Making Room For Love and Hate | Samantha Duncan

I’m on the beach, reading Proust and feeling great. I’m laundered white waves and clean shells. I’m not giving a fuck, grains of sand on grainy skin. I’m on the beach unzipped, knowing my body can’t win any contests anymore, knowing the parameters of the contest are problematic to begin with, thus making winning futile. And none of it matters, because I’m on the beach, feeling great, not giving a fuck. But still, the desire to be out of my own skin, at least in this moment, on this beach.

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There are few places at which people are more exposed than the beach, and within the realm of Giving a Fuck, the societal pressure on women to look their best is more prevalent than it is for men. While men merely have to choose from five different colors of board shorts, women are bombarded with styles, patterns, and colors of suits, as well as crash diets and workouts that promise to aid in wearing them. The media revels in breaking it all down for us: Tankinis are safe, but uncool. Halter tops are uncomfortable, bandeaus fall off if you’re flat-chested. Bronzer and wavy hair are essential. And, let’s not forget the creams that promise to zap cellulite. As with all American goods and services, the choices are endless, and making the wrong one threatens to be the difference between looking like an Amazonian goddess and the horrifying prospect of looking (brace yourself) average. Continue reading “Making Room For Love and Hate | Samantha Duncan”