Recently I went to a pool party. Well, it wasn’t a pool party per se, just more of a party that took place outdoors and there happened to be a pool. I was simultaneously looking forward to and dreading the party. On the one hand, I love being in the water. Coming from a place that regularly has 100+ degree summers with extremely high humidity pools have always been a welcome relief from the heat. In fact, even though I no longer live at home I still beg my parents to get a pool (they’ve never given in to my request). My love of being in the water however was somewhat thwarted by my fear of being seen in a bathing suit. And I hate to admit it, but my fear is entirely dependent on who else is going to be at the party.

Let me explain. At other pool parties I haven’t been the only fat girl. I hate to admit it but there is something comforting about knowing that I won’t be the only girl who insists on being covered from the waist down by an enormous beach towel. At this party however, I was the only fat girl. In fact, I was surrounded by skinny girls in bikinis. It was so strange for me to realize that these girls were wearing bikinis under their clothes (of course they were) and to see them nonchalantly pull off a dress to reveal a flat stomach.

Sadly I’ve never been one of those girls. At my skinniest I still had a bit of a spare tire. When I was younger I could not for the life of me understand why I had a ring of flab around my stomach and so I convinced myself that I was fat. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was at a family wedding that I realized I had inherited the spare tire from my father’s side of the family. My father and his four brothers and sisters all have it and unfortunately it was passed down to me. But anyway, I digress. As soon as I saw the other girls in their isty bitsy teenie weenie bikinis I felt like I was transported back to grade 9 gym class. I remembered our unit on swimming and seeing all of the girls show off their bikinis while I did my best to once again cover up my thighs and my stomach.

In the end, I survived the pool party. I did my best to look casual and I stopped feeling self-conscious as soon as I was in the water. But I am hoping that I can get to a point where I won’t be embarrassed to sit around with friends while wearing a bathing suit.