Bathing Suit Season

© elizabeth patch, all rights reserved

Summer Pleasures


Riding a bike…

Picnics and hikes…

The backyard and the beach…

Swinging in a hammock full of daydreams…

No bikini required!

© Elizabeth Patch, all rights reserved, from “More to Love”

I was hopefully, happily unpacking
a few Spring things this week.
Short-sleeve tops! Capris! Sandals!
Light colors! Sun dresses!
And then I found my bathing suit…

Suddenly, thoughts of the dreaded
“bathing suit season”
struck a brief moment of fear in my heart.

Instead of feeling happy that the snow is finally melting and the days are getting longer,
instead of being thrilled to put away my thick woolen socks and dark winter colors,
my inner critic began listing all my “flaws”:
I’m flabby,
I have varicose veins,
I have lumpy thighs,
look at all that sun damage,
I hate my…

Can it really be true that the only thing that matters during Spring and Summer
is what you might look like in a bikini?

Here’s another idea:
Instead of dreading “bathing suit season”
let’s embrace the newly warming season of Spring
and look forward to the wonderful experiences of Summer!

Let’s paint our toenails, and remember the pleasure of walking barefoot on the lawn.

Let’s find something cute & comfortable to swim in, and anticipate the heaven of floating in a lake.

Let’s welcome the blue skies and butterflies, and simply enjoy being alive !

Let’s stop believing that the only thing that matters is our appearance,
and understand that the only thing that really matters is our experience.

Whether we choose to cover it all up or show it all off,
we can all choose to live, really live, with the body we have.
Let’s have a good time in the sunshine!

Summer is coming: no bikini required!

PS: I’m not saying that you shouldn’t wear a bikini if you want to! Wear it with sassy pride girlfriend!

You might like this related post about bathing suits and body image:
Too Fat for Summer?

41 comments to Bathing Suit Season

  • This illustration was also featured at Adios Barbie paired with author Samantha Dunn’s article on her fear of wearing a bathing suit in public.

  • Just for fun, I occasionally make a cover illustration for a fake woman’s magazine. Here’s my Special Summer Panic issue, dedicated to the mixed messages of looking good in skimpy clothes and lots of recipes for gooey desserts.

  • [...] her artwork and inspirational messages. Here are a few of my favorites posts: A Healthy Attitude, Bathing Suit Season and Dream [...]

  • [...] “Bathing Suit Season” & “How to Survive the Holidays!” from Elizabeth Patch’s More to Love SketchBook [...]

  • Val

    The only time I ever wore a bikini was when I was 15 and at a cousins house who had a pool and they loaned me one. I felt so self conscious! And I had a figure then!
    I’m perfectly fine to enjoy the pool in one of my suits with a skirt thingy…
    Love your blog idea!

  • [...] “Bathing Suit Season” & “How to Survive the Holidays!” from Elizabeth Patch’s More to Love SketchBook [...]

  • [...] It has been a glorious week in Vermont — summer is on its way!  Does the thought strike fear into your heart?  Elizabeth Patch talks about silencing her inner critic’s thoughts about the upcoming bathing suit season. [...]

  • Amen! It’s more important what we DO in the swimsuit than what we look like in it!. I’m looking forward to hopping on my motorcycle and getting out away from the city this summer. It feels like it’s been forever! I love your illustrations! Do you have any motorcycle chick illustrations? That would be so cool.

    • Heather
      My very first “car” was a motorcycle (and man,was my dad mad!). I loved the freedom of riding it, just me and whatever cute boy I could find…no kids, no groceries, no worries.
      I think riding a motorcycle would be a great fun illustration for my next book, which is all about what “Big Girls” do (hint: they don’t cry!)

  • I love your positively uplifting blog posts. And I love the idea of celebrating the warming season. I hate bathing suit season as much as the next person, but the summer is such a wonderful time of year and it’s so terribly short. I want to enjoy the sun on my shoulders, the grass beneath my feet, walking around without a bulky winter coat.

  • operagal

    Loved this post. Great reminder that NO ONE likes how they look in a swimsuit, but we all love summer! The best – fresh produce and being able to sit outside wit a cup of coffee or glass of wine and hear the birds.

  • here is a thoughtful related post by Margarita Tartakovsky at the Weightless Blog . She talks back to the “helpful” editors at women’s magazines, who give us tips for healthy eating and exercise in patronizing ways that makes us feel bad about ourselves, by promoting panic as we “race against the clock” to look hot, sleek & tanned for bikini season…

  • There’s of course always the option of spending the summer in the UK where you’d have to be very lucky indeed to have temperatures worthy of wearing a swimsuit in the first place…ok, I’m slightly exagerating here ;-) It’s a lovely and very positive post, thanks. By the way, I hope I’ve done you justice with my post today, check it at Carole xx

    • Thanks for the shout out Carole! I write and illustrate with the intention of putting a friendly face on the sometimes difficult topics of body image and self-esteem for women. I’m glad I made you smile!

  • Thank you for spreading love and positivity through your blog. Hopefully you can help more women learn to love and appreciate themselves for who they are :)

  • I love your blog and post. I’m here from Annie-Marie with a Dash

  • Hey Gal! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you moved. My favorite thing about Summer is longer days. As far as a swimsuit, you wouldn’t believe what I wear! I am Pentecostal so IF I go swimming in a public place such as a lake, I wear a long skirt or midi with shorts or capris underneath! That was until this year. I haven’t yet of course, but if we go anywhere to swim, I am gonna get me a swimsuit and an EXTRA LONG t-shirt to go over it. I can’t wait. I hope they have a one piece in a 16 or 18. I haven’t had a bathing suit since I weighed about 120, needless to say that was a few like 15 or 20 years ago! LOL!

