The New Bikini Body

with Swimsuits For All

When I first decided I wanted to shoot swimwear looks, I knew that it would be a challenge.  I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone. To be completely transparent, I have never felt comfortable in a bikini. In fact, I didn’t wear one until I was in high school and, even then, I wouldn’t dare walk around without a towel wrapped around my waist.  The idea of hanging out by the pool, lake or beach would fill me with anxiety.   I’d strategically try to spend as much time as possible either in the water or laying down because I knew I looked thinnest when I could stretch my body across a lounge chair or towel.  In these moments, I was painfully conscious of my body, comparing it to others around me, and always feeling the pressure to look as skinny as possible.  My insecurities were heightened and unfortunately it took away from a lot of moments where I could have focused on experiencing joy, rather than tearing myself down.

That’s why I was so incredibly proud of these photos and myself.  When I looked at them after we finished shooting, I didn’t tear myself down.  I didn’t pick apart each dimple or bulge, I ignored the cellulite and bumps on my arms.  I looked past any other imperfections my brain would usually go straight to.  For the first time, I felt confident in a bikini. I felt beautiful.  I felt like me.

There is freedom in loving yourself for exactly who you are.  When I looked at these pictures that’s exactly what I felt: freedom.  I even called my sister and said “I’ve never felt this way, and it feels good to not care anymore!”  I no longer waste all of my energy on criticizing myself, but instead I use it to enjoy the moment I’m in and being proud of the woman I have become.  I’m able to laugh, have fun, and leave all of the self-consciousness behind.  It has opened my eyes to the beauty in the world and how much joy can truly be had by letting go of my insecurities.

Body positivity is especially important going into the Summer season.  As temperatures rise, we start to hear a lot of things like “Get Fit For Summer,” “Summer Body,” and “Bikini Body Workout” in peoples conversations, on the front of magazines, and advertised on social media.  But what if we changed our concept of what a “bikini body” means?

For me, a bikini body is one you can feel comfortable and confident in, no matter your size, shape, or age.  It’s the one you see in the mirror every day.

Practicing self-love doesn’t mean moments of doubt or anxiety will suddenly disappeared completely. This photo shoot was a prime example of one of those moments.  Before we went out there, I sat in the truck and said to myself “You can do this, you are beautiful, your body is strong.  You are enough.  You are worthy.”

There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a pep talk.  No one is perfect!  Learning to love your body takes time, patience, and living with a conscious intention to change your perspective.  You have to want it!  Sometimes that means finding the right words to remind you of your value in times of darkness or insecurity.  Next time you’re faced with a situation that challenges your self-esteem, be your own cheerleader.  Find that voice that can encourage you to believe what everyone else already knows is true: you are worthy of happiness, love, and feeling beautiful.

When it comes to feeling confident in your bikini body, it doesn’t hurt to have the right swimwear.  I knew going into this that I wanted to partner with a brand that has the same values as I do.  Swimsuits For All was the perfect fit.  Their mission is evident in their name: style, value, quality, and fit for every woman.  They offer an incredible selection of beautiful swimwear in sizes 4-34 and provide an in-depth fit guide that lets you shop based on your body’s shape, measurements (this is especially helpful!) or the style you’re interested in.  Swimsuits For All’s primary goal is to empower women to love the skin they’re in and feel confident in their bodies.

I’m wearing the Swimsuits For All x Ashley Graham (one of my favorite models!) Zagora Bikini that features a racerback top and high-waisted bottom.  I love the mesh details and the touch of jewelry on the front.  I’m an “in-betweenie” who typically wears either a size 12 or size 14 depending on the brand.  In all of the Swimsuits For All bikinis I went up a size in the top (size 14) and up two sizes in the bottoms (size 16).  I highly recommend using the fit guides that they provide or ordering multiple sizes to make sure you find the right one.  Once you do, you’ll discover they hug your curves perfectly and actually make you feel supported.  The quality of these swimsuits are fantastic!  I wasn’t constantly stopping to adjust them or worried about them being too sheer.  They were exactly what I’ve been looking for!

I have a few more styles from Swimsuits For All that I’ll be posting within the next week and I can’t wait for you to see them.  Until then, you can shop all of their beautiful swimwear at SwimsuitsForAll.com.

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