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  • There is no one on this beach with a body as imperfect as mine.

    After eight days here, we finally made it to the sea. I've spent hours so far bouncing weightlessly in cool lulling waves. It is Monday. It is crowded. It is blue & sun & boundless. And all is exactly as it should be. Except me.

    Out of the water, I look out on the beach and as far as I can see stretch beautiful bodies dressed in two piece suits. Many only wear one of those pieces. Nevermind that aside from the women walking up and down the beach offering to cornrow white women’s hair for a price, I am the darkest one here. No, today it's stretch marks and the roundness that falls over the top of my tankini (the suburban mom's answer to summer) that worry me. It's hair that I only think of removing when I put the suit on and by then it's too late. It’s breasts heavy and beginning to sag for having fed two babies. It's a body marked by good eating and mostly joy and a little bit of age. By pleasure and privilege (a dark body who doesn't have to walk up and down a beach selling souvenirs). By time spent writing & teaching, running some but mostly running around. Not an unhealthy body, just lived in. My feminist self is more than fine with this. Pleased even.

    Until I get here to the Mediterranean and look out over and at beautiful bodies. I want the sun to warm my bare back too and also my belly in all its fullness. I've wasted too much of this perfect day debating whether my body is good enough to get a bikini. Far too much time. In the end, neither the sea nor the sun cares.
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