    God Bless!


    • Oh yes, I love the longer days, its so great to sit outside in the evening!
      I keep myself pretty well covered up when I go to the beach these days too (skin cancer). When I’m not in the water, its long sleeves, drawstring pants, big hat, sunblock AND I sit under an umbrella…
      but I still have fun, and don’t even care if people stare at the woman swimming with hat & sunglasses on!

  • I agree that we should enjoy living and find happiness in our experiences and not what’s on the surface. And now I’m looking forward to seeing my first butterfly of the season.

  • Hello Elizabeth!

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post! I am so looking forward to a lovely Spring and Summer and plan to enjoy it to the fullest.:o) I have not had a swim suit on in years, but I have found the sweetest little sun dresses that are cool comfortable and very cute I must say.:o)



  • Congrats on the big move ~ still following!

  • I love this illustration. As far as swimsuits go, for some reason I have always had to buy a larger sized suit even when I was a fairly thin gal, which was both annoying and frustrating! These days I can’t even remember when I actually last had any kind of swimsuit on. I just stay away from the pools and mostly I wear shorts and t-shirts instead. Suits me fine!

  • Hi Elizabeth – I got your note about changing your site from Blogger to WordPress. Do I need to resubscribe?

    How did your conversion go? I have a worpress acct, my host and paid for a theme already set up, but I am still going back and forth. I use Typepad and have been very happy with them, but keep hearing on all ends that WordPress is where you should be. What are the differences for you, what was the hardest so far. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

    What I am looking forward to Summer for is: being able to wear flip flops!

    • Hi Diane
      lovin’ the flip-flops and looking forward to that too!
      Yes, you would need to become a follower of this blog, as the “friend connect” from my old blog doesn’t transfer over.
      Making the change from Blogger to WordPress was a fairly simple installation; what was VERY time consuming, however, was customizing the template. Its very helpful if you know some basic HTML, or have someone who can help you with the WP interface. Lots of good tutorials and forums online, and once you get the hang of it, it’s very cool.

  • As you “northies” are looking forward to summer, we “southies” are longing for Winter. We’ve had our sweatiness, we’ve had our sunburn, we’ve had our sleepless nights.

    I’m looking forward to coloured tights and cute cardigans!

  • Funny timing because I packed two suits for my vacation (now) since there will be post-skiing hot tub dipping. I shopped for a new one with no success:(

  • Wonderful post! I haven’t worn a bikini in years but I have a nice, black one piece that I have had for a while. I just remind myself that being in the water is great exercise & I feel much lighter in the water, too!

  • This is fabulous. I can never wear a bathing suit (or feel I can’t) because I wear a Dcup and have a c-section scar and accompanying flab/strange belly. I’m pretty sure the scar is hidden by the suit’s bottom, but whatever. The string tops for bikini’s NEVER fit and I never feel ‘safe’ in them. This post really made my day. Thanks again for pointing out that EXPERIENCE is more important than APPEARANCE. <3

    • Hi Jen
      yes, flip a coin: experience or appearance! one lasts longer than the other…

      last year Shapely Prose posted a list of sites to shop for suits if you have a hard time finding one that fits, feels “safe” (nothing like having the top pop off!) and are also cute.

  • suzydimples

    one of my very favorite summers was the first year my toddlers experienced the ocean.
    It was the first time in my adult life I had the same kind of real, unself-conscious fun that I had as a little girl (before I cared about bathing suits). now I’m trying to get back to that pure “summer feeling” again, and stop obsessing about what the other people on the beach think of my “mommy body”!

    • Your memories (and your children’s memories!) of those days on the beach are what life is all about!
      I guarantee that nobody else on the beach that day was paying attention to you as much as they were paying attention to themselves. hope you find that “summer feeling” all season long!

  • I’m so looking forward to the warm weather, and luckily I found a bathing suit I feel comfortable in! :) Even if I do still feel like I need to lose it though… Thanks for the upbeat post, it brightened my day!

  • I had to come by and read this post. What a positive, soul-hugging and body-loving message you’re sending out to all of us ladies (and some men) who really need it.

    I’ve been blogging about hula dancing, a new workout I’ve started that’s FUN and boosts your confidence too. Women should be all about empowering our bodies, not emaciating them. I love what you write and this illustration makes me want to just let it all hang out this summer, flaws et al!

  • Alex

    What’s really great is knowing that you are loved (and you are) no matter the season or the shape!

  • Great illustration! When I saw the post name on SITS I had to stop by :-) I agree— the point of summer isn’t what lumps or bumps the swimsuit does or does not conceal – its about wading in the ocean and watching the waves, the cool water washing over your body when you step into a swimming pool on a hot day… Can you tell I’m ready for summer!?! ;-) I think you’ll like my post on Jessica Simpson and her swimsuit take… happy day!

  • I’m so glad I read your post today because I’ve been stressing all week about bathing suit season being right around the corner and i’m so glad you’ve reminded me to put things into perspective. My other favorite things about warm weather is riding a bike in the sun. Thanks!

    Yours Truly,
    Lady Lex