Social Question

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

How comfortable are you in displaying your body in public?

Asked by Imadethisupwithnoforethought (14669points) August 14th, 2012

Dwelling on this after spending the day at the beach. Specifically, I hear that almost everyone has body image problems, but I go to the beach and it seems an arms race to show more skin than the next person.

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30 Answers

Nullo's avatar

Eh-so-so. I’ll de-shirt while swimming, but you won’t catch me in anything less than swimming trunks.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

look at my current picture and guess

YARNLADY's avatar

I have no problem with it.

bkcunningham's avatar

What part of my body?

wundayatta's avatar

Seems like most people are fat like me. It’s probably easier for guys, though. But I see women with lots of skin have no problem showing it, and of course, the skinny young women are proud to show off, in most cases. I think a lot of people don’t care about conforming to the standard of beauty. They’re secure enough to go have a good time even if they don’t look perfect.

Of course, what can we really know? Those who are afraid to display their warts don’t come to the beach.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@bkcunningham do you have particular parts of your body that you are unhappy with? Do you dress at the beach to hide it or do you dress at the beach in a manner that shows it?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I don’t like it when people show too much skin. I’m far from being a prude, but there are certain things that just shouldn’t be worn in public. I dress fairly modestly, and because of my own body image issues, choose to wear a one-piece bathing suit.

bkcunningham's avatar

I just got back from the pool. I swim every day and wear a swimsuit every day. I don’t give it much thought, @Imadethisupwithnoforethought. I dress age appropriately. I think it is something that is in my DNA or perhaps it is a hex my mother put on me when I was younger and dressed more revealing. (EDIT: Is dressed more revealing an oxymoron? lol)

@WillWorkForChocolate, have you tried the tankini’s? I wear one piece suits and tankinis.

gailcalled's avatar

I display my body in public every time I leave the house; however I keep it clothed.

@bkcunningham: ’‘I wore more revealing clothes”?

cookieman's avatar

Wouldn’t it be an arms and legs race?

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@bkcunningham I think what I am trying to understand is the revealing clothing thing vs. body image.

Are people wearing revealing clothing they want to wear because they are comfortable with their bodies and want to show their arms and legs (thanks @cprevite) or are they wearing the clothing they think they should wear based on what they imagine their peer group approves of?

bkcunningham's avatar

@gailcalled, I mean, when I was younger, I wore bikinis. I also wore shorter shorts and shorter skirts and revealed a lot more skin in public than I do now.

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought, for me I wear what I want to wear and what is comfortable – for the most part. Sometimes I suppose I do dress in a way that is peer-approved. But on the other hand, I have no desires to wear a string bikini because I would look ridiculous. I don’t want to look stupid or be laughed at by my friends or strangers.

Trillian's avatar

And the weaver said, “Speak to us of Clothes.”
And he answered:
Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful.
And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy you may find in them a harness and a chain.
Would that you could meet the sun and the wind with more of your skin and less of your raiment,
For the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind.
Some of you say, “It is the north wind who has woven the clothes to wear.”
But shame was his loom, and the softening of the sinews was his thread.
And when his work was done he laughed in the forest.
Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean.
And when the unclean shall be no more, what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling of the mind?
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
K Gibran

I have some nice attributes, and though I’ve heedlessly displayed them at times, I don’t feel the necessity to generate male approval. I button my blouse at work because I consider it unprofessional to display a lot of cleavage in the work setting. I also don’t think it appropriate to wear bare shoulders or upper arms at work. I don’t give a shit how other females dress, I simply adhere to my own code. (Although bare feet in flip flops gross me out, and white socks with sandals give me the willies.)
When I used to smoke I would go out onto the porch to smoke wearing just a shirt and panties out of sheer laziness. I still do that if I need to get something out of the car, but generally I wear situation appropriate clothing. Sweaters in cool weather because I love them. Cool, comfortable clothes for warm weather without revealing bits of my anatomy that are reserved for intimate situations.

bkcunningham's avatar

I love Gibran, @Trillian. That is beautiful and so very appropriate.

I don’t think my husband will ever get use to me going outside to get the newspaper or to the car or whatever in my PJs. lol I love your answer, @Trillian. I feel pretty much the same way.

