11 May 2011

Parking it in the Sun

Photo by unclegaucho courtesy of Flickr

As a child, (this, of course, when being sun-smart was non-existent), one of my summer memories is playing in my grandparents’ pool as my aunt chose to stay on land in a swimsuit that exposed more than it covered as she coated herself in baby oil and let the sun bake her. Now, there are many things wrong with this image. One being inviting the sun’s rays to cause damage, invoking many visits to a dermatologist for a skin test later in life; and the other being the amount of skin I saw on a family member.  Only more disturbing is seeing a great amount of flesh on strangers when not in a beach or pool setting.

I understand that as city dwellers, we do not have the luxury of a backyard to channel our reptilian ways and lie in the sun to warm us. However, I also think that maybe when one chooses to lay out in the park, discretion in clothing or lack thereof should come into play.  In between the thoughts of, “Ew! Are these people lying out where dogs poop?” my self-esteem fluctuates in a variety of ways.

There are the days I stroll through the park, on my way home from some monotonous activity-like work, and there are the beauty queens lying out in their itty-bitty bikinis.  Usually by them is a blonde Icelandic-God-looking type, and they are giggling. Once the jealousy of, “How dare they get to spend a day lying and giggling in the sun!” passes, I then become very aware of my low-rise pants in which my belly is hanging over the top, and debate giving up food for a few weeks.   And then once again the, “Ew, are they lying in dog poop?” pops in my head and I giggle at my joke with the universe.

The next situation I run into on summer days in the park is the older men who have forgotten that they are not on a beach in France.  These are the blokes, who still like the baby oil theory of tanning, and who are not at all embarrassed for you to breeze by as they display their glory in Speedos.   Now, I know that we all come in different sizes and shapes and we are all beautiful in our own way.  But Speedos do not look good on anyone, and personally, I like a little imagination.

Now, by no means do I want to discourage anyone from using any of the public parks on the Hill.  We are lucky to live in a city that has so much green space available to us.  The minute the cold leaves and that first signs of  summer sunshine warm us, I gather up my brood for the day at one of the many parks to which we have access.  I have even been seen lying on a blanket at the Arboretum, hugging the sun tight.  (Editor’s note– Ow!!) However, if we do choose to sun ourselves, we should wear sunscreen and maybe consider putting on a pair of pants.  And watch out for the dog poop.

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One response to “Parking it in the Sun”

  1. Caroline says:

    I would feel weird hanging out on Capitol Hill in a bikini, no matter how great my body looked. This isn’t the beach, and besides, you can get a good enough tan in a sundress or tank top/shorts.

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