Yesterday at the beach, instead of sporting my usual Brazilian bikini with cover-up, I wore a tankini.
If you aren’t familiar, a tankini is a two-piece bathing suit with a tank top, complete with padding, and a matching pair of swim boy-shorts. It’s like clothing, but you can wear it in the water!
Wearing this to Leblon beach is probably my biggest cultural faux-pas to date. I can feel my Brazilian husband cringing through the internet.
Listen, I’m usually a comedy on a Brazilian beach anyway. I’m pale. I throw down a large plastic Pottery Barn (awesome) beach mat in front of the beach chairs instead of the customary canga (that item is usually wrapped around my Brazilian bikini). I sometimes bring my own food. So why not throw a tankini on top of the pile?
My main reason for wearing the tankini is that my daughter likes to play. She likes to jump the waves and run around in the sand. And she wants me to do it with her. Romping around the beach is just so much more comfortable wearing a tankini.
Brazil being the land of bikinis, and not just any bikinis, but the skimpy, high-butt-cut bikinis, of course I received some smirks and stares. Did the rather large (more than 300 lbs) woman a few spots down from us receive any smirks? Did the 90-year-old woman hiking it along the shoreline received smirks? Nope. That’s the beauty of Brazilian culture – all are accepted in a bikini. But tankini girl? Not so much.
I tried to tell myself that I was ahead of the curve. That I was sporting a cool, retro, Annette Funicello 60’s look that everyone would soon be wearing on the beaches of Brazil.
Ok, maybe that will never happen. But my daughter and I certainly had a great time playing in the waves.