I get approached frequently to chat swimwear. Every season. Every exclusive. Every sale. I’ll get a round of texts, calls and messages from friends and perfect strangers asking for advice on what to buy, where to buy, etc. I find this extremely flattering, first of all. I love to talk about this stuff. And secondly, let me live vicariously through you and your retail journey!
The conversations usually come from a place of wanting to properly fit and flatter certain attributes, almost always involving boobies, bootys and bellys. Okay, okay, always involving boobies, bootys and bellys. Wether it’s the nips, cellulite, stretch marks or that lovely little belly button gap, everyone pretty much says the same things.
The body positive activist in me says, hey, what’s the big deal? We all have belly buttons and nipples! Whether youve breastfed a child or not, your boobs go south, that’s what they do! Show it off proudly girl, LOVE YOURSELF! And I always find myself getting into the Less-Is-More Brazilian cut pep talk.
But when in comes down to it, it’s unrealistic to expect a woman to drop her self conscious feelings just because we live in the age of the Self Love Movement. Just because we embrace a full figured woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated, doesn’t mean full figured women everywhere have to give up years of body image struggles and flaunt that shit proudly. In the same breath, I think we all take for granted that slender women also struggle with that same nagging self awareness as full figured women do. It has to be said.
Women of every shape and size have these thoughts, these things she is aware of, the parts of herself she doesn’t love. While Self Love is of ultimate importance, a big part of Self Love is Acceptance. And part of Acceptance is acknowledging that there are parts of yourself that you aren’t okay with and you simply can’t embrace.
So, you have permission to hate your stretch marks. Just because your baby gave them to you doesn’t mean you have to love them (let me tell you about Walmart pajamas I got for Mother’s Day one year). It’s okay to avoid 2 pieces and seek a comfortable and sexy full peice, or tankini. (But it’s also 100% okay to bear those babies to the world, you more than deserve it)
You are allowed to wish away your proud nipples that make themselves known to everyone at the pool. They aren’t going anywhere, but you are allowed to seek swimwear based on the specific fact that they make pesky nips more discreet. I’d go with darker solids and prints.
If you hate your dimply ass and chubby thighs, please know that not a single woman I’ve spoken to loves their ass and thighs, including your truly. But you know who does? Everyone else. Lots of people appreciate your jiggly ass. So does Beyonce. I think. And your children love it too. It’s soft and maternal and makes for fabulous, welcoming laps to sit on and eat pineapple at the beach. And maybe one day we can figure out why dimples are cute on your face but not your buns.
But in the meantime, if you want to wear shorts with your designer swimwear, you get to do that. Or those retro skirt bottoms– I actually love those. I promise you nothing beats that booty tan, but you don’t have to go there. You deserve to go to the beach or pool comfortable. You have this right.
It is absolutely okay to seek a suit that makes your boobies look their best. You don’t always love your boobs, and it doesn’t make you a harlot to want to flaunt them in their best light. They are there all the time, bothering you, aren’t they? So you have the right to flatter them so you can look down and not feel mortified.
See, Self Love means understanding what you are comfortable with and seeking your beach style to suit this.
So as the Summer Body season approaches, lets face it that every body is a Summer Body, a Bikini Body. Accept and love yourself and admit that you deserve the best when you step into the sun. You deserve to feel beautiful and as bold or blended as you wish. We are lucky to live in an age where swimwear designers have realized that its never been one style fits all. We have so many options, its a fabulous, fun adventure to shop, window shop, try on, hate, love, and buy a suit that suits us.