Swimwear Choices and Tanning

Woman wearing a bathing suit
Summertime 101
Summertime, when living is easy and everyone wants to plan for a holiday. For some, the beach and sand and surf are the ingredients for a marvelous time, while others are thinking poolside and a good book with a tall cool drink mean true luxury, and still more think wild rides and lots of sightseeing make for a great trip. The fact is that no matter what makes up your ideal summer, there are some basics you need to remember for looking your best – wherever you go.
Let’s take a look at some of the summer’s most popular “problem areas” and see if we can advice folks to do things the Right way. The areas we’re going to look at are Bathing suits and Sun Tans.
Poolside and the Beach – The Bathing Suit Dilemma
Whenever you think of pools and beaches you think swimming, which means swimsuits. For some women, choosing a swimsuit is about as much fun as going to the dentist for a root canal, except most women don’t fear anyone in the dentist’s office will point and laugh at them. Most women have something about their bodies that they are uncomfortable with, and fortunately there are styles available to help almost any woman feel better about her swimwear choices.
Broad Hips/Pear Shaped body – Women with broad hips or a pear shape should look for a two-piece with a halter-style top and scoop-waist bottoms. The halter top will offer more support to the breasts, while the curved waistline of the bottoms will distract the eye from focusing on the width of the hips. As an alternative, pear shaped women can choose a solid-color one piece suit in a dark shade and add a light-color blouse bunched and tied into a knot between the belly button and the breasts, creating a balancing bulk in the upper torso.
Narrow, Boyish Hips or Overdeveloped Top – While many women complain of their hips being too big, some women have an opposite problem: they have upper halves that far outweigh their lowers. The hips can be made to appear wider and more balanced by selecting a swimsuit with extra detailing along the bottoms. This could be swags of braiding outlining the hipline, or the selection of a suit that includes a gathered skirt. Both of these elements will add a needed horizontal focus to the look and balance the upper and lower proportions.
With an over-developed bosom, there is the added impetus to take some of the focus away from the upper half of the body. This can be accomplished by making sure to choose tops that are substantial enough to support the larger bosoms. A midriff-style top or even a full-cup halter in a darker color than the bottoms will help to conceal and balance an over-abundant top half.
Heavy Thighs – Women who have heavier thighs often think that they need to cover them up with sarongs and skirting, but in fact, a one-piece suit with high-cut leg holes will help to create the illusion of longer thighs and draw attention to the narrowness of the waist.
The Tummy – Some women want to mask a softer tummy. This may be because they are a little pudgy, or have recently given birth or have just let their bodies get out of shape. This is often the single biggest reason some women won’t wear a swimsuit. However, by selecting a swimsuit lined with a control-panel or one with ruching along the seams to create shirring and gathers along the midsection, you can mask the appearance of the tummy area and feel confident that no one will be noticing that your six-pack looks more like a 2-liter.
With all this advice, there are some women who won’t be willing to take the risk of wearing a swimsuit. My advice is to follow your comfort zone. If you don’t want to bare any more than necessary, you can still look smart at the poolside in pair of pressed linen shorts and a light blouse.
The Cult of the Sun, When Worship Turns Ugly
Another facet of summertime enjoyment is the chance to spend hours outside in the warm bright sunshine. But for most of us, more than a little sun can be a bad thing in the long term. Yet, some women work year-round to maintain their “tan” in an effort to keep what they feel is a “healthy glow”, little knowing that their ‘healthy glow’ can lead to ‘skin damage’ and possible cancer risks.
My cousin and her best friend are two prime examples of avid sun worshippers. From the time they were in junior high school they spent hours each day during the summer “sun bathing” in an effort to get a golden tan. Once they even used vegetable oil used for cooking as tanning oil. The result was that they got horribly burned, although the redness faded into a dark brown coloring after a few days.
Today, some twenty years later, particularly in the area of her chest/bosom, my cousin has that crinkled, shiny look to her skin that one associates with well-worn leather products. She also has countless freckles and sunspots on her chest which she has to keep an eye on for fear that any one of them could be cancerous (or could become that way). Even without the cancer concerns, the skin is obviously damaged as it no longer has the resiliency, plump firmness and dewy texture it should have.
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