It must be summer again. Hot steamy days on the Mid-North coast of NSW and the beach is the place to visit. I’m blessed to live near several good ones and often take my grandkids for a swim. They very sensibly wear long-sleeved costumes that protect their skin from harmful rays, and hats and sunscreen. But oh my goodness, this old granny has seen some sights that amaze and amuse.
Firstly us oldies. Good on us going for a swim. The men in their speedos with a bit of a gut and a few surgery scars to boot. The women in practical one-piece cozzies which hold us up and in. Many in two pieces and we proudly reveal our wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, and surgery scars. After all, we are there to cool down and get some sun.
Then there are the young families with their children in sun-protected gear. Little babies sitting on the shore playing in the waves, building sandcastles, and retreating to their sun shelters when needed. It is such a beautiful sight to see on the beach as we enjoy our summer days. Avoiding the harsh heat of the sun’s noontime rays, most of us are there in the mornings and afternoons.
But it is the young women who absolutely take swimwear to the limit. Admittedly they mostly have great bodies, and bikinis look great on them, but there is this trend of the G string which means their bottoms are fully exposed. Now I’m a pretty liberal old nanna and I’ve seen some sights in my time, but being confronted with all of these bums big and small is confronting. Without body shaming, the bigger girls look like they have twin moons rising in the sand dunes as they waddle down to the sea. The slimmer ones have so little fabric on their bodies that I’m amazed it even sticks to their bodies in the surf.
There is usually a fair bit of adjusting going on replacing flimsy bits of fabric whilst me in my sensible old Kmart one-piece only need to rely on keeping my false teeth in when dunked by a wave. I also wonder about the amount of hair removal, but let’s not go there. Along with the false veranda eyelashes and beetle-browed eyebrows and botox-pumped lips, it must cost a bomb. I’m glad I don’t feel bound to comply.
Fondly I remember my first modest bikini. Granny print and quite modest to please my mum. And after all we are there to cool off, get some exercise and just enjoy our gorgeous coast line. Comfort, fun and sun protection are the key as I remind myself to just enjoy myself and to reflect that they too one day will be sensible grannies like myself.