body positive

A Self-Lover's Guide To Finding The Perfect Swimsuit For Your Body

bikini body

 

(Spoiler Alert: it’s way easier than rag mags make it seem.)

Step 1.

First, acknowledge this fact: Your bod is hot.

Regardless of shape, size, dimensions, numbers, pounds, scars, marks, or anything else, your body is the home to your soul and therefore it’s f*cking magical and mad hot.

Step 2.

Know that, because your bod is already perfect in all of its glory, anything you put on it — especially when it comes to swimsuits — is also going to look perfect (and mad hot).

I realize everything I’m saying probably directly contradicts your results of the “dressing for your body type” quiz you took in ninth grade, but can I just offer you this: instead of listening to master marketers of fast fashion, and “style experts” who know absolutely nothing about you, is it such a radical notion to suggest that you simply dress for yourself?

What makes you feel good? Wear it.

What outfit are you most comfortable in? Rock it.

What makes you feel confident? Repeat it.

Step 3.

Apply the above learning to your search for the perfect swimsuit.

Who knows? It might already be in your possession.

The infamous bikini.

The infamous bikini.

Like, let me provide you with a case and point. I have this bathing suit that I’m absolutely obsessed with. I bought it when I was in London because I was really lonely one day and convinced myself that buying a bikini from Agent Provocateur would make me feel better (and it did, for like 5 minutes, but that’s not the point of this story).

Anyway, after the sales lady convinced me that I couldn’t live without said bikini, I proudly toted my new purch back to my flat where I unwrapped it with gentle care and tried it on again in front of the mirror. The sales lady had been right, I didn’t want to imagine a life without my new bikini.

However, despite my adoration over my new bathing suit, whenever I was given an opportunity to wear it — poolside, or at the beach — I chickened out. Out loud, I told myself I was saving it for a special occasion, but in my head, I was telling myself that I couldn’t actually pull it off in public; that I was too “volumptuous” for such a scandalous two-piece, that others would be offended by my body in my bathing suit.

Because my body didn’t look anything like the body of the women who modeled my new suit in the magazines or on the billboards, it sat in my drawer for an entire season, lonely as I was on the day I purchased it.

I would visit it from time to time — try it on and admire its lines, the way it hugged and flaunted my womanly curves. I would take mirror selfies in my bikini and imagine fantastical scenarios of myself sunning on some golden sand in a far away land where I could wear my two-piece in peace. I longed to slip it on and pull it off, the way all the girls on Instagram did. But I didn’t.

Instead of embracing my shape, I shamed myself. Told myself I’d only wear it when I lost 10 pounds. Promised myself the opportunity to rock it, as if it were a prize for when I got “in shape.” I told myself I needed to earn the right to wear it. 

And then one day, a year and then some after I found my perfect bikini, I pulled it out of its original pink tissue that I had carefully re-wrapped it in, and I put it on. And I went to the beach. And within 5 minutes of being out in the sun, a woman tapped me on the shoulder.

“Can I just say, that bathing suit is stunning and you look lovely in it,” she said.

“Thank you,” I responded. And then I laid back down, closed my eyes and smiled. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I'm not exactly sure what changed in that year, or where my confidence came from that day. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, maybe it’s because I care a lot less than I used to about what others think, maybe it’s because I have a boyfriend who loves my body the way it is (and no matter how much it weighs), OR maybe I'm just learning to love myself a little harder, but I learned a valuable lesson. I can wear anything I want to wear. (And so can you.)

SO. As far as I’m concerned, any bathing suit that you LOVE as much as I love my "London bikini," any bathing suit that makes you feel good, any bathing suit that you have absolutely any desire to wear at all...IS THE PERFECT SWIMSUIT FOR YOUR HOTTIE BODY. 

Trust me. 

(And even if there's nobody there to tap you on the shoulder and tell you how stunning you look, know that I'm virtually tapping you on the shoulder and telling you — you look stunning.)

 

 

THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON LITTLEFOOLBOOK.

15 Ways To Love Your Body RIGHT NOW

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the midst of a self-love awakening. Or, at least I am. I’m not sure if it’s something that happens once you’re over the hump of your mid-20s — like a rite of passage sort of thing — or if it’s much less profound than that. But at some point, we all just get sick of obsessing over our flaws and decide to try a crazy little thing called self-love instead.

