Generally I’m not one for a beach holiday. I’m not the right size for a beach holiday. Swimming laps in a pool for exercise is fine, but parade along a beach in my togs… I don’t think so! I don’t think it’s just me either. In New Zealand where I’m from and in Australia, where I live, it’s almost an unwritten rule that you have to be under a certain size to hang out at the beach in a bikini, and if you’re not under that size and you’re strolling along in your bathers, you can bet you’re being talked about.
So with that as background information, you can imagine I had some trepidation about a spending a few days at Copacabana Beach in Rio. I’d heard that everyone hangs out on the beach in string bikinis, but I wasn’t quite prepared for what that meant. You see, when they said ‘everyone’ I thought they meant ‘everyone one small enough’… but in fact what they meant was EVERYONE. All shapes, all sizes, all ages… all in varying sizes of skimpy swimwear. It’s like the rule in Rio is, when you go to the beach you must wear very little.
You have to imagine the sights I saw, because I purposely did not take photos of people. At the beginning I was looking with my Kiwi skewed eyes and marveling at how little some people wore. I had these ‘Oh my goodness, I could NEVER do that’ moments, but then I started to look around, and when I did that I saw that no one else was judging like I was. No one was self-conscious about what they looked like in swimwear, and no one was looking at people with those judge-y eyes while thinking, you shouldn’t really be wearing that. Instead people just wear what they wear, it’s like the uniform of the beach is very little.
Everyone is confident in a bikini, and no one else cares about what you’re wearing. No strutting, no ‘look at me’s’, no primping or preening, just a beach load of people so ok with what they look like that they don’t even think about it. It’s an amazing attitude and I wish I had more of it.