The Body Politic

Sensible discourse on issues of the day since 2003

Kimberly Krautter

Kimberly Krautter
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
October 26
Southern fried iconoclast and Atlanta native Kimberly Krautter is The Anti-Coulter. She blogs about the intersection of public communications and public policy with a side order of musings on pop culture. For 22 years, Ms. Krautter has been a strategic communications consultant to Fortune 500 and emerging industry companies as well as a freelance journalist published in business magazines in the U.S., U.K. and France. Her social commentary has been featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution with light-hearted series featured in Atlanta magazine and others. A popular early blogger, "The Body Politic" was originally hosted on Typepad and has now migrated to Open Salon. Known to have the swiftest soapbox in the South and for being staunchly anti-wing nut, Ms. Krautter believes, "Liberal is not a four-letter word, for that matter neither is Conservative, and solutions are found in the Sensible Center where people are eager to speak with each other instead of just being heard." She is currently authoring a major journalistic work titled "Foreclosure on the Fourth Estate: How spin-fluence and info-tainment killed the American newspaper." Follow her on Twitter @kimbrlykrautter [note: there is no "e" in the "kimbrly" portion of the Twitter handle.]

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Editor’s Pick
JULY 16, 2009 6:37PM

I'm still not Swimsuit-Ready. I blame "Jaws."

Rate: 5 Flag

By Kimberly Krautter 

I never go to the beach. What's the point? I'm not going to get in the water. No way. I know what's in there. Personally, I prefer to eat the buffet, not to be the buffet.

Yes, I admit it. I have the world's most ridiculous shark-phobia. In 1975, I was 10 years old when my parents took my then 7-year old brother and me to see "Jaws." Now before you gasp in horror and proclaim my parents wholly unfit, in their defense, it was the Friday night of opening weekend, and in the 70s we didn't have the boffo blockbuster movie marketing that we have today. They thought it would be a jolly little summer movie. Rollercoaster fun. Like the rollercoasters in the baby end of the park. Who knew?

The theatre was packed to the gills. We had to stack up in the seats. I sat on my dad's lap. My brother sat on my mom's. We even had to sit in different rows. Frankly, I don't think I recovered from that first scene. I still have nightmares about "the tug." Oof. My stomach just flipped with the thought of it. My little brother passed out when the head popped out of the boat. OK, maybe he didn't pass out, literally, but mom swears the "went limp."

It is said that I didn't take a bath for months, and I do recall that I developed an impressively strong bladder because I was very suspicious of the toilet.

It's really sad because before then I was a little fish. I loved the ocean. You couldn't get me out of it. I used to spend hours on end, neck deep in the murky water off Hilton Head Island tippy-toeing along the bottom hoping to detect sand dollars which I would bring up for my growing collection. Hey look, remember I told you it was the 70s. We didn't know that was considered poaching. After the movie, I became a confirmed mountains and rivers gal. Surfing whitewater in a kayak, you betcha. Boogie boarding on the breakers, not on your life.

The great thing is that when you have no plans to go to the beach, you have no pressure to participate in the annual season of dread known as swimsuit shopping. You have no reason to suffer the glare of overhead fluorescent lights that cast a sickly pallor on your skin and expose every dimple on your flesh. There is every reason to ignore your expanding hips and waistline.

What about the pool, you ask? Well in addition to my rather convenient phobia, I also have paper-white Irish skin, so in general, the Sun is not my friend. Another reason to avoid the swimsuit. Hurray for me!

Avoidance is a marvelous psychological coping mechanism. I buy breezy little dresses and skirt ensembles. Unfortunately those breezy little dresses have become more like caftans these days.

Hey, isn't this why God made Spanx®? 
My apologies to Sara Blakely, a goddess to be sure.

Author tags:

weight loss, jaws, beach, true story

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Kimberly – “Jaws” did more to hinder beach going for our generation than any anti-sun campaign with a low SPF factor. Can you image if they re-made “Jaws” with the special effects in today’s movies.

As for swimwear – it is over-rated except for maybe the ‘air brushed’ pictures in Sports Illustrated Swimwear Edition. An Irish complexion is beautiful, too!

- rated
You need to take up Night Swimming. The sharks and sun are asleep after 9PM. Union rules.
If you are a glowing white Irish lass - like several of my cousins - take up night fishing. There isn't an ocean near here, just lakes, but a glowing white Irish woman on an inner tube sure can draw the crappie in.
Awww, thanks boys! Hey P.J. Perhaps that explains the "crappie" I've been attracting IRL. Ha!
I can go you one better. A part--not a large part, but a part--of my decision not to attend Duke University lo these many years ago derived directly from events that take place in the Duke Forest in that great literary classic, James Patterson's Kiss the Girls.

Fun post!
Although this was rather humorous, delivered well I must say, there is an enormous amount of truth in the impact the cinema has on our formative years. When I was just a wee lad, I tagged along with the neighbors one Friday night to see a show called, Dracula. You guessed it, scared the bejeebers out of me. I couldn't go to school the next day because of lack of sleep. For years after, I developed some sort of night vision as I lay petrified in the dark, fighting sleep.

Great topic, Kimberly.

It's great to understand your pathology since it's relatively minor. But I for one would love to see your kaftan on the beach without your being eaten up or worrying about the cellulite used as an image to keep those of us over 25 in our houses worrying about our viability.
New book?: What Color is your Kaftan?
PS Some of the most friendly people can be met in pools, and why is this? Must be the subject of yet another book: Title not yet confirmed.....Have an idea which I happen to mean, You Look Good Just the way you are so Come into the Pool, It's Hot Outside....