Swimsuit time

A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. I wracked my brains to think of something useful to say in regards to style and Christmas, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not about style, so I flagged it! However, now that the chaos is over, it is that time of year when we start to think about beaches, swimming pools, bathing suits…..yup, grim innit.

Noone has ever expressed my feelings over buying a bathing suit better than the amazing Camille West, who penned the lyric below. It is a song, from the album Gabby Road by the Four Bitchin’ Babes (Shanachie 8028), of which she is the fourth. If you love to laugh and love this lyric, I thoroughly recommend this and all the other Babes albums.

When our stretch marks look like the New Jersey Turnpike,

Mapped from navel to knees

When the bottom’s best feature is its interesting texture (the sign of a fine cottage cheese)

When we search for the perfect bathing suit

That will cover our assets and still look cute

Is this an impossible, hopeless pursuit?

Or are we just too hard to please?

When will we finally find the designer we need

Who will heed our demand?

Or a style at the shore (where less is not more)

To guard the parts that are best left untanned?

We neeed more protection than spandex rags,

Something cut larger than luggage tags

Tied with with dental floss onto our saddle bags

Don’t hide your heads in the sand


We’re talking to you, Fashion Avenue

We’re not going to take any more

We’re your mothers and mistresses, wives and sisters

United from shore to shore

We are standing erect with our hands on our chests

Four inches above the floor

And we’re asking you, Fashion Avenue

For a little more support.

Swimsuits abound for the 98 pounder

Whose legs alone measure five feet.

Here’s a fine idea: try a line this year

For women who actually eat.

Not for half-naked nymhs found posing between

the pages, of course, of a sports magazine,

But swimsuits for those of us more likely seen

Between pages of Bon Appetit

Our legs do not end where our armpits begin

We want a realistic design

A little more fabric, a little less skin,

Some vertical stripes would be simply divine.

Swimsuits that won’t self-destruct with a wave,

Fashion to flatter the not so brave.

At least let us know where to stop when we shave.

Where doe we draw the line?

CHORUS “..with our hands on our chest, two inches above the floor.”

One day we will see our feminist family

Rise from the underground

Despite Father Time and weird Uncle Gravity

Constantly pulling us down.

This dysfunctional system will surely heal,

Even our sisters with abs of steel

Will all too suddenly know how we feel

Ten years and two babies from now.

And when we connect, and command your respect

Effectivel paying our dues,

Your very language will be more correct.

Fat is a word you will no longer use.

Those negative terms only grate on our nerves,

Give adipose tissue the name it deserves

Call it Personal Strategic Energy Reserves,

And call stretch marks organic tattoos

CHORUS: “…with our hands on our chests! upon the floor..”

© 1995 Camille West Mother Tongue Music BMI.

Category: Articles