Going big in South Beach

I can’t say that I wasn’t properly warned.

I told our New York Suetables’ jewelry rep, Jen, http://pinterest.com/pin/244390717249395524/ that I was going to South Beach. She loves going there and, gleefully and seriously advised me, “bring your 6” heels and bikini and just work that little body of yours!”

How cute, I thought.

Our make-up artist NY rep is young and beautiful, I reasoned, and is forgetting that I am heading towards my mid forties. Aren’t I beyond workin’ it?

I’ve just finished reading The Guardian article, “Why do we hate the way we look?” It’s an article most woman, including me as I age, can relate to. It talks about how woman are uncomfortable in their own skin and with their body image. It says, more than ever, more of us hate the way we look. Eva Wiseman reports that, “90% of British women feel body-image anxiety.” It is making us “anxious, unhealthy and disempowered,” Wiseman reports.

I love to people watch.

My partner, Tony, loves to eavesdrop.

On this trip, we have hit the collective jackpot.

I watch the colourful woman coming off the beach on Ocean Drive. He listens to their excited, confident and happy chatter. These body-image anxieties just do not seem exist in South Beach on Ocean Drive.

Miami Beach boasts big hair, big boobs, big 6-inch plus heels, big fashion and big talkers. The only thing that is small are the skirts, shorts, bikinis and the modesty.

I inwardly laugh at the thin neon yellow Anne Klein belt I added to my wardrobe this spring to “celebrate” colour. These woman put me to shame! Their femininity is in full bloom - tight shorty shorts, clingy dresses, colorful little outfits and some head-to-toe neon outfits.

And they look pretty hot.

I have not seen one full-piece bathing suit on the beach or poolside - it’s bikinis, baby, for those large, small, old and young. In a world where more of us than ever hate the way we look, I watch with interest; Tony listens...and gawks. Men, here can’t help themselves and, frankly, neither can I.

The women strut whatever stuff they have and their confidence is, at first, a bit shocking and off putting. My scowl and insecurity, with time and exposure, turns to a grin and, inwardly, I begin to cheer on these women and ease into holiday mode.

Their confidence is sexy, even contagious.

On Ocean Drive hot shorts and “look-at-me” fashion is the norm - no practical walking shoes here, no quiet colors, no wall flowers and no cover ups.

Body image is a subjective experience of appearance.

Take note, ladies: I’d like to tell you that the best accessory is jewelry. I can’t - it’s confidence and being comfortable in your own skin and the woman of South Beach are way ahead of us.

On my next trip to South Beach, I am taking my NY reps’ advice: I am going to pack my heels and work it. Yes, even at my age.