Memo to swimsuit shops: 4 things you need to know.

The bikini season


The season is upon us ladies and gents. It’s soon time to do something that annually strikes fear into my heart. GO SHOPPING FOR BATHERS.  If I believed in emoticons there would be a feckin’ big sad face right about now.

Back when I was smooth, bendy, tight and fit, bathers shopping was a breeze. I’d pick the smallest  piece of Lycra I could find and get it in three different colours.

One year I even did A WHITE G-STRING bikini complete with little belt and triangle top. Those days seem like nothing but a hazy coconut scented memory.

NOW? Things need lifting, tucking, smoothing and flattening. Basically I need someone with an industrial engineering degree to put together a miracle suit for me. I know I’m not alone. I have surveyed both my male and female friends and all of them dread bathers shopping. My best friend has to diet, tan, wax and pluck in preparation for the shopping day.

I thought I’d put together a 4 point plan for the retail outlets who sell these hateful items (bathers) to try and make it a bit easier on those of us who have the odd “problem area” (I am making a large circling motion from my neck down to my knees – just so you get the visual.)

1. Sales Assistants – For me, the ultimate bathers sales assistant is a strapping, handsome, matronly woman. Someone with a kind face, strong calves and a motherly touch. Think Mrs Doubtfire meets Madge from Neighbours meets Edna Turnblad. (I AM aware that at least 2 of these women are actually men playing women however they best display the attributes I desire.) What I don’t want is some 17 year old stick insect not taking the lifting and creating of my cleavage as seriously as she should.

2. Lighting Lighting Lighting – So many, so VERY MANY get this wrong. NO-ONE looks good underneath fluorescent lights, same goes for down lights and up lights. As far as I am concerned, change rooms should come with a dimmer switch. No! Even better- let’s just change by candle light and if possible smear some Vaseline on the mirror…..


3. Mirror – The narrower the better.

Em Rusciano

4. The change-room – Please avoid hanging a poster of  a Brazilian glamazon wearing the bikini I’m trying on. I don’t want to know how I SHOULD look, you’d be better off rounding up a few burly blokes and popping THEM in the bathers I’m trying on. Then I can feel slightly superior to the posters on the walls rather than worrying that my arse cheeks don’t look like two ripe melons fighting their way out of a small hibiscus printed tent.

On a side note – I saw a horrifying thing at a jeans shop this week. BUM CAM… Dear sweet baby Jesus in heaven. I BET MY LIFE a man came up with that one. I felt violated when I realised what it all entailed. I already worry about the bits of me I CAN see why do we need to open up the Pandora’s box of the parts I can’t?

Women and men of all shapes and sizes have issues with themselves in bathers. Yes, I am 58kgs and a size 8/10 but I have had 2 children and was once an elite athlete. My shassy ‘aint what she once was. If you were all my daughters I’d say – don’t worry about how you look, get something that you love and stop thinking about the things you can’t control. But you’re not, are you. You cannot be dazzled by my sage parenting words.

So to you all I say – get something that covers up just enough that you can leave the house and make sure you find one good thing to highlight.

To the boys – White boardies never work out well for anyone. Go for a mid thigh boardie if you’re proud of your pins and VERY FEW can get away with the European speedo….

Good luck my friends.

E x

Em Rusciano is the host of Mamamia Today on Austereo (which you should be tuning into at 3pm every weekday on the Today Network) and regularly appears on Network Ten’s ’The Project’. You should follow her on Twitter here and take a look at her website here. You can listen to podcasts of Mamamia today here.

 How do you shop for swimwear? Do you find it a negative experience?