As women, it’s almost natural to feel a bit hesitant wearing a bikini, with special thanks to the media pressuring us to have the “perfect bikini body”.
I remember that one of my biggest eeek! moments growing up was wearing a swimsuit on vacation, and I am very happy to say that I got over it – and boy is life so much more fun when you just don’t care what other people think! Here are some lessons I’ve learnt in bikini body confidence, and I hope this is the year that you too will feel confident in your bikini.
1. Don’t Covet. The is the big one. A popular fitness “tip” recommends that you keep a picture of someone’s body you want, so that you would be motivated to keep working out to reach your goal for swimsuit season. (Why this is even out there is beyond me). And guess who are the most coveted bodies? Victoria Secret models, of course.
And while I have nothing against Victoria’s Secret models, we must remember that it is their jobs to look good in a bikini; and that they have personal trainers, nutritionist and professionals helping them. Oh, and a little thing called Photoshop. If we all had a personal style team, we’d all look like swimsuit models. And that would be so boring, no? Imagine a world where everyone looked like Barbie… what a snooze fest. Comparing your body with others is a lost cause because everyone is made different.
2. Turn that attitude to gratitude. Looking at your body in the mirror and analyzing each part you hate is not doing any good. Instead of looking at your “big arms”, try to turn your thoughts from negative to gratitude: instead, be thankful you actually have two full-functioning arms; because some people don’t. Be thankful for the body that you have. There is more to life than worrying about how your butt looks at the beach.
3. Think about the missed opportunities. I remember when I was 13 and on vacation in beautiful Costa Del Sol, Spain. I would go to the beach every day, and I never went into the water. Why? Because I was so shy and self-conscious. I was in that awkward age, very tall and skinny, and so I was certain that everyone would stare. And there were boys there!
Now I am kicking myself because the beach was so, so beautiful. And honestly, how many times am I going to be in Spain? I missed the opportunity to go and really enjoy myself because I cared what strangers thought of me. I mean, it’s not like I knew any of them or even remember what they look like now. When I look back, it just seems so silly – so, why are stranger’s opinions having any impact on you? Which leads me to my next point….
4. Seriously, no one is looking at you. When I finally did dare to wear a bikini, at 17 years old, I was in Koh Samui, Thailand. I remembered how I felt about my trip to Spain and I was determined to just suck it up – I was not about to miss another opportunity to enjoy myself at the beach. That, and I might’ve grown up and gained a bit more confidence. But I still felt a bit strange wearing it at first, and for a while thought everyone would stare. But get this: No one really looked at me. I looked around, and everyone was just busy doing their own thing, enjoying their holiday.
5. Look good, feel good. Why not shop for a bathing suit that you love that flatters your body that you’ll feel great in. Look good, feel good, right? Here’s a quick guide on what kind of bikinis would play down the body part you may be self conscious about, so you can feel your best:
- Big butt: You need strong support, and a high-waisted brief bottoms hold everything in and hide love handles. Sporty style bikini are also great for support not to mention they look super chic.
- Small bust: If you’re a little shy about your bikini top, try looking for ones that add “volume”; textures such as ruffles, funky patterns or embellished tops are perfect and so much fun.
- Big bust: Look for a bikini top with an underwire – this is vital. Halter tops are a great choice as they are not only very strong, but a classic cut.
- Big thighs: A common complaint from women. Bikini bottoms that are slightly high-rise will focus on your waist. Avoid bottoms that cut right in the middle of your upper thigh as that can bring all attention there.
6. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It’s much easier to feel confident about your body in a bikini when you know you’ve taken care of it. Filling your belly with junk food will only make you feel worse and more self-conscious. So eat healthy; but not just for your body, but also for your health. Of course, indulge once in awhile, but always remember to fill your body with good stuff. Exercise; as I probably don’t even need to explain why, will also make you feel body confident. Honor, respect and treat your body right.
7. Have fun! Whether you’re at the beach or by the pool, have fun! You are only young once. I believe that a big part to being confident in your bikini is to have fun. When you’re happy and having a ball, the last thing on your mind is, “Can they see my cellulite? Does my butt look big in my swimsuit?” So get out there and play beach volleyball, eat ice cream, read a book or take a dip in the ocean. We are so blessed to have the luxury to go to the beach in the first place, so have fun and enjoy the moment!
If I were to sum up this article, I would say: just do it! Because at some point; to overcome a fear, you just gotta face it. The first few times will be hard, but have the courage to get out and do it, and it will get easier each time you do. Eventually, you won’t even think about it anymore… promise.
P.S. Want a quick confidence boost? Check out How to: Feel More Confident Instantly.