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Ask a Raging Feminist: How do you prepare for bathing suit season?

Avital Norman Nathman is a freelance writer whose work places a feminist lens on a variety of topics, including motherhood, maternal health, gender, and reproductive rights. Her work has been featured in Bitch magazine, Cosmopolitan.com,...

Bathing suit season tips you won't find elsewhere!

Summer is almost here, and you know what that means: bathing suit season! BSS is a big deal, especially if you check out magazines aimed at health, women, teens, fitness, celebrity gossip or fashion. Most of these magazines push various fitness routines and diets to prepare for BSS, but we were curious what our raging feminists had to say.

Today's question: What are you doing to get ready for bathing suit season?

"Ummm.... basically nothing. Keeping up my regular diet of wine and Target fruit snacks. Does trying to sleep more count? I figure if I sleep better now, I'll be more rested for my trips to the pool and beach in my bathing suit. Oh, and I work out, but that's more for mental health than preparation to get ready for the bikinis that I already own and fit into." — Wagatwe Sara Wanjuki

"Trying to decide whether to try bleaching the mold out of my bikini from last year, or just give up and buy a new one. Sneering at the body-policing listicles of summer." — Anna Holtzman

"Deep breaths. Reminding myself that size 14 is a badge of honor: Two years of fertility treatments, one late-term abortion, one miscarriage and one vibrant, army crawling, perfect baby. Taking that baby to her first swim lesson. More deep breaths." — April Salazar

"Apply a ton of sunscreen because melanoma would really be a downer. Spend 5 minutes obsessing over whether my pubic hair is 'appropriate.' Spend 5 more minutes cursing the patriarchy and impossible standards of beauty that spawned my previous 5 minutes. Inevitably trim that ish because I don't feel like dealing with people staring at my crotch (or ever thinking that people might be staring at my crotch). Remember that I still have hairy legs because I gotta do something to fight the patriarchy. Self-high-five."  — Allison Smartt

"Polishing my exoskeleton." — Heather F. G.

"I am working my butt off to get ready for bathing suit season. People think it's easy, but being ready for bathing suit season takes dedication and perseverance! Every day I wake up, get ready, drink a gallon of coffee, get on a crowded subway, and then sit at my office for 8 hours so I can make enough money to buy myself a bathing suit. By next week I should have enough saved up for an overpriced, ill-fitting, but sexy as hell summer staple. I would use the one I have from last year but it's not in style anymore." — Patricia Valoy

"Eat the same things I always do (maybe some more fruit since it's seasonally appropriate). Exercise the same amount I always do (not really at all). With all the extra time I have not working out or planning extra-clean, extra-healthy, extra-unsatisfying meals, I'll do things like read, sunbathe, pen a 2015 update to the S.C.U.M. Manifesto, sew patches to my jean jacket, play with dogs, up my face masque game, and eat more ice cream. Say 'deal with it' every time I put my sunglasses on. Dare to take up space in the world. Exist, generally. Put on a bathing suit. Feel myself." — Meredith Modzelewski

"My feminist raging is apt to involve some flailing of limbs, so I like to make sure my swimsuit can accommodate the extra activity and still retain a comfortable fit. Then all that's left is to check the expiration dates on my bottles of sunscreen and start hinting to every boat owner I know that I prefer lake swimming." — Celeste Lindell

"As this is my first bikini season in a land of beaches and required trendy attire, I'm taking the beachbody [sic] idea more seriously than in the past. I've decided as a SNAP recipient, I would just implement all the proposed restrictions on my $140/month food allowance from around the country. So far, I have cut out: filet mignon, crab legs, potatoes, prepared pasta sauces — and the pasta obvi, cookies, chips, lobster, energy drinks, soft drinks, cooking spices (this one has been rough!), dried beans, deli meat, pickles, shrimp, nuts, soups, full packaged meals, cupcakes, crackers, and popcorn.

"You just would NOT believe how fast the pounds have come off! I'm dedicating this year's beach ready bod to Rep. Rick Brattin (R) of Missouri, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) of Kansas, and Rep. Robert Brooks (R) of Wisconsin! With special thanks, of course, to former president Clinton for kicking off the reform process that these fine gentlemen are taking to the next level." — Katie Klabusich

"When bathing suit season approaches, a mature female has to be sure that her body is ready for presentation. Gills and other sensitive areas must be clean. Make sure that all body hair is braided and adorned tastefully. Remember that you are putting yourself on display at the height of mating season! Your bathing suit needs to be sensual and revealing as well as resistant to any venomous secretions. Make sure your tentacles are displayed prominently and to their best advantage. Always keep in mind that the perfect mate could be watching you at any time and take time to arrange and display your decorative spinal ridges before the arrival of any eligible males. Above all: be yourself, relax, and have fun!" — Seraphina Ferraro

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