Sunday, August 19, 2012

Happiness Is... Bare Legs

I work as a lifeguard at a water park, henceforth called WP. A very wonderful, awesome water park with awesome and kind employees who don't say jack about people unless they deserve it. The men wear red shorts and WP uniform shirts (tucked in). The women, however, wear red bathing suits with WP shirt and the option of either wearing pants/skirts or none at all.

For the majority of the summer, I have been wearing pants, partly because the bathing suit I had to buy didn't fit me well after a while and partly because I thought my legs were hideous. You know, "Oh, I have varicose veins" or "my legs have huge scars" or "my legs wobble when I walk." Well, eventually the other girls started telling me to take off my pants and stand proud.

Me in the old bathing suit. You can tell it doesn't fit me anymore.
A few weeks ago, I got a bathing suit from my employer. I originally had to buy my own suit because I couldn't fit into any of the suits they had. Through the intense heat and physical labor of my job, I had lost some weight and like I said, I stopped fitting into the suit I bought. I had to get another one, this time I asked for one from my employer. Lo and behold, I could fit. And, about a week later, one of the deep water lifeguards demanded, demanded! I take off my pants. So, I humored her.

And humor her I did.
For women who don't want to wear the pants, we have to roll the shirt up and tuck it into the upper back strap. It creates an emphasis on the breasts and for me, it also emphasizes my natural hour glass curve.

I was surprised. Just like with my necklace (PS, I don't use that blog anymore, so don't bother checking up on it), my reception was a mix of nothing and compliments. Most people bothered to say not a damn thing (just how I liked it!) or laugh at my tan lines (I've got some awesome tan lines that stop just above the knee), and few would comment on how good I looked. In actuality, my "weight loss" happened over three months ago, and the only difference was the way I wore my uniform... and myself.

It's been almost a week now, and something has really changed. I'm not scared anymore. I'm not nervous or anxious or worried that someone will say something. I know that my lifeguard friends have my back and I know I am a damn good lifeguard. I am not there at the park to look pretty; I am there to save lives. If I want to walk around without pants, SO BE IT! No one can take that away.

Even though I preach body acceptance, to finally see some progress of myself is kind of amazing. I think the best part is my peers, who accept anyway, no matter what. I love my job!

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