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On the Lighter Side

Scream-Worthy Swimsuit Selfies

By Linda Trainor, RN, BSN

I scream. You scream. We ALL scream when we see ourselves in any photo, including our very own “selfies" when we are wearing only the bare necessities on a public or private beach. Following the screams of OMG, the self who has taken the selfie examines their picture more closely than Sherlock Holmes, noticing every dimple, pimple and wrinkle.

swimsuit selfie illustrationVery rarely do you hear anyone comment, "I look darn good in this picture with my bathing suit on!" or "I can't wait to show my perfect beach body to everyone at the seashore, I think I will share it with all my friends on Facebook and Twitter.” #SwimsuitSelfie


Nope, quite the contrary. Instead you can hear the sighs from Aqua-Woman complaining about her thighs louder than a foghorn. Tummies are the target for Aqua-Man's critical comments.

Oftentimes this type of self-criticism can lead folks to quickly seek deep cover in the freezing ocean waters of New England, long before their toes even slightly warm to the temperature of the shore. Some beachcombers even wear layers of clothing over the dreaded bathing suit in order to hide imperfections — which only serves to make them hotter than heck at an already sunny beach.

swimsuit selfie illustrationBottom line, if you think your "swimsuit selfie" is scream-worthy, you’re not alone.

It is no secret that more than one-third of Americans are overweight. Ninety-nine percent of the population are NOT swimsuit models who are airbrushed prior to hitting the beach. So when you take a selfie or someone surprises you with a picture of yourself in your bathing suit, don't dunk the iPhone in the salty waters!

Take a deep breath of the sea air, and then think of about this story that I recently read. It was about a woman whose child took a picture of mom wearing her bathing suit, while she was sleeping on her beach towel. The mother was apparently very upset that her child took a picture of her in a bathing suit without her knowing. The mother questioned why the child did such a thing. To her surprise, her child replied, "I took the picture because you looked so beautiful."

However, all the mother could see in the picture were her imperfections — criticizing her arms as "fat," her thighs “too big" and more. But then she looked at the picture more closely to see what her child was seeing. She still could not help but judge all her imperfections until she tried seeing the snapshot through her (at that point, sea-fearing) child's eyes. Then and only then, her perception changed.

The woman saw a new picture.

She saw a loving, tired mother, who was resting after playing with her kids all day at the beach. She saw a caring mother who, in spite of her imperfect swimsuit body, dared to go where the dared do not go — to the beach with no cover-up.

Perhaps one day soon she will see herself as her child did: a real-life bathing beauty.

Lesson learned?

Grab your iPhone for a smile-worthy swimsuit selfie. Perhaps you will change your perception, too!

Above content provided for your entertainment by the Weight Loss Surgery Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your  medical care, consult your doctor.

August 2014

Contact Information

Weight Loss Surgery Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Shapiro Clinical Center, 3rd Floor
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215