That is the question … I am pondering in this post!
A couple of weeks ago I returned from a beach holiday in Thailand. We were there for a friend’s wedding and spent a good part of our time lounging around under palm trees, taking dips in the ocean. Perfect activities for swimmers and sarong!
When I bought my first pair of bathers post-surgery, it was all still quite new. I didn’t really know what to expect with my ostomy in general, let alone when swimming. I wanted something I would be comfortable in, so I opted for the support of a full one piece. I wore this travelling around Europe and now know that it’s completely fine and I have never had any issues when swimming at all.
This time I was adamant I would get myself a sexy bikini! So off I went to the Christmas sales ready to find the perfect 2 piece. I tried on a few different cossies and styles including the high wasted pants which I thought might be the go, but I didn’t like anything. There was something that just wasn’t quite right with everything I tried on. I am not much of a beach goer either, so I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a swimsuit I might only wear a couple of times a year.
Then I started thinking … I will be there with people I know – will it make them uncomfortable if my bag is showing? I know deep down these are friends who love me and would be totally fine with it, but it somehow seems different to if I was just around a bunch of strangers. Plus, if I wear a 2 piece I’ll end up with a weird looking bag tan line!
Then I started questioning myself. Am I just making up excuses? Am I really ok with wearing a bikini when I have a bag?
I’m open and willing to get my belly out. I’ve taken photos flashing my bag in public places all over the world. I am not embarrassed or ashamed of my ostomy in the slightest. But flashing for a photo is quite different to laying it all out there in a bikini.
Most people probably wouldn’t even notice. I just need to take the leap and after I’ve done it once, I would be fine. It really isn’t that big of a deal. I am overthinking it (as always!).
I have so much respect and admiration for people comfortable bagging it in a bikini. I put pressure on myself to be a good role model and empower others, and I really had every intention of getting a bikini for this trip! I am a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t, but everyone can lack a bit of confidence and be self-conscious in certain situations. There is nothing wrong with being modest either. Everyone is different. It doesn’t mean I am ashamed or weak or that I’ll never wear a bikini again, I just opted not to this time.
I’ve decided for next time a 2 piece with a longer singlet top might be the way to go. My bag might show, it just won’t be quite as obvious or conspicuous as a skimpier bikini (which I wouldn’t have worn before surgery either – not that there is anything wrong with that!). It will also be much easier to pull up and down every time I need to go to the toilet than a one piece!
Conclusion … whatever you choose, there’s no right or wrong. It’s all about what’s right for you, and more importantly wearing whatever you are comfortable in and makes you feel good!
I would love to hear other ostomate’s thoughts and experiences on beach/pool going and wearing a bikini. What are you comfortable in?