Ugh, swimsuit season. Whether you are Heidi Klum or an average Joe-sephina like me, we dread throwing on a bikini as much as our monthly (okay, I SHOULD be going monthly) bikini waxes. At 16, I was too skinny to be seen in a bathing suit. By 24, whenever I was in a swimsuit, my mind was constantly thinking … “just don’t bend over and if you do, cover the tummy… I repeat, cover the tummy.” It was insane.
I read an article in Cosmopolitan on how to always feel bikini ready and I literally rolled my eyes. Wear heels, get a tan, rock ‘beachy’ waves, stand up straight, exfoliate … the list goes on. It all seemed a little “extra” if you ask me.
The truth is, struggling with body image does not apply to a certain weight or “type” of woman. Whether you are tall, short, skinny, curvy, or what have you … it’s like society has trained us to hate our bodies. And while I appreciate all of the ‘love yourself’ movements, the mentality isn’t something that can often be implemented overnight. It didn’t work that way for me.
Eventually, hating the way I looked got tiring. It wasn’t until recently that I REALLY started to embrace my body. For anyone who is currently struggling, GIRL I FEEL YOU. I would love to shake you and tell you you’re beautiful, but in reality, it is something you will have to discover ALL on your own.
In the meantime, I wanted to share a few tips on how I survived the “anti-Sonia-in-a-swimsuit” feeling that isn’t as shallow as Cosmo, but not tooo far on the body positivity spectrum. Let’s name it somewhere in the middle. So, here you go (OH, you can shop my mermaid swimsuit here).
Find that swimsuit that you feel your best in.
Keyword, swimsuit. Not, bikini. Feel free to head down the aisle of monokinis with fun cut outs and halters that can accentuate your body type. Maybe you go for high waisted swimwear (*raises hand). Don’t go for what’s trending or what you think people will love. If you don’t feel your best, you’ll wind up wrapping yourself up in a towel and enjoying the pool party that way. I’ve linked a few of my favorites on this post!
Surround yourself with friends and family.
Have an aunt that likes to point out your weight? Nix her, she is NOT invited. Surround yourself with positive people who know you and love what’s on the inside. Have a moment of doubt while basking on the beach? Put the towel down. Have your bestie remind you of a past accomplishment or share what she loves most about you. Because THAT’S what matters.
Pick out a cute cover-up or accessory.
If all else fails and you need a little help, bring a large accessory (like this Resting Beach Face hat) or a fabulous cover-up that can be your conversation piece. Draws eyes to that. The best accessory though? Silliness. A smile. Wear that strong and proud, girl!
Look to other fabulous women.
There are incredibly gorgeous, strong, and successful women who we idolize and guess what … they wear a dress size not in the single digits. Hello Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian, and Kelly Clarkson. They prove the idea that size does not equal sex-appeal.
Redefine bikini body.
A bikini body is well, a body with a bikini on it. Okay? No matter the shape or size. Period.
Accept your feelings.
Remember that no one is completely happy with the way they look. Accept it. Shaming yourself for the way you feel, labeling yourself as “shallow” or telling yourself to “get over it” is not the solution. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself, it’s a good thing! But realizing why you want to change the way you look is what’s key. Don’t let your fear of what others may think of you, change you. Don’t let your fear of imperfection stop you from enjoying some summer rays or floating belly-up on that giant donut floatie.
Yes, Cosmo and I can preach all we want about “Ways to Always Feel Bikini Ready”, but the truth is it may take time to achieve acceptance. I hope you reach the destination of loving yourself soon. Because honey, you really are beautiful, and as cliche as it sounds, I can’t wait for you to realize it.