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A Bikini!?! At YOUR Size? Really? YES!

I was quite aware the second it began. The first disapproving look came from an expected source - my mother-in-law. It's the middle of August in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and our family is on vacation at a hotel that has an outdoor pool. My husband, foster daughter, and I brought my mother-in-law with us so that she could enjoy some time away from home. What had I dared to do that was so wrong? Why, wear a bikini of course!

You see, I weigh 450 pounds and am a size 34W-36W. I have been an SSBBW for most of my life and I met my husband on what we lovingly call a "Fat Lady Dating Site." Perhaps if I were 200 or even 300 pounds lighter there would be no problem with my choice of pool attire. Perhaps if I chose to put on a full suit with a 'respectable' cover-up there would be no stare. Of course, that's not who I am! You see, I suffer from an incurable optimistic outlook and am guilty of BCWB - Being Confident While Big.

I ignored my mother-in-law, put on my shirt and shorts, and went with my husband and foster daughter out to the pool. There was a group of teenage boys on a baseball trip already in the pool playing a loud game of "Marco Polo" and a group of drinking middle aged folks lounging under an umbrella on the patio. We staked our claim to a couple of lounge chairs next to the diving board and while my kid jumped in the pool, I took off my shirt and shorts and walked to the stairs. I knew the pattern I had experienced before, and of course it had begun: the boys stopped playing their ("Marco", not realizing anything had happened, kept screaming but got no response) and the group of middle-agers stopped their conversation. The looks ran the spectrum from disgusted to awed. That's right. Some of these young men loved it!

My first thought was, "Okay. Which one will it be? Will it be the wife of the dude that is staring? Or will it be the baseball coach?" You see, inevitably there is some idiot who has to make a comment. Sometimes they will outright question me about how I have 'the nerve' to wear something like 'that' at 'my size'. More often than not, though, it is a mumble about how fat people are disgusting and shouldn't be allowed in public. You see, the problem with me is that I also suffer from Smart-Mouth-Itis which is characterized by a severe lack of a filter between my brain and mouth. Once, when I was shopping in the juniors section for an outfit for my little cousin a woman kept following me openly gawping. I finally held the dress I was looking at up to my belly and turned to her and said, "Don't you think this would look great on me? After I crap out this watermelon I will be all set!" The horrified look on her face and the fact that she ran away made me laugh for days! Laughter - another side effect of BCWB.

So who was it this time? Of course the middle-agers all started whispering to themselves, but I didn't care. I just waded into the pool and enjoyed myself. Eventually the boys started swimming over and chatting with me, much to my husband's amusement. You see, BCWB is sexy! No matter what size you are, if you are okay with you and show confidence in yourself and your body, you will be seen as sexy!

I wore that bikini to the pool every day during our vacation. The baseball boys left and were replaced by a biker gang (and that was a ton of fun!). The middle-agers were eventually replaced by families, but one thing remained - I was confident and ultimately happy!

My wish for every BBW and SSBBW is that they see themselves as beautiful, attractive, sexy, and desirable! Have you coveted that dress online? Buy it! Wear it! Thought about that bikini? Break it out and put it on! Stand tall, be confident, and people will come to you. As an SSBBW, we all have to have a thick skin and deal with a lot of stupidity, but projecting confidence can help to reduce some of those comments. Try it. Practice BCWB and you may just find that happiness follows you!

Written and submitted by: Crystal Hypes, Riner, VA

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."
~Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874
"Henry James once defined life as that predicament which precedes death, and certainly nobody owes you a debt of honor or gratitude for getting him into that predicament. But a child does owe his father a debt, if Dad, having gotten him into this peck of trouble, takes off his coat and buckles down to the job of showing his son how best to crash through it."
~Clarence Budington Kelland

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