A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter — No. 31 “Swimsuit Season”

Dear daughter,

As I write this it is summertime…which also means swimsuit season.

Now that you’re older, I’m going to let you in on a secret; I never liked wearing a swimsuit. Every time we’ve gone to the beach or pool you’ve seen me in a swimsuit and I’ve never complained.

Before you were born I very rarely wore a swimsuit. I was always self-conscious about my body. I was embarrassed and ashamed.

But then you came along and I decided that I would wear a swimsuit no matter what. You love to swim so it happens somewhat frequently. 

I never wanted you to see me unhappy with my body. I never wanted you to think you have to be a certain size to wear a swimsuit.

The truth is swimsuits are for everyone and come in all sizes.

So many women despise swimsuit season but having an eating disorder can make it even more difficult. 

But still, I put on that fucking swimsuit. 

You’re six years old right now and have unfortunately witnessed my struggle with food, anxiety, and weight. However, you have also witnessed me in treatment. I just feel that wearing a swimsuit is one way I can make a difference and send a message.

My hope is that no matter what changes your body goes through as you get older, you will always wear a swimsuit as well. I hope you will send a body-positive message to those around you — especially to those who are younger — just as I’m trying so hard to do right now.

You are beautiful and always remember you can wear whatever the hell you want no matter what size you are. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. 



PS In just a couple months, we will be taking our annual trip to Kelleys Island. I look forward to watching you play and splash around at the beach!


  1. Katydid says

    This is so true. I had pipe-cleaner shaped children (tall and thin), yet my daughter came home from first grade upset because some boy in her class had called her fat and told her she needed to go on a diet. It starts early and it’s pervasive,

    It’s built into the system. If you get women too worried about their weight, their hair, their makeup (too much or not enough), their shoes…then they don’t compete well with men because they’re too focused on how they look.

  2. Katydid says

    I agree with Abe Drayton–proud of you for how hard you’re working to be a good mom for your daughter.

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