Sunday, August 7, 2011
Do You Dare Wear a Bikini?
Helen Mirren rocked a bikini at 63, so why shouldn't you!
Besides — it's HOT!
Author Barbara Grufferman (The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts' Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More) has already admitted that her lovely German cousin, Barbara Haspel, has inspired her fashion choices far more than any celebrity.
In The Style Muse in Your Own Backyard, she explains that her cousin's foreignness — that intrinsic panache Europeans seem to have naturally — was a seductive influence, and she loved adopting "Cousin B's" way of putting outfits together.
On a recent visit though, when the two were trying to beat the heat and enjoy some quality beach time together, Barbara H couldn't quite coax Barbara G into a bikini.
At 54, Barbara Grufferman is committed to tankinis. And she looks great in them — especially because she religiously follows the exercise program she explains in her book. (She's even run/walk training for the NYC Marathon in the fall!)
But it's the sun that deters her:
It's more about covering my body as protection, as opposed to feeling uncomfortable in a bikini. I try not to be in the sun in general, and if I am (at the beach, for example) I always have an umbrella so I can be under it, always have on at least 50 SPF, and always alway always wear a hat!"
Barbara Haspel on the other hand, has always worn a bikini to the beach, and sees no reason to change it up now even though she's 62.
I have worn bikinis all my life,since I got my first one when I was 12 or so. I do Pilates and yoga, play tennis and golf to stay fit — and I eat healthy food. I don´t know how long I will show my belly at the beach, but surely in my garden. It is a good feeling to have air touch your body."
Maybe it's a European thing. Europeans are much more relaxed about body image. Which would also explain British Helen Mirren's comfort level (although there are those sculpted abs too!).
Maybe it's all the art all around them — Rubenesque figures might be more mainstream that the stick thin models we focus on here. And truthfully, most countries 'across the pond' don't have the weight issues we have here either. But Barbara Haspel is hardly Rubenesque. She says:
In Europe, bikinis are very popular. We are maybe more courageous and less prudish than American women. For a long time it was even nothing special to go topless on a lot of beaches, but that is no longer the norm. I'm glad, because I think most women look better with a top!"
Whether in her garden or on the beach, Barbara looks healthy and normal — and great in a bikini at 62.