Beach Bodies

by Brittany Casey (Gonzaga University)
A NOTE about beach bodies:

Yesterday when we went to Fano, I noticed that it was fairly acceptable to where a bikini while pregnant. There were several Italian women--in perfect shape --who sported skimpy swimsuits and not so skimpy bellies.

At first I was a little surprised, but then I asked myself, "why?". One of the most beautiful, shameless things about life is our ability to create it. Pregnant women shouldn't have to be any more covered up than those that aren't.

I also noticed that while most men and women in Italy are perfectly slim and youthful, naturally, there are some who aren't. While they are not as hefty as the average American, some of the elderly carry extra weight. But I observed entirely different nonverbal responses here than I would at the beach in the United States.

There was no snickering or staring at the older men and women. Instead, there was a certain environment of respect--that being, that no one seemed to think a thing about the imperfect bodies. I would see people in there 60's and 70's, beach combing, wave wading, sun bathing, walking arm in arm with a friend and playing with their grandchildren with no qualms.

Wrinkles and a belly (again, not as big as you would see in the US) doesn't stop families from doing things together here. They also don't stop the elderly from enjoying life.