BIKINI BRAVERY

KARREN BRADY RECALLS HER DAYS OF WEARING A BIKINI ON THE BEACH

‘I love women who wear bikinis, no matter their age or shape, but it requires body confidence I don’t have’

With summer in full swing, the fear returns what to wear on the beach? Because, for me, it’s certainly not going to be a bikini!

I remember my bikini days with fondness: that strut to the sea, the glamorous and bright look at me colours I used to wear, as well as the revealing bikini bottoms (when I was 20, I even had a thong!)

But with every decade from 20 onward, it becomes more of a challenge; a lot less strut and a bit more sucking in; a bit more posing on the sunlounger with one leg slightly bent to get a better (i.e. slimmer) angle, until you’re burning with cramp, followed by excruciating pins and needles.

Then the wrap joins the scene, and even that starts off as a seductive drape, but soon turns into a full-on equivalent of a burka.

Now, the only option is abandonment.

No matter how much sucking, posing and draping I do, I just can’t get away with it any more. I found an old bikini when I was cleaning out a cupboard the other day. These days, it would not even cover a boob, let alone half a bum cheek!

I always laugh when I read those articles that tell you what type of bikini to wear for your shape. Flat boobs? They tell you to try a bandeau style; and for big boobs, you’re encouraged to wear a halter-neck. No waist? Wear string ties; and if you have no hips, you must wear boy shorts. What they

don’t advise is what style to wear if you have a big bum, big boobs, big waist, and big thighs. The only recommendation is, no doubt, a diet!

Don’t you just love those women who wear bikinis at any age, no matter what shape they are, because they’re comfortable with what they look like? This is called body confidence and, well, put simply, I don’t have it. Not that I care enough, otherwise I would be in the gym and on (another) diet and, frankly, who wants to see the body of a 46-year-old in a bikini?

There are some women who look great over 40. I’m thinking Christie Brinkley, Cindy Crawford, and Elle Macpherson, but I guess their bodies are their livelihoods, and they care more than me, and do considerably more than me about keeping in shape. If I spent 10 hours a week in the gym, I too would be proud to show off the fruits of my labour to everyone on the beach with me.

On this basis, I’m guessing I have a fabulous-looking brain.

The type that people would stand and gawp at. It would not have an ounce of flab, because it’s worked hard 10 hours a day, it’s sleek and smooth, and well oiled. It’s a thing of beauty!

So this summer, I’ll be wearing my brain on full show on the beach and, no doubt, you’ll give me an admiring glance if you see me and won’t notice my backside!

With every decade, there’s less strut, and more sucking in’

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