Sunday, October 11, 2009


While on vacation in Cancun, I became fascinated with modesty’s double standard.

Specifically my modesty.

For instance, I always worry if I look fat in an outfit. Do I have a muffin top going on in my jeans? Is my butt creased with panty lines?

But then a strange thing happens when I go to the beach. My modesty’s modus operandi flips, and suddenly, I don’t care what I look like. I throw on a bathing suit and all I care about is getting as much skin exposed to the sun as possible. Who cares what’s showing just as long as the body gets the rays?

Fat? So what?

Wrinkles? Who cares?

Flab? Forget about it!

At home if I show too much cleavage, I feel embarrassed. At the beach though, I’ll drop my top as low as I dare so I don’t get tan lines.

Or at home when I wear a skirt, I worry that my nether region might show if I stand in the sun’s reflection. But on the beach? I lay on the chaise lounge with legs bent, my nether regions just out one thin fabric away from being exposed.

I can’t imagine another public place on earth that I could wear so little yet feels so comfortable sitting with my legs like that and not care if anyone could see my crotch.

As I sat on a chaise lounge at the hotel, I watched (modestly, so as not to be too obvious) other beachgoers going by and came to realize that on the beach, anything goes.

And just then the song, “Surrey With the Fringe on Top,” from Oklahoma came to mind. But in place of the real lyrics, these played in my head:

Butts and guts and boobs are a bopping

No one cares if their flab is flopping

No on cares if their flab is flopping

When you’re on the beach

Always, Em-Musing

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