To those who have never soothed rough feelings by reaching into your wallet, I ask you: Have you ever worn a Brazilian bathing suit?
I DIDN'T THINK SO.
I can guess what you're thinking and I have to tell you:
1. I am not, and have never been, petite. I ran screaming out of my mother's birth canal at 10 pounds and for a long time after that remained a foot taller and several pounds heavier than most of my girlfriends.
I'm a muscular 5'10" tall with size ten feet and a size gigantic head. My mom, when she has seen photos of me in a group, has said, 'God, your head is so much bigger than everyone else's!' (You have, mom, don't even try to deny it.)
When I'm running around or riding my bike a lot and trying to eat all healthy and not drink too much, people tell me I look skinny, but I'll still weigh 150 lbs. Usually, I'm 160 or more.
2. Though I profess great joy over tropical weather and the thatched palapa coco loco lifestyle, I usually live in places like New York and Seattle and Chicago and Ohio, so my bikini investments have been minimal. I've bought a few in the last 14 years.
The last one was on sale at Target and featured boy short bottoms because I didn't know if anyone else should have to handle more display of my booty than those shorts offered.
3. Once, many years ago in Ecuador, I grabbed a chunk of my butt and the boy shorts covering it, and said to my boyfriend, 'More meat to love,' and he responded in classic direct Ecuadorian style, 'That's not meat, baby, that's fat.'
Which made me laugh. Because he wasn't insulting me, he was being honest. Fine, more fat to love. Most of the time, I'm at peace with my body. It's strong and moves around well. It's just not teeny tiny.
Still, I was nervous over Leila's suggestion to go Brazilian. 'These suits are different,' she said, 'You'll see.' Unless she meant DIFFERENT like people would suddenly mistake me for Gisele Bundchen on Ipanema Beach, I was skeptical.
But then I tried one on. Optical illusion? Trick mirrors? No, my junk really does look way cuter hanging out of this thing.