I know, I know – bad timing. Summer’s end is nearing and I’m bringing up bikinis. But I came across a picture today that made my vocal chords instinctively sputter out “YOU GO, GIRL!” and I just had to talk about the bikini-age relationship. The above picture is of the 86-year-old Duchess of Alba sporting a floral bikini with her husband on the shores of Spain.
Stepping out in a two-piece bathing suit in general is a weary task for many women that are generations younger than the Duchess. Where does she find the confidence to defy the body-snarking baggage that comes hand-in-hand with one of the most self-conscious garments women can tackle?
Of course, people of the crapshoot colony we call “Internet” are bashing the royal lady for daring to wear swimwear to the beach. Must the bikini only be confined to the young, toned and gorgeous and serve as an unrealistic goal for the rest? Well, that’s no fun. Why can’t you let the Duchess have fun, Internet?
(Side note! Snarking on physical imperfections is a concept that never registered in my head and unlikely ever will. Picking apart humans who are not your ideal because you came here to be impressed, dammit, is an unhealthy notion that happens too often and does not benefit a thing. Normalizing this makes us the acceptably mean.)
The Duchess of Alba, whose real name is Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, put on a bikini, went to a large body of water and had fun. This is every bikini’s purpose and it should be fulfilled regardless of age or shape. You are here to enjoy the summer season, bask in the sun and let the water refresh your body and cool you down. Swimming is a destination for merriment, to relax and feel free. Allowing your skin to soak in the sun and be in your element can be the most relaxing and pleasant feeling. Don’t let anyone keep you from feeling otherwise. Also, wear sunscreen.
Shame that I didn’t cover this at the beginning of summer.
Do you think that bikinis are or are not for everyone? Do you think the Duchess of Alba should be commended for wearing a bikini at her age?