Holiday World – Body Image

I realize it’s the middle of winter, but it’s time to start thinking about our summer outfits and the exposed flesh they encourage.

A few years ago, my family took a few days and drove to the southern tip of the state of Indiana to visit a “Theme Park”. For those of you unfamiliar with Kings’ Island, Six Flags, Cedar Point or Disney, let me introduce you to Indiana’s own treasure: Holiday World.

You can get all the vital statistics about the park from other sources. But I want to discuss the issue that haunts me every time I slip on my swimming suit and wade into the water: Will people stare at my body? I ask this question, NOT because I am a beauty worthy of gazing. In fact, my body image shifted about 35 years ago when my non-stop book study and desk work replaced an active lifestyle and farm work. I rapidly went from a bean-pole of a guy to a guy who ate the entire bean pole and all the beans.

So slipping off my shirt and tucking in my muffin top can be a little unnerving… That is until I visited Holiday World, in the State that ranks 15th overall in the number of fat people. Some of the folks we met came from Missouri (ranking 11th) and Kentucky (currently ranked #5 in fattest people in the land). So my body image actually improved while I was paddling in the Wave Pool.

Oh, sure, there are beautiful young men and women with perfect tans strutting their slender bodies along the hot pavement, but I suspect they were all from Illinois (ranked 23rd in the nation).  We all hated them.

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