Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day (As Long As You Hide Your Big Body in Independence, Missouri)

Happy Independence Day!

Katie and I are putting on our swim suits, getting ready to have some fun outside.  I'm excited because I finally broke down and bought a new swim suit.  I bought my old one the summer Katie was born, so it's nearly seven years old.  It has lost so much of its former elasticity or spandexy or whatever that when I enter the pool I have yards of fabric floating all around me.  As much as I think people should get to wear whatever they want at the community pool, as I wrote about here, even I was getting embarrassed by my old suit.

Will convinced me to buy this sexy suit:

It's the first black suit I've owned.  I read once in some women's magazine that people with very fair skin look awful in black swim suits.  I no longer pay attention to women's magazines.  I listen to myself.  And, my encouraging husband.  Will says the black against white is a nice contrast.  Whatever.  It's comfortable.  I like the way it looks on me.  And I like the way Will looks at me when I wear it.

Will had encouraged me to get a bikini to flaunt my body to raise awareness of the Health at Every Size® philosophy I've been touting lately.  I'm more confident about my body than ever, yet I'm still somewhat shy, so I settled on this sexy black halter one-piece.

I'm wishing now I'd gotten the bikini, in solidarity with Madelyn Sheaffer, the woman from--how's this for irony-- Independence, Missouri, who in this video describes how she felt being told she had to cover up her big bottom or leave the community pool:

“I just felt like I was singled out,” Sheaffer said, “I felt like it was both age and body discrimination and I felt like I could look around me and I could see a handful of other girls half my age, wearing the same size swimming suit and not being singled out and told to put on clothes or leave.”

The City of Independence is backing up the pool manager's decision to have this full-figured woman escorted from the community pool for wearing a swim suit that others with younger, smaller bodies can wear without harassment.  From this article that accompanies the video above:

"The City of Independence says it’s up to the manager to decide if a person’s attire is appropriate or not and they don’t feel like they discriminated against Sheaffer."

What do you say, Internet friends?  Should Ms. Sheaffer have been kicked out of a community swimming pool because of her itsy bitsy teeny weenie bikini?  

It sounds to me like the only thing too small in this story is the mind of the City leaders and the pool manager and staff.  I'm going to contact the City of Independence to complain.  You can too, here.