Swim in Your Own Skin
If you feel uncomfortable in a swimsuit, nervous about “baring it all” on the beach, or find yourself spending more time in your cover-up than with your cover off... you’re not alone. Women and men of all shapes, sizes, and ages often dread the coming of the Summer months and “beach body” weather. We worry about our protruding stomachs, our saggy bottoms, and our flabby arms—often so much that the idea of lounging by the pool becomes less of a fun, relaxing getaway and more of a self-conscious nightmare. Each year, we vow to get “beach ready”: we join Weight Watchers, frequent the gym, and scarf down salads instead of burgers. Almost inevitably, however, we fall back into our old ways and, by the time the temperature rises, we’ve disappointed ourselves by not reaching our goals.
Now, setting weight loss and fitness goals is great, IF you’re doing it for the right reasons. What it honestly comes down to is that losing weight to look good in a micro-bikini is NOT a good reason to lose weight and get fit. It may be a perk of reaching your goals... but the real reasons for the change should be much bigger—to feel better, to live longer, to have more energy for your kids or yourself. If you aren’t ready to make the weight loss/gain/fitness commitment for more than fashion... you aren’t ready to make the commitment. But that’s OKAY. You will be ready when you’re ready and not a moment before.
The good news is that fashion and society are changing. Body types other than waif are now being featured on runways, in ad campaigns, and even on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover. Models like Ashley Graham, Chrissy Teigen, and Kate Upton have completely disrupted the industry and blown our beauty standards to bits. Society is slowly, but surely, realizing that all body types can be sexy, strong, and stunning, if the woman wears her skin with confidence.
Much of the change has occurred through and because of social media. Hashtags like #bodypositive, #allbodiesaregoodbodies, #theresnowrongwaytobeawoman, and #selflove have become Instagram sensations. Bloggers like The Curvy Fashionista, Fat Girl Flow, and Musings of a Fatshionista are becoming more and more popular in the US and around the world. Youtuber Ari Fitz, through her inspirational videos, encourages people of all shapes, sizes, genders, colors, and identities to wear what you like to the beach—even if it’s not “traditional beach wear”. Instead of limiting yourself to one pieces, bikinis, monokinis, etc... try torn up vintage tees, colorful bodysuits, tied up button-ups—you’re only limited by your imagination. Wear pieces that make you feel comfortable and, most of all, pieces that make you feel like YOU. It’s giving yourself permission to get creative and to reject those traditional pieces that make you feel self-conscious and unworthy. If you want to wear a bikini bottom with a button-up blouse as a top GO FOR IT! If you want to pair an old tee shirt with workout shorts ROCK IT!
Ultimately, whatever you end up wearing to the pool or the beach... the key to pulling it off is confidence. This cannot be said enough. No one is going to be looking at your cellulite if you walk into the cabana like you own the whole resort. You have permission to feel amazing in your beach garb—no matter what you choose to wear. Once you feel amazing... looking amazing will come naturally!