Bathing suit season can be very depressing and frightening, but it doesn’t have to be. For a few years, people and influencers on social media have said there are two steps for obtaining a bikini body (or a body for any other bathing suit for that matter):
Step 1: Buy a bikini (or a one-piece or a tankini– whatever you’re comfortable in).
Step 2: Put it on your body.
But is it really that simple? Will putting on a bathing suit take away all of these emotions and thoughts going through your head? Won’t I feel so vulnerable and exposed in a bathing suit at the size that I am?
Throughout my teenage years, I was always so insecure and self conscious of my body. I didn’t want anyone to see my rolls, my cellulite, or my stretch marks. Not even family or friends. From 13 to 18, I missed out on enjoying beach days and pool parties. I came up with excuse after excuse, including telling my parents I didn’t feel good, that my stomach hurt, or that I hated the beach. If I did go to the beach, I didn’t want to walk all the way from our chairs to the ocean…I knew if I did, people would see me. And I didn’t want them to judge me, think about my body, or make fun of my size.
Self-conscious women hide behind their worries and insecurities. We hold ourselves back from having fun and making memories. I was jealous of girls, teenagers, and women who had the confidence to wear bikinis. I told myself and my family that one day when I was healthier, I would wear a bikini. After I lost some weight, I would finally give in and try on my first bikini. But I was sick of waiting. The weight I wanted to lose did not want to come off. Summer after summer, I tried to hide under my tankinis, but even then I was self-conscious of my frame.
After years of being completely insecure, I was sick and tired of missing out on fun experiences. I was sick of not going into the pool, something I truly enjoy so much. I was sick of not swimming in the ocean and jumping the waves. So as a 19 year old woman, I forced myself to stop picking apart my flaws. I took the huge leap of trying on a flounce bikini top and a high waisted bottom from Torrid (which I mentioned in an earlier post from spring break), and I started to wear it. In the beginning, I couldn’t stop looking at mirrors and tearing myself apart. I hated that my cellulite was so exposed. I hated that the bottoms made my ass look huge. But then I stopped looking at mirrors, and I stopped pointing out things I hated.
Instead of picking apart the features I dislike about myself, I think about all of the positives I now feel and experience. Because I wear my bikini, I feel free. I feel like a huge burden of insecurities has been lifted off of my shoulders (because even though I am still insecure, I can now wear a bikini around my close family and friends and not worry about their judgement). I feel cute. I feel trendy. I feel young.
Every body is different. Every body deserves to be celebrated, loved, and embraced whether we’re content with our bodies or not. We’re only given one life and one body. Why spend so many summers holding yourself back from cooling off and having fun? Why allow your insecurities to dictate your emotional health and your social life?
What no one tells you about wearing a bathing suit is that if you don’t wear a bathing suit, you’re just holding yourself back from fun times. Wear the damn suit and stop picking yourself apart. No matter your weight or your size, you’re going to look incredible. More important than how you look, you’ll feel incredible. Have fun!!!! Don’t let your critic’s thoughts hold you back…especially if those thoughts are your own. And if someone else is rude and mean enough to say something to or about you? It’s their loss. Not yours.