It began five summers ago when I was tired of hiding underneath bathing suit dresses with bunches of heavy cumbersome fabric as I spent my summers at the city pool with my young children. I was several years into my own body positive journey and was getting braver with my self-love and bolder with my fashion choices, slowly exposing more skin and rolls. Showing up in my already ready “bikini body” has given me so much more courage to enjoy life more and be comfortable while doing it. Here are four ways wearing bikinis has boosted my self-confidence:
1) Plus-sized bikinis are cute. My first one was a darling retro-inspired black and white striped number from Walmart, one of the first and affordable retailers in the US to make them widely available. Since then so many designers have jumped on board with amazing styles, shapes and colors, coming a long way from the dark swim dresses I felt relegated to in the past.
2) They help me feel bold. At first, I was self-conscious and felt like everyone was staring at me. Turns out, many people WERE looking at me, but because they thought my suit was so cute and I looked great in it. I get so many compliments every time I wear bikinis in public.
3) Bikinis make the water more enjoyable. They allow me the flexibility of jumping in lakes and floating on tubes and careening down water slides with my children. Additionally, they make going to the bathroom while wet (and often clutching the hand of a toddler at the same time) so much easier.
4) Exposing my skin is cathartic. I’d been hiding it for so long that letting it out was freeing. I love flaunting my curves in the sun. Turns out, everyone (including myself) knows I’m fat anyhow so covering up my body with more fabric isn’t fooling anyone. I enjoy the feeling of sand sticking to my cellulite and sweat dripping down my cleavage. It happens to everyone and it's what summer, and life, is all about.