The onslaught of holiday social media activity, coupled with the abundance of toned, tanned and stomach crunching photos of socialites in itsy-bitsy barely-there bikinis, leaves a modern woman feeling, dare I say it, deflated.
The quest for a ‘bikini body’ is a monotonous climb. A no carb, sans sugar diet infused with the daily grind of intensive exercise becomes the agenda in the lead up to bikini season. But, honestly, who really has the time or the impetus?
Certainly, not me and my bikini photos are testament to it. The stomach is not flat, the bottom without perk and the thighs, alas, touch. The pre-pubescent days of my youth are long bygone and what’s in place is a fluctuating size 10 (or 12) with a penchant for carbs, long walks and an occasional alcoholic tipple.
But, life is for living and consequently holidays are for enjoying, not daily systematic hardcore exercise and self-induced starvation.
If ever there is a place that celebrates the curvaceous womanly figure and encourages the daily mastication of carbohydrates, that place is Italy.
Having adored Italian food and their penchant for epicurean gastronomy, I was in my element. Who knew the country that invented pasta and pizza, simultaneously produced some of the world’s most beautiful women. Was it not the effervescent Sophia Loren who proudly proclaimed: “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti”.
And this is the material point; I have always found that Italy reveres curves, flesh, bosoms and bums. Their food is a fine, the wine subtle and the bodies curvaceous. The concept of a ‘diet’ or restriction of any kind is seemingly unknown.
Thus, while I may have felt uncharacteristically overweight and likened myself to a ‘white beach whale’ at a change room in London, these misdemeanors were bygone on a beach in Sicily, where women aged from 15-90 showcased their voluptuous assets with pride.
There is something to be said that the country that consumes an abundance of carbs, also produces some of the world’s most beautiful women. Refreshingly, could it be that the two are inextricably linked?
In the case of Loren, let’s for arguments sake, say they are. Ergo, it’s time to eat that pasta, enjoy that fresh loaf of bread and say a defiant ‘yes’ to a small glass of vino.
While we all may at times, and often while scrolling through Instagram with copious flat stomached photos of Gigi, Bella and Kendall, feel bloody awful about our appearance, I challenge you to take a closer look.
It’s not ‘fat’, it’s curvaceous and while it may be fashionable to be a stick size 2, ‘tis not in Italia. For curves are an anatomical must-have.
So, let’s embrace the pizza and pasta, put on your skimpiest bikini and strut with pride. While a taut stomach may be Instagram fashionable, I’d rather live like the Italians and have curves any day.
Shameless Bikini Shots (Apologies in Advance)