I was shopping online for a new two piece tankini. The majority of the suits that I liked were in the Maternity swimwear section. Which is why I was shopping online and not in the store. You see, I liked that the Maternity suits were designed to fall below the belly button. Whereas regular tankinis, seem to fall above that point. Since having children, I don’t tend to flash my belly around as much, the stretch marks are silvery now, but still visible in the sun. Now, every woman knows that they only thing worse than shopping for maternity clothing, is shopping for them when you AREN”T pregnant. Every one will talk to you and assume you are. They aren’t trying to insult you… it is just a happy coincidence. I want to go out and swim and play in the water without becoming selfconscious and still maintaining some form of style! Maternity suits have come a really long way from this:

Typical swimwear of the 90's and 00's, ugh

This poor lady is really working it, but not much can help this suit.

Which got me to thinking… Why do stores even have separate sections? If certain body types require special accommodations, such as a maternity suit that will accommodate an expanding belly or mastectomy suits that come equipped with padding and prosthetics or pockets for prosthetics, why are they grouped on their own? Why aren’t swimsuits created in styles with options for either mastectomy or maternity?

When I was pregnant and searching for a suit to work out in, the only suits available to me were these hideous overly cutesy things that seemed to want to put my belly on a platform of fecundity worship rather than support the belly and ever burgeoning bosom. I had no problem with people that wanted to cutesify their pregnancies, but I really just wanted to work out and not seem to welcome and condone strangers rubbing my Buddha belly for luck. Why wasn’t that option available? I ended up waering a super huge speedo which did have room for my belly, but also sagged flapped around the back end as I walked. I didn’t go and workout/swim laps as much as I wanted to, for fear of frightening the little old men who congregated at the pool at the same time.

My friend has undergone a mastectomy and would really like to walk along and flaunt her healthy (in remission) body. The problem being that the majority of suits created for women who have undergone lumpectomies or mastectomies are aimed at an older and more reserved generation.

Here is some of what she had to choose from:

Not really made for extreme sports now is this?

This suit screams old lady... which is fine if you are an old lady!

Yup... nice low leg cut with granny frills!  Super hot.

Yup... nice low leg cut with granny frills! Super hot.

We spent the weekend sewing a super soft bamboo pocket into a commercial triangle top so that she could dress like the strong young survivor she is. But should she have to “kit bash” a mainstream suit? Why is she made to feel like an outsider when it could appeal to a larger market as well? After all, no woman has breasts that are perfectly symmetrical. Pockets in the top would allow us to add or remove padding to even out what nature gave us. Like wise, it would send the message that all women need to hear. That it doesn’t matter what your body looks like. What matters is, that you get out there and enjoy the weather and feel confident and beautiful… I know she will be this summer! Womens swimwear needs to do a much better job of catering to women’s needs; ALL women’s needs.

Why can’t the suits be exhibited with a list of the options available such as: Plus Size, Maternity, Mastectomy, Slimming, Sun Blocking etc? That way they wouldn’t be sending the insulting message that only old people get breast cancer and all soon to be mothers are giggling women who dropped their style aesthetic at the OBGYNs door.

end of rant… sorry folks, carry on!