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Mothering › Groups › September 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Quick question on "cultural appropriateness"..

Quick question on "cultural appropriateness"..

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

i'm a European living in the US, and sometimes i still get lost in questions of whether something is culturally appropriate to do or if it could be taken as "offensive". 

 

here in California it is ridiculously hot right now and so i want to go swimming. i don't have a one-piece. in Europe i don't think anyone would mind, but seeing how many people are still offended at seeing breastfeeding mamas around here, i thought i'd better check with some real Americans on this one ;)

 

do you think it is culturally ok / not offensive to walk into a public pool (with children, most likely, too) being 6 1/2 months pregnant wearing a bikini? or do you think i should, i don't know, put on a tshirt or something to cover up the belly so as not to perhaps traumatize little children who may not know yet where babies come from? 

 

this might sound like a silly question, but i've unintentionally offended people in the past.. so i wanted to see what you all think! thanks :)

post #2 of 17

I'm in Canada and also slightly obnoxious sometimes, so take this for what it's worth.

I'd figure if they'd let me in in a bikini while unpregnant, then they can just deal with me while pregnant. I'd say that it's not up to us to hide our existence and more up to parents to explain to their children to whatever extent, why a woman might have a huge belly.

post #3 of 17
I love what katalopolis said!

Also, I don't believe there'd be anything inappropriate about you wearing a bikini. I see all shapes and sizes in bikinis-so a round pregnant belly would be just fine!

FWIW, I'm from the suburban Midwest, so probably much more conservative than anywhere in Calafornia would be on the matter.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefreckledmama View Post

FWIW, I'm from the suburban Midwest, so probably much more conservative than anywhere in Calafornia would be on the matter.

 

thanks ladies! i'm planning on going swimming tomorrow, so i'm glad i got some first opinions back :) 

 

freckledmama, good to hear. if you don't think the suburban Midwest would get offended, it should be ok to do in Cali 8)

 

yaaay swimming pool here i come!

post #5 of 17

Honestly, imo, and this is just me and my "I don't give a sh!t attitude", if someone is gonna be offended by MY pregnant body, or MY body in general they don't have to look at me. If it bothers them so much they can leave. It's balls hot in Minnesota right now, 80+ degree with almost 100% humidty (FML) and we've been at the beach every day. My boobs are huge and thus I have cleavage, I'm pregnant with stretch marks from here to there, and my cellulite makes a special guest appearance whenever I put my bikini short bottoms on. People can deal with it. It's a public swimming pool or lake. You aren't naked, sitting spread eagle for all the kiddos to see your Who-Ha, so if people are gonna make comments, tell them to kiss your pregnant @$$ it's a public swimming area. You're human to and you have every right to be there. 

 

I'll stop. Sorry this topic gets me all fired up because America's "beauty, body image" bullsh!t it's so effing ridiculous and disgusting. 

 

DON'T LET ANYONE SHAME YOU.

 

(with that rant over, I've never had anyone say anything to me about my appearance and if they did I never heard. Not my problem if they if are uncomfortable. They need to get over it)

post #6 of 17

uhm, i bought a bikini specifically FOR my pregnancy. I would never be interested in wearing one normally, but I think pregnant bellies are delightful and I am anxious to show mine off. 

post #7 of 17

i agree with what everyone has said.  but be aware there might be some totally ridiculous people who would be offended...but you'll probably never see them again and screw them anyways.  if you get a dirty look from someone, just stare them down right back.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsandmrs View Post

uhm, i bought a bikini specifically FOR my pregnancy. I would never be interested in wearing one normally, but I think pregnant bellies are delightful and I am anxious to show mine off. 

yeahthat.gif  Me too! I can't wait until it gets here.  Plus, the tankini I borrowed from a friend just feels YUCK stretched over my burgeoning belly and I think a bikini would be more comfortable. I've never worn one before, ever, so it's hilarious to get into one when I'm pushing closer to 200lbs!

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by haurelia View Post

The tankini I borrowed from a friend just feels YUCK stretched over my burgeoning belly and I think a bikini would be more comfortable.

