When a 42-year-old wears a bikini.

At what point does a lady of riper years have to stop wearing a two-piece? A high ponytail? A mini skirt? A smoky eye? These are all questions that pop up when you are a woman my age.

In your 20’s you are heedless, reckless in your youth. By 30, you’ve matured a little and have perhaps strived to adopt a classier look—you’ve also invested heavily in sunscreen. By 40, you still have it—if you’re lucky— but have begun to detect your glow slippage, cracks in the surface etc.

Some women panic. I have chosen not to. However, it has occurred to me that maybe it’s time to ditch the two-piece. Should I invest in some totally blah racer-back unitard? Perhaps a 1920’s bathing costume— a garbage bag?




I’m going to carry on with the boobs and butt front and center program. You know why? Because it’s more fun. Besides, I have recently discovered everyone at the gym is just looking at their cell phones anyway. They wouldn’t notice if I swam nude in tube socks while wearing a Richard Nixon mask.


Kind of liberating.


I happen to think men and women in their 40’s are ultra-hot. And other smart people do as well. A little wear is sexy.  Still, I’m not in complete celebration of my ancient years. It could be worse, I’m holding up pretty good. But there is the matter of the abdominal region. Rock hard abs, I do not possess. So what does one do with this bulging area when sporting a two-piece?


Yay! The arrival of the high-rise bikini bottom! I love when trends swing your way. Think again, all this Rita Hayworth throw-back brief does is flatten the gut while squeezing the excess meat in question upward, revealing what extra you have in a nice tire shape.


What to do…what to do? Spanks under the high-waister?


Screw that. I’m going with it. In fact, I’m going to wear red lipstick while I swim laps—red to go with my red Zoomer fins and kickboard. I love how my manicured nails look all beaded up with water droplets. And I’m going to wear a glittery swim cap too. I am no longer the hot chick at the pool. I am the kooky middle-ager in orange mirrored goggles, trying not to drown. Is it possible that I am actually enjoying getting older? I think so.



Here’s to all those women in their 40’s and older. Rock your muffin tops. I do. Wear your age loud and proud. Whoever said old isn’t hot is the same idiot who is staring down at his cell phone when there is a bevy of 40-year-old bathing beauties to check out. And sometimes our tops even fall off mid flip-turn, so pay attention—it’s a good show!

Tessa Bowen