Restricting yet free.
After writing this piece I realised how ridiculous it will probably sound to Croatians. Please forgive me, for I am British.
What do you think of speedos?
Prior to moving to Croatia, I thought only three types of men wore them ? young boys, older men with an appetite, and professional swimmers or divers. In my first summer in Croatia, I saw this wasn?t the case and that men of all ages, shapes and sizes wore them without worry.
Somehow I had fallen guilty to a type of body shaming. The idea that wearing speedos was uncool because of their skimpiness, ?revealing? nature and potential VPL (visible penis line). This only really hit me one day, when walking along the coast, I overheard a young female from the US.
?Wow, they really have no shame!?, she commented on a group of guys who were running around in their speedos whilst playing picigin, a Dalmatian sport where the goal is to keep the ball out of the water, but with style.
I was shocked at her comment. These guys were extremely fit, their bodies trim, tanned and toned. They obviously played every day, in this swimwear, without a care in the world what others may think.
So to make such a comment about this particular group, made me wonder what she?d say if they were less in-shape, or whether she would say it about a group of women in bikinis playing the same game. Perhaps she was projecting her own feelings, but ultimately it?s the pressure from the societies we grow up in, whether from the US or UK, we face these body image messages on a daily basis.
I realised that I had also been guilty of this for a long time. I had never given budgie smugglers partly because of them being considered a fashion faux-pas, but also out of insecurity of not having the body of CR7. So I thought I better give them a go in case I was missing out on something amazing.
I wasn?t quite ready to go headfirst into such a transition. I might not find them comfortable after all, and thought I?d find some middle ground first. This led me to finding a stepping stone in the transition ? DCs.
Appropriately named after Daniel Craig because of his infamous exit from the sea in Casino Royale. With such branding, I also managed to encourage fellow Brit Tom to take the plunge.
I still remember wearing them for the first time, and feeling a bit weird stripping down to them. Yet many of my friends wore similar swimwear. Only I was aware of my awkwardness, and Tom and I later discussed how great they felt and actually looked too. The only issue was the potential testicle slippage, which is why you have to make sure they?re a tight fit.
After a summer of DCs, it was time to move on. I had been gifted a pair of Speedo type swimwear as a leaving present from my former housemates. Not quite sure why this gift, however fate meant that now was my chance to wear them. Who better to witness it first hand than one of my best friends from home too.
Once again, feeling slightly awkward, I stripped down, and made my way to the sea for a game of water polo. As I stood there waiting for my friend, his wife took a photo, and demanded I turned round. I ignored her lust for gawking, got in the sea and never looked back.
It was really only the other week when I realised how great they were. We had decided to cycle to a beach a bit further away, and rather than carry stuff I just cycled in some swim shorts.
The moment I was waist deep in the sea, it started to feel weird. The material wet and clinging to my legs, and then when I got out the damp shorts felt bleurgh. Never again, I thought to myself.
What do you think of speedos now? Well don?t mock them til you try them.
Pop out and get yourself a cheap pair. Give them a try and see what you think, not just once but for a whole summer. I?d recommend starting with black and with a waist band no wider than two fingers, or you could try some DC?s like this guy first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq-9QBUmELA