NEW YORK—With temperatures rising in the parts of the country that experience seasons, along with vaccine injections, residents are excited for summer and hopeful they can resume something resembling a carefree lifestyle of drinking in public parks and hookups with strangers. And now that bikini season is right around the corner, one New York area woman came to the jarring realization that it is once again time for her to hate her body.
“Is it really time for me to get my bikini body into gear already?” gasped Kelsey, a resident of the Upper East Side. “Without all the constant messaging of how I need to shed my love handles or get rid of my stretch marks, I simply lost track of the time of year!”
For the past 12 months, Kelsey found herself preoccupied not with the newest technology that promised to freeze your fat off or the latest iteration of the thigh gap, but with simply staying alive.
“As nice as that was, I’m glad to be back in my comfort zone of feeling extremely uncomfortable in my own skin, like I just want to rip it off,” she says. “I mean, literally—I fantasize about this a lot. I think I’d start with the flap of skin under my arms.”
And while last April, Kelsey’s main wardrobe concern was locating an effective face covering that wasn’t marked up 6,000%, the 29-year-old says she’s excited to get back to her roots, which include agonizing over her reflection in dressing room mirrors and storefront windows, trying on every single bikini in the Bloomingdale’s swim section and leaving empty-handed because “bikinis just look weird on me, I guess”, and working salads into every topic of conversation.
As her friends stress over the expectation to wear less clothing after an uncharacteristic year of moving less and drinking and eating more, Kelsey has found another silver lining: “Although small businesses and restaurants have suffered nearly insurmountable setbacks due to the pandemic, on the bright side, there are more companies than ever promising to get me to my goal weight in 30 days!”
“Do I go with the effective, but expected keto? The more glamorous Intermittent Fasting? Maybe I should try that ProLon thing all those influencers are posting about,” she says. “All the options are almost making me nostalgic for the simpler times when all I had to worry about was if dropping groceries off at my parents’ house would kill them.”
Kelsey’s friends have noticed the change, too. They report that during the pandemic, her usual diet talk and hemming and hawing over her jeans size were replaced by nuanced conversations about current events, sexism, and societal double-standards. Now, she’s back to interrogating everyone in her friend circle about how many calories they think are in her tofu and goat cheese scramble.
“Thank god we’re starting to return to normal,” she said with a sigh of relief. “I was starting to become interesting.”
Image: Bruce and Rebecca Meissner /Stocksy