much I say I love pajama pants.

But the truth is, I love fashion.

Not in the “Sex in the City” kind of way, but more like in the “fashion is self expression” kind of way.

Because to me, that’s what fashion is: the ability to express who you are in a personal and meaningful way.

Reading fashion blogs allows me to envision myself dressed in the styles of the lovely ladies whose fashion sense I admire.

I’m inspired to try fashion trends like floral jeans, peplum tops, and neon colors.

And when I spot a fashion trend I don’t have the courage to try, I live vicariously through the daring women who step out in style and blog about it.

Now that summer is here, I’m delighted to see many of my favorite fashion bloggers sporting bikinis.

I am especially pleased to see many women showing off their curves, undaunted by the fact that they don’t have what society deems a “bikini ready body.”

These women, confident in their skin and convinced they are beautiful, are my heroes.

They are who I look up to as I continue on the journey to lose my insecurities and feel comfortable in the body I am in.

Gabi Gregg is one of the fashion bloggers I admire.

She has recently been making waves with a bikini post that has gone viral.

Fearless, beautiful, and self confident, she is truly a sister worth emulating.

When I first saw Gabi’s bikini post, I cheered.

But not before I swooned when I saw her gorgeous vintage inspired two piece.

For the first time in twenty one years after giving birth to the Son, I envisioned myself wearing something similar to Gabi’s two piece.

However, there was something in Gabi’s post that burst my bubble: the fact that she called her bikini a “fatkini.”

A fatkini?

Really?

I was disappointed at what appeared to be another example of labeling.

Fatkini.

The term alone implies that it’s a two piece for fat women.

It would appear that “bikini” as in, a two piece suit, seems insufficient for full figured women, and thus, it is necessary to create a more literal term.

This makes me wonder why some women feel the need to adopt terms like “fatshion,” or “fatkini.”

Is it because we find that it sets us apart from the skinny girls; that it award us our own little club or clique?

If you ask me, terms like these only serve to make a distinction between those who are fat and those who aren’t.

In her recent post, Gabi promotes a clip of her appearance on the Today show.

In the interview, she’s asked if she thinks she’s promoting obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Gabi replies, “I’m not promoting obesity or a healthy lifestyle. I think people should be aware of what they’re putting in their bodies and be more active. The truth is be happy with your bodies we have right now.”

While I found Gabi’s answer to be acceptable, I wanted to hear a different reply.

I wanted to hear her question why it is that when fat women wear a bikini, it’s seen as way to promote obesity, but when thin, emaciated women grace the covers of fashion magazines, it’s not seen as a way of promoting eating disorders.

I wanted to hear that being fat doesn’t necessarily equate being unhealthy, the same way that being thin doesn’t automatically signify being healthy.

I wanted to hear that women wearing bikinis, regardless of their size, are just that, women in bikinis.

I find that if we really want to empower women and promote self confidence, we have to lose the labels.

The word fat used to induce fear.

Anyone daring to use it was crossing the line, being offensive, being politically incorrect.

Fortunately, many fat people are battling the word’s negative stigma saying, “We’re fat and so what?”

Nevertheless, is it really necessary to label ourselves fat?

After all, it’s not like skinny people walk around saying, “My name is so and so and I’m skinny.”

The way I see it, any woman, regardless of her size or shape, should feel free to wear whatever she wants and feels comfortable in.

Without having to rename a bikini a “fatkini.”

And surely without having to affirm, “I’m a fat girl in a bikini.”

It should simply be enough to say, “I’m a woman in a bikini.”

Enough said.

How do you feel about the term “fatkini”?