I have learned lots of new words in the past year and a half. Today, Pandemi-kini (a combination of pandemic and bikini) is my gift word for you. 

Summer is here and it’s time to get your swimsuit out or shop for a new one. This is not my favorite thing. I bought a purple bikini for my husband’s eyes only. It can be found buried somewhere in the backyard.

It was fun doing the pandemic diet. You had an excuse to eat comfort food and foods that make you happy. I found that all food makes me happy and comfortable – with the exception of sardines and squid.

We come in all shapes and sizes, and each and every single one of us is beautiful in our own special way. The most important thing is for you to remember to embrace the body that you have. If you could add a smile to your face – you definitely got it “going on.”

What are the most important things you should look for while shopping for a swimsuit? First, does the suit fit properly? You don’t want any surprises while swimming. When I was in my twenties, I had a green Hawaiian Tropic suit where you tie the amount needed of “coverage” fabric over the proper amount of rope. I got hit by a strong wave. It knocked me down so hard that I lost my suit. David came running out, thinking I was drowning. He carried me under one arm and I carried my suit in my hand. As an impressive-sized crowd began to gather, he finally understood that I was yelling, “MY SUIT FELL OFF!” That suit is also in the backyard.

The second most important thing about your swimsuit is that it should fit your personality.

In the end, it’s your choice. I’m not willing to let my fun activities, movement or anything else I wish to do in my swimsuit be controlled by what other people think or say. If my own fears or insecurities are getting in the way, I simply grab a swimsuit cover-up and all insecurities disappear.

Most important – don’t forget sunscreen. It will help avoid skin cancer, sunspots, fine lines and wrinkles. Please remember to use it and apply often. 

If you want to look tan, but don’t want to risk the dangers of the sun, there are numerous tanning sprays and lotions that can give you the same look (you may want to apply these with gloves or a sponge).

I have to go now. I need to find where I buried my purple Pandemi-kini and wear it with pride.

Karin Jenkins is a Licensed Esthetician, Makeup Artist, and the author of the book, “Pageant Land and the Family Who Lived There.” She has been involved in all aspects of the beauty industry and in show business for over 30 years. Karin is the mother of two and the grandmother of four. She and her husband David co-own the local family business - Applause Salon in New Smyrna Beach. (386) 426-5454

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