Friday, July 16, 2010

the Skin We're In

Just as I was about to write about my observations on the topless beaches of Spain, Rick Steves goes and does the same thing :)

Here's his:

And here's mine..

Last summer, my German neighbors (Axel, Michaella, and Jill) returned from a multi-week vacation to L.A. and the surrounding areas. Upon their return, they told me tons of stories about their adventures, but the same story that repeatedly came up was about how everyone was REALLY REALLY skinny, or REALLY REALLY fat.. and Botox injections available on the beach. I nodded and agreed, but didn't really 'get it' until our beach trip to Southern Spain.

Men in speedos has become quite a regular thing, seeing as I'm at the pool 3-4 days a week. Topless women on the other hand, not so much. Of course, vacationing in Southern Spain, that changed rather quickly. There are so many topless women, it's hard not to get used to it (and it gets easier and easier not to stare.. trust me!). The kids, both boys and girls (up to 10+ years old), usually swim and play in only bathing suit bottoms, making it slightly difficult to tell whether you have a girl or boy on your hands. You can always pick out the Americans, however - the man in swim trunks, the woman in a bathing suit that has both a top and bottom, and the little girl in a two piece!

Walking down Chiclana de la Frontera beach in a swarm of speedos and boobs, Alex and I noticed (and remarked at the same time), everyone seems to be pretty average. Not too big, not too small. You don't see any one person who sticks out and makes you do a double take for being so big, for being so small, or being so fit. They're all confident enough to walk around in speedos/topless and confident enough to not give two hoots about what other people think or how they're dressed. They're comfortable. I mean hell, they're not wearing a bathing suit top - how could you NOT be comfortable?! Their comfort though, adds to the outsider's comfort, at least it did for Alex and I. We too, are just average and no longer have to be self-conscious. No one is staring at the jiggle or the dimples, they're just vacationing at the beach, relaxing, & minding their own business. That's the life.

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