Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Failed Prude

As my body is propelled forward, both skis are ripped off and ill-fitting bikini bottoms solely worn for very occasional beach holidays determinedly attempt to heighten my already growing shame. Ever since I can remember I've been a bit of a prude but for some unfortunate reason my clothes seem to have their own rather contrary opinions about flesh coverage.

Recently attempting and failing to water ski in St Lucia, I was actually relieved in many ways I never managed to properly stand-up. After a strange “10 minute lesson” spent squatting and leaning forward on a wooden jetty, my first attempt was unsurprisingly not so successful. Ever-determined I tried five more times to stand-up, occasionally managing to briefly be dragged along partially stood. On these few occasions, rather than fear of speed or failure, I was more concerned I might expose myself as the action of the boat suddenly moving forward and me being dragged out of the water seemed to be some kind of signal to my bikini bottoms, telling them it was time to meet their watery grave.

As a child I apparently ran around the garden naked in yellow wellingtons. As an over-weight teenager I dreaded changing-room showers at school and as the years have passed little seems to have changed; In Virgin Active's poser's playground, I'm the one either waiting for one of the few changing cubicles, seeking solace in the extremely under-used more private family section or carefully manoeuvring clothes under the cover of a strategic towel. Any beach holidays I have been on, I've always been reluctant to put on a bikini and have never walked around in one, grabbing for a t-shirt or wrap instead. Of course this all boils down to a lifetime of being overly conscious about my body.

Despite my obvious hang-ups, I seem to be pretty bad at assessing the most appropriate attire to modestly undertake some of the more adventurous activities out there. The most memorable part of my New Zealand bungee jump was my water “touch” landing. On the morning of the bungee I purposely planned my outfit to avoid exposing flesh but failed miserably in my selection. Having tried my upper arm strength on the pole in the past, I'm well aware of how annoying loose-fitting clothes can be when you're upside down. Thinking I'd found the perfect bungee ensemble, I was pretty gutted when I was dunked below my knees into Taupo's river to bounce back up exposing a full tummy and soaked high-risen bra. The guys reeling me in with a pole couldn't resist commenting on the British tendency to “get our tits out”.

Although I was pretty devastated, The exhilaration of the bungee managed to over-ride my shame, until I examined the still souvenir shots on sale for all to see. Needless to say, I didn't purchase any photographic evidence of this wardrobe malfunction and I'm grateful to say no-one managed to capture last week's bikini bottom near disappearance.

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