‘Carlos’

When I grew up in the Netherlands we were not judged on what to wear to a pool or at the beach when we were kids.
My parents let me walk around in only a swim bottom for years and I didn’t even know better. It wasn’t strange and most of my friends (girls) did exactly the same.

Is this the reality where we are now living in? The world is changing, the innocence is disappearing.

There is nothing to show when you’re only 4 years old, so why all the fuss when my daughter walks around in only a swimming bottom?

Well…my lesson here in the USA is…cover up your child at the pool or beach!!

We live so close to the water right now, that my daughter and I like to go to the beach regularly. It depends of the day, but I also let my daughter walk around with only a swim bottom at the beach…just like my parents did with me and my sisters growing up.

We have learned over the years not to pay attention to the opinions of others anymore…it was a lost cause anyways. Unfortunately that wasn’t always the case and it all started 4 1/2 years ago in Texas…

We were already informed that the thoughts of the average American would be a little different than a Dutch person, but with this subject I never thought we would be so far off. The first two years you couldn’t really tell if my daughter was a boy or a girl due the lack of hair (thanks to my husband). Me, on the other hand, you still couldn’t tell until I was like twelve years old thanks to the hairdresser and my mom!!! But that’s a whole different story to write about.

So, back to this story…

Letting my daughter walk around in only a swimming diaper outside was no problem. Why should it be in the first place anyway??

The “real problem” started when we moved to New York. We had a pool at our apartment and my daughter and I loved to go every morning/day when the sun was out, to go for a swim.
She was wearing a swimming diaper, a bikini bottom and no top…because seriously? A triangle bikini top for a two year old?? Uhhh…no thank you!

The first few days at the pool went well. It wasn’t until that unimaginable moment when the management came up to me and said that I needed to get out of the pool with my daughter because people around us felt uncomfortable with her in the pool without a bikini top on…
Just in case you think you just read those lines above wrong…you didn’t! We had to get out of the pool and could only come back if she had a one-piece bathing suit OR a bikini top that would cover her nipples.

So…in my head…I’m thinking a bikini top solves the problem in which way better?
If there are creepy guys around kids, they will still be creeps even if the kids are covered up!

At that moment I was shocked and so angry, because they basically just implied that their property is full of pedophiles and perverts…

I already felt bad for the person who said it to me; because I am the worst person to have in front of you when it’s about this subject and trust me… many of my friends will agree on that!

I asked nicely who the people were that had an issue because I couldn’t believe somebody would have a problem with that… especially not at that age. I got the short answer that it was the rules of the pool. So, I asked where it was written that a toddler girl that has no body formation (meaning no boobs people!) or what so ever… needs to be covered up on her upper body??!!

Of course there were no rules written about that and I won that part, but I won the total battle when I said maybe it would be a good idea if you called the police also because obviously some people here have some really serious issues if they feel uncomfortable with a girl toddler who is not wearing a bikini top.

Eventually, I got a “touché” and an apology and we continued our day at the pool. That day really changed how I felt about people who were so judgmental and their perception of something so innocent…is this the reality where we are now living in? The world is changing, the innocence is disappearing.

When we moved to Atlanta we still occasionally had some comments from mothers or children at the pool that asked the question why she wasn’t wearing a one-piece bathing suit or a bikini top, but we never felt the need to explain. Why should we?! Again, it would be a lost cause anyway.

Here in Wisconsin we do the same…bikini bottoms and no top and I still see, from time to time, some questionable facial expressions, but I don’t even pay attention anymore. I just call her “Carlos” (referring from the movie ‘the Hangover’) so the judgmental stare disappears.

My point of this story is…

If you have a problem with an issue like this, it’s your problem! Not mine! Seek help, because it’s not healthy.

I rest my case!

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