Swimsuit season is a season that many women dread, including myself depending on my mood. Swimsuits are powerful objects; if you hate the way a swimsuit looks on you, your self-esteem can plummet; if you love the way a swimsuit looks on you, your self-esteem can thrive. For years I was very self-conscious about my body in a swimsuit. I was afraid of being judged, mocked, and put down by others–even by family members and good friends. I was even more afraid that I would never be able to wear a bikini, something I’d dreamt about wearing for years. There’s just something magical about wearing a bikini and feeling good in it, you know? Maybe it’s because bikini bodies are referred to as ideal body shapes in Hollywood, or maybe it’s because bikinis are worn by famously confident women. Whatever the reason, I was determined to wear a bikini one day, after I’d lost weight and felt good about myself. Well, last year I decided that I was not going to delay my journey any longer. I’d heard that any body could be a bikini body, and I was determined to try it out myself.
Flash forward to Spring Break 2017 and here I am, wearing three of my favorite bikinis. What I have learned from the experience of wearing bikinis–in a private pool, a community pool, and at public beaches–is that bikini bodies are not restricted to supermodels sizes. A woman can wear a bikini no matter her shape or size. I am obsessed with my flounce bikini tops and high waisted bottoms from Torrid, a women’s fashion brand that caters to sizes 10-30. When I wear my bathing suits, I feel accomplished. I feel free, comfortable, attractive, and happy. Granted when I am in crowds, I may find myself feeling insecure, but self-acceptance and self-love is an ongoing journey. And I’m proud of the progress I’m making.
Many women, from thin to plus-size women, feel too embarrassed of their bodies to wear a bathing suit. For a long time, I was one of these women. In fact I still have my limitations on what I’m comfortable wearing. But what many women fail to realize is that a bathing suit body does not have a specific weight or size requirement. Bathing suit standards, like beauty standards, are immeasurable.
If you have a goal to wear a one piece, to wear a tankini, or to wear a bikini, 2017 is your year. I encourage you to browse stores, both online and in-person, until you find a bathing suit you’re in love with. My favorite brand is Torrid, because of their wide range of options from flow-y bathing suits to fitted bathing suits. Let me know which brands make you feel confident about your body, and share your swimsuit experiences with me in the comments below!