It's funny. In the months leading up to summer, we become consumed by hopes of sunshine filled days, glowing tans and ice creams by the beach. We often spend the winter months in a state of hibernation, counting down the days until snow is replaced by heat haze.
But then the season arrives, and all those daydreams are replaced by anxiety — anxiety about our bodies, anxiety about finding a "flattering" swimsuit, anxiety about stripping down to the bare essentials in front of friends, families or fellow beach-going strangers. And then there are the magazines and tabloids hitting us daily. "How to Get the Perfect Beach Body." "Is Your Body Ready For Summer." "How to Tone in 10 Days To Get The Best Bikini Bod." It can be difficult for anyone, of any size, to feel comfortable whilst presented with the notion that the "perfect beach body" exists and is the thing to strive for.
Perfection may not be a feasible goal — what does it even mean? But feeling confident and happy are far more plausible, and in the long run, far more important. In the effort of showing that #EveryBodyIsABeach Body, 14 beautiful women of all sizes, shapes and styles have stripped down and proved that all you have to do to get a bikini body is put your body in a bikini!
“I believe that every body deserves to be loved for exactly what it is. Right now, I love being a fat mermaid.”
Photo Credit: Emily Louise Holton
“Who can really say what a beach body is? Or what it’s supposed to be? Well to me it’s whatever you feel comfortable in. My body has been a roller coaster with changes since having my son three years ago and quite frankly I go to the beach to not only relax, but TAN. The most comfortable I feel is in a two-piece. If it works for me, I don’t really care if it doesn’t for you! Love the body you have, cherish it. Enjoy the sunshine.”
“There are so many hot swimsuits and fatkinis out there for us plus-size ladies, so rejoice and release the chub!”
“All the effort spent covering up my body made me feel like it was something to be ashamed of. Celebrate your shape rather than try to hide it!”
“I am a plus-size model who is actively supporting body positive movements and acceptance for all body shapes and sizes. Every body regardless of size deserves love and appreciation not shame or scorn!”
“With our generation so profoundly influenced with social medias, it’s hard to focus on ourselves and feel confident in our own bodies. The ‘perfect beach body’ isn’t a perfectly retouched model; wearing your own skin with a smile is. It’s a very vulnerable situation to be on the beach or poolside with many people around to compare yourself to. I have my own insecurities with my body sometimes, but it helps knowing which bathing suit fits you. TRY IT ALL ON! I promise you’ll be presently surprised. If you’re gonna take it all off, never forget to wear your personality!”
“Wearing a bikini as a fat woman is an act of rebellion. I felt glorious and glamorous all at the same time. I wore my stretch marks as ribbons of honor and let the sun kiss my lumpy thighs and arms without a care in the world.”
“This is a picture of my sister and I on the beach. We’re Orthodox Jews, so our version of beachwear features sleeves and skirts — not because we’re ashamed of our bodies, but because we don’t feel the need to show them off to the world. Our self-worth does not depend on how good we look in bikinis, and believe me, we manage to have plenty of fun while keeping our clothes on.”
“My body is a beach body ‘cause I’m happy’ (in a singsongy voice of course).”
“I was just selected as one of the No Excuses Moms 2015 Calendar moms! I have not put on a two piece since I was 18 years old. I almost did not put on this bikini until I heard, ‘A bikini body is a body with a bikini on it.’ I lift heavy things and eat good food and I am LOVING every dangerous curve that I have!”
“Once I was able to love my body for all that it allows me to do, I was able to truly look past my perceived ‘imperfections.’ It can be tough for young girls and women to absolutely love their physical appearance in such a body obsessed culture. However, one valuable lesson I keep close to my heart is that true beauty and confidence radiates from within.”
“I feel confident in my swimsuit because I am who I am, I embrace myself and only my opinion of myself is what matters.”
“Fit IS the new sexy, and it doesn’t have a size.”
“I feel sexy in a swimsuit because it shows all of me! And I’m proud of me! No matter what size! I love my body!”