I know this isn't the most original topic, but I noticed a few things on the beach yesterday. Notably, that most adults don't look very good in bathing suits (myself included). My wife says pretty much every time that we go that she'd love to have Land's End outfit everybody at Folly Beach. (She also says every time that after seeing who isn't ashamed to wear a bikini, she feels a lot better about how she looks in her modest suit... and she DOES look great!)
Anyway, here are a few observations: First, if you go to the guarded swimming area in the county park, people are uglier. This is a function of demographics--people with small children use the park, and they are not only older (and in the case of women, post-pregnancy), but also likely have less time for themselves to spend in the gym. If you're a 20-something hardbody, you're probably up at one of the unguarded surf spots. Interestingly, as your kids get older, you may actually get better looking (like Ann, who has dropped 25-30 lbs and gotten in great shape). But there's a brief window there before the other ravages of middle age sneak in, and you merely look "pretty good for a 40-year-old."
I also notice that men, in general, look better (or less bad) than women. Part of this is fashion--guys pretty much wear board shorts. If there were some old, fat guys in speedos to pair up with the women who really shouldn't be in string bikinis, that might even out. But what I notice (and I'm speaking as a guy here, so I could be wrong), is that there are very few guys who look like fitness models, but there are also not that many that make you want to avert your eyes. There's a lot of space between those two extremes of guys who look "average," with maybe some love handles or a lack of muscle tone. But "average" for a guy doesn't look that bad.
Women, on the other hand, have a very few supermodel-types (although they apparently don't come to Folly Beach), a few more who look "not bad" to "pretty good," and a large group of ladies who really ought to wear less-revealing suits. Seems like the average woman is less attractive than the average man... or at least further down the scale of what our society tells us is attractive. No wonder so many women have body issues.
I'll go a step further. Within the very small stratum of genuinely good-looking, fit women, there are only a couple of divisions: there is (1) my wife, (2) girls too young to drink, (3) girls with tattoos. Pretty much, if you see a lady who looks decent in a bathing suit who is over 21 and does not have body art, introduce yourself, because that's Ann. I think pretty much everybody under 35 these days has some sort of tattoo. I'm rather glad I'm too old for that. Several of my family members have them, and many of the ones I see look alright (and obviously, I wouldn't be seeing most of them except at the beach). But it's not my favorite style.
Anyway, that works out well for me, because when I look up from my book, I see only one girl that really interests me. Fortunately, she's not so superficial--I figure I fall into that pretty large category of forgettable males on the beach (in the sub-category of scrawny guys with crew cuts). But one thing is for sure--my local beach is not exactly Baywatch territory.