 

I wear a goofy retro one-piece when I am not pregnant, but I bought the WORST fitting bikini from Target simply because of what haurelia said!  If I could go in nothing more than a bikini bottom, then that would be ideal.  I guess that's good, because I am 206 pounds right now and I wear a 34HH bra, so nothing from Target is going to contain what I have going on, either in the belly or in the bikini top.

 

My first time at the beach I wore a dedicated maternity swimsuit (a mock tankini) and I just felt like an unsexy cow.  I thought more coverage would make me feel better, but for me, it just highlighted the "EVERYONE LOOK AT ME; I AM PREGNANT!" feelings I was trying so adamantly to avoid.  So, I spent $15 and bought one of the cheapie XL bikinis from Target.  I felt totally weird my first time at the beach with it on and I wore a tank top over it at first, but frankly, like a sisterhood of solidarity, the more heavyset girls I see wearing a bikini, the more confidence I have too.  It reminded me that bikinis aren't just for "the beautiful people" and that all bodies are beautiful (hippie).

post #10 of 17

Reminds me of the phrase I've seen around lately putting a twist on a lot of women's magazines. "How do you get a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body."

post #11 of 17
So my Old Navy bikini arrived, and there's NO WAY the top can contain my bountiful 36G bosom. Boo hoo! DH loved it, of course, but I wouldn't feel comfortable at all--plus, the halter neck had to be tied soooo tight it got irritating in 5 minutes. So, I might have to break down and spend $$ on a bra-size swimsuit top. But damnit, I'm still going to be rocking a bikini this year one way or the other!
post #12 of 17
My husband and I are members at a nudist resort where i feel totally comfortable walking around nude, but weirdly would feel self conscious in a bikini...
post #13 of 17

I got a tankini, only because I burn so freaking easily that I like to be covered as much as possible.  I actually only got maternity bottoms, and then a XL top-the top I love because it has straps that go over the shoulders like a bra rather than a halter.  I cannot stand halter top suits, because I too have to tie them so tight that it hurts my neck.

post #14 of 17

Oh, swimming in a pool would be so nice right now. A few years ago my friend and I who have close birthdays spent the day at a spa with a pool and that was awesome. Maybe I can convince her to do the same this year.

 

vc, your question reminds me of something my mother commented on years ago. She had a friend who lived in the US but was originally from Belgium (where I'm from) and the friend had gotten a nasty comment from someone at the pool because her 3 year old daughter was not wearing a bikini top! Three years old! Seriously?! It is strange to me too that you have to be so much more aware of what sort of "nudity" is going to offend someone.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanSolitude View Post

My husband and I are members at a nudist resort where i feel totally comfortable walking around nude, but weirdly would feel self conscious in a bikini...

Jealous you have a nudist resort near you. 

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakipode View Post

Oh, swimming in a pool would be so nice right now. A few years ago my friend and I who have close birthdays spent the day at a spa with a pool and that was awesome. Maybe I can convince her to do the same this year.

 

vc, your question reminds me of something my mother commented on years ago. She had a friend who lived in the US but was originally from Belgium (where I'm from) and the friend had gotten a nasty comment from someone at the pool because her 3 year old daughter was not wearing a bikini top! Three years old! Seriously?! It is strange to me too that you have to be so much more aware of what sort of "nudity" is going to offend someone.

I'm horrified someone sexualized a child like that. they wanted a THREE YEAR OLD to be covered up, why?! 

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

i'm very encouraged now to just go in my bikini. thanks, ladies!

 

dakipode, do you live in the US? i forgot.. yeah, my question here is not so much about me personally not being sure if it's ok to parade around in a bikini while seriously pregnant -- it's more an expression of me being used to different cultural standards. sometimes i get things "wrong" - e.g., cursing offends a good amount of people i know in the US, so i don't do it as much anymore (although i curse all the time with my friends from Europe, so it's just a different cultural standard). or - where i'm from in Europe, breastfeeding in public is a totally normal, natural thing and nobody would ever even THINK to object to it, or stare at the mother's breast or anything. but in the US, they sell these covers, and i've seen a friend of mine use them even in their own home while we were visiting them. so these things make me wonder what people think is appropriate.

 

it's easier to be intentionally "obnoxious" and have a "deal with it" attitude when you KNOW your place within the culture you live in, but as a foreigner sometimes you're not so sure!

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