Regardless of catalyst, I’m 26 now, and I’ve reached that point. For a decade and then some, my body weight fluctuated, and so did my self-esteem. I spent entire summers at the beach wearing cover-ups instead of my usual bikinis because my usual bikinis didn’t fit. (In retrospect, I should have just invested in a bathing suit that did fit).

I insisted on only being photographed from one angle (hand on hip, one leg bent, body turned slightly to the side) because I was convinced that with certain positioning, I could trick the lens into thinking I was Kate Moss skinny. (I’ve never been Kate Moss skinny.) I dyed my mousy hair platinum blonde and wore dramatic makeup with dark eyes, thinking I could disguise my self-perceived flaws in a Barbie-like façade of pink lips and black eyeliner.

I spent so long hating my body that it never occurred to me what might happen if I started loving it. Spoiler alert: It did amazing things. Not only have I managed to lose a little weight, but I’ve come to appreciate my body for the temple it is, and the incredible things it’s capable of.

Most importantly, I’m learning to accept and love my reflection in the mirror (flaws and all). 

love your body

15 Ways to Love Your Body, RN, From Someone Currently Learning to Love Hers:

1. Listen to your body.

I’m no scientist, but I do know our bodies are incredibly intuitive. Your body knows when you need to eat, sleep, take it easy or have the energy to go harder. Simply listening to it can go a long way in helping you achieve your health goals.

2. Nourish your body.

I recently learned that my body is not a garbage disposal, and continuously feeding it pizza is like putting low-grade fuel into your Bugatti. You wouldn’t put low-grade fuel into your Bugatti, right? Your body is a Bugatti.

3. Positive self-talk.

If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, a family member or your puppy, then don’t say it to yourself.

4. Say “no” to images of beauty from magazines.

If you must read them (even I can admit, the latest Vogue can be somewhat of a guilty pleasure), admire the handbags, but don’t be fooled by the Photoshop, the editing, and the false advertising. Take satisfaction in knowing that you are every bit as beautiful as the woman on the cover simply because you are you, and beauty standards are a figment of our imagination.

5. Use a body scrub.

I would start out with my personal favorite, Frank. He will make you feel like a goddess.

6. Sweat often.

As Elle Woods once said, “Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” Also, it’s good for your body, your health and your spirit.

7. Dance (naked) in front of a mirror.

Admire your many curves and angles and all the compositions of your skin and muscles and bones. Appreciate your body’s movement.

8. Buy clothes that fit.

It’s truly amazing what a well-fitting pair of jeans can do for your self-esteem. Stop trying to squeeze into the smallest size because of a beauty industry that praises a size 2. Beauty is not a size.

9. Relax.

Allow yourself the luxury of rest. You and your body deserve it. Set out time for yourself each week to be lazy, read a book, watch a movie or simply spend an afternoon in bed. Do it all guilt-free.

10. Drink green smoothies.

Once you get past the color and the texture, you might find you actually enjoy them and even come to crave them. A handful of spinach, kale and some fresh mango can do your body wonders.

11. Soak.

One of my favorite ways to reward my body for all of its hard work is to take an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts have been known to flush toxins from your body, relax muscles, aid in muscle recovery, relieve stress, improve your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and so on. Pour a cup or two of Epsom salts into a tub of hot water and relax while the salts go to work.

12. Flaunt it.

No matter where you are on your journey to loving your body, be proud of the body you have. It’s the only one you have, and it deserves to dance, run, bask in the sun, stand tall, walk, skip, jump and twirl. Enjoy what you have now while working toward whatever health goals you’ve set out for yourself.

13. Sleep.

Sleep deprivation builds up over time and can have major negative effects on your mental, physical and emotional health. Our bodies need sleep to rest and repair from the day’s activity, and it’s important to make sleep a priority. If you can’t get seven to eight hours a night, try taking a few catnaps throughout the day (just don’t let your boss catch you).

14. Treat yourself.

Life’s too short to not eat the cake or to not buy the jeans that make your ass look better than the cake. Every once and a while, reward yourself and your body for its utter brilliance.

15. Love it.

Write down a list of all the things you love about your body. Read it and add to it often. 

I’m not so naïve as to believe that there won’t be days in my future where the number on the scale will disappoint me. I also don’t think that from here on out, I will live in a blissful bubble not influenced by mass media, the latest diet trends or the lure of Botox, lip-fillers and wrinkle eliminators. But, I’m making peace with my own unique brand of beauty, and you should, too.

 

 

This post originally appeared on littlefoolbook.