Sunny2's avatar

I look pretty good for my age, but I’m not interested in displaying my body in public, unless I’m clothed. I get a rash instead of a tan, so I mostly cover up. I was never interested in advertising and always preferred to get to know a guy very well before being intimate.

ETpro's avatar

What else would I wear at the beach or pool other than a bathing suit? I mean, if you walked out on the beach or went to the public pool in the park 2 blocks from here in a raincoat, they would call the cops. More flesh covered than in a bathing suit, but way inappropriate for the setting.

Around town, I’m cool with anything that’s street legal and appropriate for my age. Running errands around Boston on warm days, I usually wear 5 items: boxers, a muscle tee, Bermuda shorts, a belt and running shoes. I reckon for a guy pushing 70, that’s a fair amount of flesh showing. When I work out, the muscle tee comes off. Nothing else though. I could manage going without shoes or a belt. I’ve got a pretty well developed set of glutes, so the belt is really just for show, and to keep the tops of my boxer shorts hidden. I can even stand going commando. But the shorts stay.

Ponderer983's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought I’m a little confused. In your details, you are talking specifically about the beach. The general consensus is bathing suits at the beach, so everyone should be showing some skin. It’s the proper attire for the setting, regardless of your shape and size. Just like if you went to a formal affair, a tuxedo is proper attire. So, are you asking if “we” are comfortable wearing bathing suits at the beach, or are you asking on a broader spectrum if how “we” dress in public is a direct correlation to our own body images? :)

_Whitetigress's avatar

It’s whatever to me Hello

Mr_Paradox's avatar


Trillian's avatar

@bkcunningham Awwww shucks. Thanks.

DrBill's avatar

I like showing it off

muppetish's avatar

Lately, I haven’t felt comfortable with it at all. That wasn’t always the case. I’m working on it.

snapdragon24's avatar

Im fine in a bikini. Could even go topless, but since im always surrounded by a family member during my beach time; forget it lol but if I could change something… would be my latino butt, its prone to stretch marks.

ucme's avatar

I’m okay with it, although I draw the line at wearing speedoes & flip-flops down the pub, some dirty, hairy brute of a man may get the wrong idea & we can’t be having that.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’m very comfortable with my body and don’t worry about getting changed in front of people or anything like that. On a beach or by a pool, I would be in the tiniest bikini acceptable!!!

Mariah's avatar

I’ve always worn pretty modest clothing; usually capris in the summertime as opposed to shorts. These days it’s mostly just because that’s what’s in my wardrobe, but it started back when I used to be really judgmental (ugh) and I thought it was somehow skanky to wear short shorts and tube tops. By the same token, I always wore a really modest swimming suit, a tankini with a skirt bottom.

Even once I got past being judgmental, I didn’t like exposing my thighs, and that’s because I’m ludicrously pale and my thighs just glow bright white. Of course, I know the way to solve that is to allow them to see the light of day once in a while, so it’s a self-perpetuating cycle. I also have stretch marks on my thighs, but I don’t really care about those.

After having an ostomy for 7 months, basically the first thing I did when I was rid of it was to go out and buy a bikini, haha. I just felt at that time that any body that didn’t have exposed guts was worth showing off. These days, the only parts of my body that I feel self conscious about are covered by a bikini, so I’m not nearly so modest anymore.

Facade's avatar

Apparently I’m very comfortable with it. Others, not so much.

downtide's avatar

Not at all, but it’s nothing to do with my weight and everything to do with it being the wrong gender. That said, I’m comfortable displaying my body if the only other people present are other trans-people.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Ponderer983 There is a wide variety of bathing suit attire available. Some seems designed to conceal, some seems designed to reveal. But your question is just as intriguing to me.

Ponderer983's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Well I, as a larger woman, never wear a bikini. I’ll wear a tankini or one piece. I don’t wear the ones with the awkward skirt because then I get a crappy tan line and to me it just says older woman. Do I know that people can see the cellulite on my legs – yeah. But I’m at the beach and damnit I want a tan! So to an extent, I am comfortable with it because I know I have done what I can (besides wearing a poncho and covering everything) to dress as appropriately for my body given the setting.

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