Written by Lucy Sweet


Lady Parts: Holiday Special

From enflamed fannies to ‘glow in the dark devil tits’, Lucy Sweet salutes the frazzled crop of poorly depilated lumps that constitute the real-life, cough, ‘beach body’.

The real beach body

Illustration by Lucy Sweet.

Most of the year, we can cover ourselves up and pretend we don’t have bodies – just floating heads with feet that get us around. Underneath our tights we have a fanny like Brian Blessed’s beard and woolly legs to match, and nobody is any the wiser.

But then you must expose yourself in the summer, and you feel as vulnerable as pale larvae. Whole industries exist to capitalise on this vulnerability, promising – and often demanding – that we turn into impossible butterflies. Lose weight, change, change change, take shit protein pills. (Beach Body Ready tip: there’s loads of protein in KFC.)

But sod that. BORING. Let’s look at our beach bodies for what they are. Bikini bottoms riding up cracks, unfettered boobage and the very terrifying prospect of exposing gnarled feet that look like two fossilised armadillos from the Cretaceous period. Feeling in the holiday mood yet? You betcha!

Unsupported holiday knockers

The girls need a holiday too, you know. A holiday from uptight underwire and red lines. But if you are generous of chest, you probably know that putting your boobs in a string bikini is like trying to tether a bull with dental floss. As you emerge from the pool they’ll flop out like two exhausted sea lions. Lie down, and they will disappear into your armpits, never to be found again. You could go topless but they’ll get in your drink and children will cry. Your only solution is to buy a fully supported retro one-piece cossy which will make you sweat like a hog roast.

Hungry bum gusset

There’s a good reason why people don’t wander around all the time in swimwear. It often demonstrates great genital incompatibility. Either it rides up your snatch or your bum crack scoffs your swimsuit and takes your gusset with it. Whatever the actual reason, you’ll probably spend most of your holiday hoiking a metre of elastane out of your private areas, usually while carrying on conversations with Sheila from Rotherham on the next sun lounger but one.

Crotchal rash

Nobody ever asks whether fannies enjoy having all their pubes ripped out by a piece of glorified Sellotape. If you bought your bikini line a drink and actually listened to her for a minute, she’d tell you a few home truths and then some. But you never do, do you? No, you persist in brutalising her, then exposing her to deathly sunrays and cheap Factor 15 from the Co-op. Her only way to tell you how she feels is to develop a variety of ugly welts that wouldn’t look out of place on a leper. Think on.

“If you are generous of chest, putting your boobs in a string bikini is like trying to tether a bull with dental floss. As you emerge from the pool they’ll flop out like two exhausted sea lions.”

Burnt parts

Whatever sun protection you use, prepare to look like a flayed, chargrilled pork chop in a dress for at least three days. The bits we usually miss are on the back, just under the armpits, right at peak-bra tightness. And sometimes, tender parts are right under our noses, between the décolletage and the cleavage, giving you glow in the dark devil tits and eventually causing your skin to crepe up like a leathery concertina. Also, beware the bikini line of fire (see above).

Hair of straw

You might have packed an entire case of leave-in conditioner, but when hair hits the sun, Worzel Gummidge comes out to play. If you have blonde or coloured hair, you’ll make the Wicker Man look fireproof. If you’ve dyed your hair a bright colour – like red, for example – chlorine will drain it to the shade of a three-day-old used sanitary pad. If you’re lucky enough to have silken dark Mediterranean tresses suited to warmer climes, then stay the hell away from me.

Feet of doom

Pre-holiday foot care can be stomach churning. Tending to them is a bit like de-shoeing a particularly grim horse – you need tools, possibly a belt sander, and fistfuls of lubricant (try cocoa butter, Flora pro.activ or Swarfega). When you go on holiday you have to address the feet, because they’ll be more out and proud than a Gay Pride float full of men in leather chaps. If you’re going to take photos of them and put them on Instagram every single hour of your holiday, at least take your cheesy skin clogs for their yearly pumice and paint your nails some colour other than ‘Fungal Yellow’. Happy Holidays!


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Written by Lucy Sweet

Lucy Sweet is a writer and incorrigible lard arse. Her nursery school teacher said she would never be a proper lady, and she was right.