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The Bathing Suit Botheration

I’m graduating 8th grade next week! YAAAAAAAAYYYY!

As part of my school’s celebration of the graduation, my grade went to a local lake for the day. The lake was surrounded by a forest and a sandy beach. You could spend the day hiking in the woods, going rowboating, playing beach volleyball, soccer, or frisbee, chilling on the beach, and, of course, swimming.

This story involves multiple different people, so, to avoid confusion and to protect their identities, I will refer to them with different names and numbers based on my relationship with each person.

A few days beforehand, I bought a new bathing suit at the mall. Friend 1 and I were going shopping, and she told me that it looked adorable on me. Friend 1 was allowed to say that because she is exactly two months older than me and one grade ahead of me in school.

Here is a picture of my new bathing suit:

IMG_0093

Anyway, I took a shower the night before the trip to the lake. I don’t know about you, but whenever I take a shower, I get into a weird, thoughtful mindset. I think about everything that is going on in my life, the past, the present, the future, et cetera. On that particular night, I was thinking a lot about the trip to the lake, what with it being the next day, and my thoughts wandered back to my new swimsuit. And I had a brutal realization:

“All of the other girls will be wearing tiny bikinis and I will be the only one in a floral zip-up one piece suit and silver goggles. They’ll all stare at me and whisper about me and call me names and spread rumors behind my back.”

I had a mental panic attack, and decided not to even pack my swimsuit in my bag. I was NOT going swimming the next day.

The next day, we arrived at the lake. Everyone put down their belongings and changed into their swimsuits.

Multiply this picture by 35, and that is what all of the other girls in my grade looked like:

Capture

So, I went on a hike with Friend 2, and we got lost! We had to ask a random lifeguard for directions. It was so embarrassing, but so much fun. I love hiking. It was a long, tiring trail, but we made it back. I also made sand sculptures with Friend 3 and Friend 4, but they collapsed quickly due to the coarse-grained sand.

After lunch, Friends 3 and 4 decided to draw pictures of their surroundings. Friend 2 decided to go swimming, as did my other friend, Friend 5, and everyone else in our grade. Friend 6 had the complete collection of Jane Austen novels in one volume, so she was reading that the entire afternoon. I finished the book I was reading, and spent the rest of the afternoon scrolling through my iPod.

All the while, I looked at how much fun my classmates were having in the water. I kind of wished I had gone swimming, but I knew the scene that would go down.

Me: *jumps in water to take deep end test*

Enemy 1 (whispering): Oh my God, why isn’t Maisie wearing a bikini?

Enemy 2: She’s committing social suicide.

Enemy 3: And look at those dorky goggles! Who wears goggles when swimming?

Enemy 4: She’s such a [censored].

Enemy 5: I know, right? What an outcast.

Me (overhearing all of these things): *sniffles a bit* Lifeguard, I’m feeling a bit sick. Can I get out?

Lifeguard: Sure, get some rest. It was a good effort.

As I walk back to my towel, I overhear Enemies 1 through 5 tittering at me and whispering some more.

*On the bus ride home*

Me: *hears all of the girls in my grade whispering*

Enemy 6: psssssst psssssst weirdo pssssst one piece pssssst…

Enemy 7: psssssst psssssst I know right pssssst pssssst…

Me: *puts in headphones, listens to music, and tries to swallow the basketball-sized lump in my throat*

The problem is, the other girls in my grade were able to wear bikinis and not get laughed at. I personally prefer to wear one-pieces; I feel more comfortable in them, and they’re easier to swim in.

Friend 2 is a boy, and he was a bit nervous about swimming shirtless, but then he did it and nobody laughed at him. Nobody even gave him a second glance because all of the boys were doing the same thing.

In our society, there is lots of pressure on girls and women to wear revealing swimsuits, and because of that pressure, many girls have started swimming less often, myself included. I used to love swimming when I was younger because I could wear whatever bathing suit I wanted and I wouldn’t get ridiculed for it, and nobody cared if I wore a one-piece suit anyways. I love the feeling of the water on my skin, and I love doing handstands and tricks underwater. I love the cool sensation that washes over me and tingles down my spine when I plunge into the pool on a hot summer day.

I still swim with my family and close friends every once in a while, or when I’m at a hotel or the beach or a place where no one recognizes me.

And now, just because of my choice to wear one-piece bathing suits as opposed to bikinis, I can’t enjoy swimming all the time like I used to as a little girl. It’s saddening to see a summer tradition I used to love get ruined by societal pressure on adolescent girls.

It seems like the semi-aquatic mammal I used to be has gone into hibernation.

I wish things were different.


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My Summer Jams 2015

Hey readers!

As I write this, it is June 7th. My 8th grade graduation is in a little over two weeks, and summer is so close we can almost taste it. As many people, music industry professionals and hairbrush singers alike, know, summer is prime-time season for new hits. I mean, you can’t have a beachside BBQ without the perfect soundtrack to groove to! This is my personal list of Summer 2015 Jams, and if you haven’t yet checked any of these songs out, I’m including the links to the videos for these songs in this post.

1. “Cheerleader” by Omi, Felix Jaehn Remix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMXl7Uu6A0A

The beat in this song is, to put it simply, infectious! I dare you to sit still without grooving in your seat when you listen to this hot new track. The rhythm of the song is so artfully crafted, and the trumpet was just such a fun, creative touch to this fabulous summer 2015 pop hit.

2) “This is Gospel (Piano Version)” by Panic! At The Disco

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNnmcZlNZrU

Everyone I know has been RAVING about Panic! At The Disco since 7th grade, and I still hadn’t gotten around to checking them out. Then, my friends did an impromptu jam session to this beautiful, inspirational misfit anthem during lunch at school, and I just HAD to check it out. I don’t really like the original version of this song because all of the extra bells and whistles distract from Brendon Urie’s silky, haunting, richly melodic voice. You can check out the original if you want, but the acoustic version personally clicks with my music tastes better.

3) “Cliche” by Christina Grimmie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLMGpmWGaDk

If you thought I was going to make a Summer Jams 2015 list without including Grimmie’s electronica-inspired new single, you clearly don’t know me at all. Her vocals on this song are clean-cut and absolutely stellar, and the beat to this song is just plain awesome. Definitely check it out.

4) “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcIy9NiNbmo

Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez facing off against each other with armies of badass female spies, including Hailee Steinfeld, Zendaya, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, and Ellie Goulding. That would be a yes.

5) “Dancing Like A White Girl” by Dinah Jane

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVelcAOPrLs

Dinah Jane is a PERFECT GODDESS ANGEL FABULOUS PRINCESS QUEEN — I MEAN member of up-and-coming girl group Fifth Harmony. The moment when I discovered that she recorded this song as a solo artist when she was in middle school was probably the weirdest moment of my life, because she sounded EXACTLY THE SAME AS SHE SOUNDS NOW AT ALMOST 18 YEARS OLD!

Then, I looked past the awkwardness of the song, and I realized that it was actually a great, radio-ready song — the music execs really missed out on this one! Well, God has His plan for all of us, and clearly, He orchestrated the formation of Fifth Harmony.

6) “Nobody Love” by Tori Kelly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPX3qz1ve7M

OMG. AMAZING. FABULOUS. PERFECT. It has a Christina Aguilera-meets-R&B type flavor, and you won’t be able to get this one out of your head.

7) “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc

This one takes the top prize for 2015’s ultimate empowerment anthem. ‘Nuff said. Check it out, cry for hours, and, in the end, be inspired by this masterpiece.