While I did make up both the word and definition above, I’m confident they will be added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in the very near future. This confidence stems not from the fact that I (and anyone who has ever known me) would readily agree it’s the perfect word to describe me, but more from knowing I’m not the only one.
The love started young. As a toddler (we’re talking pre-walking and talking) my “bathing suit” was just bottoms. Half a bikini. Although I swear there are photos of me as an itty-bitty wearing both pieces of a bikini, my mother assures me this isn’t the case. She insists she would never have let me wear a two-piece. Go topless, apparently okay. But a two-piece swimsuit? So inappropriate!
In fact, my mother forbade the owning (or wearing) of a bikini for years. The No Bikini policy was in effect until two things happened. One, I was able to purchase a two-piece with my own money. Two, I had either passed the age limit arbitrarily set by my mother or I was in a scenario that allowed me to wear one without her ever knowing about it. This likely occurred around age 14.
My first mother-approved two-piece was… well, mother-approved. Sky blue and white, thick cottony fabric (not lycra), full bottoms and a sports-bra style top with lots of coverage. That bikini was the pebble that started the avalanche. By my senior year of college I owned a collection of over 40 bikinis. The total number hovered around the big 4-0 for years.
Over the years my body changed. While I continued to wear two-piece swimsuits, my desire to prance around in them waned. Not liking what I saw made purchasing new swimwear a lot less fun. Despite a significant decrease in purchases, during the recent Closet Purge (still going…) I discovered the total number hadn’t really changed. Bikini numbers prior to Closet Purge evaluation:
30 full bikini sets
5 solo bikini tops
3 solo bikini bottoms
15 full bikini sets
4 solo bikini tops
1 solo bikini bottom
That’s more than enough for the average woman. And yet…
I want more. Perhaps it’s feeling more comfortable in my skin. Perhaps it’s just a “but these are old, I want something new” thing. Perhaps it’s because I like wearing a different swimsuit every day of vacation. And if I go to the beach and the pool on the same day, why not wear a blue bikini to one and a green bikini to the other? Maybe it was scrolling through hundreds of adorable halters, triangles and bandeaus while tracking down JoJo’s Indah bikini last week. Ah, these are all just symptoms of the truth.
I’m a bikiniphile.
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