A few weeks ago, I was on a Carnival cruise from New Orleans to Mexico.
Have you cruised? Spent time on a ship sailing south with total strangers? If yes, then you’ll know–Cruise ships are a microcosm of anatomy on parade. Not just a collection of people from strange lands and foreign cultures, all races, religions, beliefs and values, but specifically, body types.
Every adolescent coming into physical development, as well as those adults with body issues, should cruise. A few days on a boat at sea with global strangers can effectively undo years of Hollywood damage.
The equality of appearances is impressive. Of course you notice the differences, you can’t help but notice, but regardless of your initial reactions, your noticing does not matter. And after a while you just don’t.
A visual buffet of physiques, there is nothing not represented. Tall, short, thin, wide, young, old, scarred, ripped, tattooed, hirsute, husky, curvy, wiry, buxom, lanky, saggy, or taut in every shade from parchment to obsidian (and of course degrees of crimson by the end of the voyage).
There is no body shaming at sea because no one is ashamed of their body. There’s no time for covering up, hiding, being fearful of what others might think or say. There’s a leveling to deck exposure, everyone is on display, so no one cares.
You’re on a boat on the open, endless, beautiful, big blue sea/ocean/gulf with bright sunshine and salty breezes. Then you’re on land–exotic locations with fruity beverages and sandy beaches. Of course you’re going to put on a swimsuit. Squeeze into or slip on makes no difference, you’re on vacation. You don’t think about it. You socialize, eat, drink, sun, and play.
If only we didn’t think about it at home.