So, I think I've mentioned that at camp we spend a lot of time at the pool. A lot. Which is great, because I love the pool and because these are the "this is heaven" kind of faces that I get to see when I'm there.
But, spending time at the pool at a middle school camp also gives the me the opportunity to notice some things. One of those things is that middle school girls (and I'm sure boys too) are, in general, in varying stages of insecurity. And never is it more obvious than when they are at the pool. You can't really blame them. You see, the thing about middle school girls is that they run the gamut in terms of development. Some still look like basically like children, not all that different than Hope. And some...well...some look like full blown women. It's no wonder that there are insecurities. There is no normal in middle school. And everyone is sure that they are being scrutinized by their peers. And actually, they're probably right.
Today, amidst all the bikini clad middle school bodies at the pool (because everyone should think you are confident enough to wear a bikini no matter how you feel), I noticed how almost all of them sat covering themselves with their arms or their towels in some way. They sat there covering their bellies, their chests, their legs, whatever part they weren't too sure about, and tried to act like they weren't comparing. As I watched them, I suddenly had the urge to go into town and buy a bikini to wear, just so that they would have someone else to look at. Someone else to compare to and make themselves feel a little better, since my bikini body definitely isn't what it used to be. Then, maybe they would get a momentary break from their own insecurities. And I remember middle school enough to know that even a momentary break would be nice.
I have my own moments of insecurity. They still come more frequently than I would hope. But, these days, I work a little less at covering up my imperfections. And, I try harder not to compare myself to others. In the twenty years since middle school, I guess I've learned a little something about being comfortable in your own skin.
I think I'll stick to my tankini, though. :)