Sunday, September 26, 2010

#25: Sunbathe topless in Europe—CHECK!

Cala d' Hort, Spain

It seemed as good a time as any. Row upon row of bronzed topless women were sprawled out, soaking up the Mediterranean sun in front of me: well-endowed, skinny, engorged, tattoed, young, old. They came in all varieties.

"Should I do it? Is it time?" I asked my friend who shares the same name as me, Céline.

"I'll make it easier for you," she says, and untied her top. Easy for you to say, I thought. Our similarities pretty much end at our names. Céline is a tall Belgian beauty for whom topless sunbathing is nothing out of the ordinary—plus, her girls would make any man stop in their tracks. They would just walk straight past me, not noticing I'd even removed my top.

Hmm. There's a comforting thought.

"Nobody cares. Look around you," she says. It was true. There were young ladies laid out, letting the sun's rays shine on their chests. But there were also women who could easily be in their 60s strolling down the beach with not scrap of fabric on their bountiful bosoms. "Besides," she adds, gesturing to our friend Alain who was swimming in the sea, without a care in the world, "if he can wear speedos, you can totally go topless."

I cracked up. Okay fine, it's time. I quickly loosened the strings on my top and before I could change my mind, pulled it off.

I was topless.

Everyone went on with their lives, unmindful of the milestone that had just occurred in mine.

I relaxed and laid back down on my towel, letting the sun and the wind get acquainted with this part of myself that had never seen the light of day before. It actually felt really nice. Natural. Free. 

Sunbathing topless must seem like an odd thing to add to a bucket list. I put it there because I thought of it as a step towards full acceptance of the body that I've been given, with all it's imperfections, and being comfortable in my own skin.

As the years have gone by I've come to accept things that I used to be insecure about. I've come to like being tiny even though it means I could never be a beauty queen, as I dreamt of as a child, or even a flight attendant, as I would've wanted as a wanderlusting twenty-something. I don't mind being constantly complimented as "cute", even if it means that in this lifetime I'll never be described as "statuesque."

I've also come to accept the way I look. When I was growing up, the standard of beauty in the Philippines was fair with Spanish features. While I was born with pale skin, you can tell from my appearance that my ancestors preferred the company of Chinese traders over Spanish colonizers. But now, I like the way I look—even though it means enduring "konnichiwa" and "wǒ ài nǐ" catcalls (and the occasional "job offer" to be a schoolgirl/dominatrix). I think the way I look makes me unique, and I'm happy with that.

The insecurity I had to yet to overcome was that of being less endowed. There's really nothing, short of surgery, that can be done about it. That I've been in good shape these days from running and pole dancing has only reduced my cup size to a more miserable state. I learned to cope throughout the years with the invention of push-up bras, but adapting isn't really the same as acceptance, is it? So I had to do this one thing to embrace what I have and say to the world, "This is me, just as God made me, without any cheats or enhancements. I'm fine with it."

So I did it, and it was one of the most liberating experiences of my life. It felt refreshing to be one with these women who are so comfortable in their own skin and unfettered by worries of what other people think. It was a statement, not so much to the world in the end but to myself, that I am happy with what I have and I'm not going to spend any more time being insecure. Because even though I may lack in this aspect, the sum of all my parts are worth so much more than a cup size.


  1. heeey!! way to go, cel! =) love the skin you're in. =)

  2. i was bloghopping when i stumbled upon your site. you have an awesome blog! :) and i really really loved this post.

    goodluck on your project, and looking forward to reading more from you ^^,

  3. What an awesome post, congratulations! :)

  4. 2tc - Definitely! Thanks!!!
    Cez - Hahaha thanks! Though I must say, Spain isn't quite the same without you ;-)
    Maudey - I'm so happy you stumbled over and that you liked what your read! Please stay tuned for more!
    Monster Girl - Thank you so much!

  5. I kind of got the idea from you, reaffirmed my little thought back in Cancun when I was surrounded with topless women. Then though, I have not welcomed the idea, because I'd look like a teenager who lost her bikini top.

    Let me congratulate you, Celine! It was indeed very brave! Way to go, just a few more ticks and you're done! :)

  6. CEL!!!!!!! I love your closing line! And what are you talking about? you're beautiful! keep up the great work! :D

  7. Tara - Thanks! I highly recommend it if you can find a suitable venue :-)
    Grace - You're too sweet! Thanks hun, hope you can come to NY soon for a foodiefest and catch-up :-)

  8. this is a lovely post! it is very empowering and inspiring. oh how i wish could muster enough courage to go topless!

    i was blog hopping and I saw your blog. i think we're batchmates in admu or may have been classmates in one of our general subjects. anyway, keep it up! :)

  9. 'Because even though I may lack in this aspect, the sum of all my parts are worth so much more than a cup size.'

    Thank you Celine. Every woman needs to be reminded of that especially in this age of the D-cups and plastic surgeries.

  10. Sorry for the belated reply to comments, I just recently learned how to see all the comments made on past posts!

    Kira - Thank you!
    Ji - I am so glad you liked it. Fight fight blue and white!
    Sole Sisters - Thank you for the lovely comment. What a great list (and blog) you ladies have going! Good luck and looking forward to reading more from you!

  11. What a fabulous post! Glad you embraced your fear and were able to cross something off your BL. I wasn't able to sunbathe topless in Ibiza, as I was with my brother, but I have in other places in the world and it's fabulous!!! Love that pic of you!

  12. Thanks Andi! OMG I would rather die than go topless in front of family members. We would all be traumatized for life! I may have to follow your lead and try another part of the world too ... I think I hear Ipanema Beach calling?

  13. I only got to read this now.

    astig ka talaga, miss. :)



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