In today's society, it seems to me that women are generally expected to be a wide spectrum of things: Cute, sexy, funny, calm, confident, submissive, and basically every other set of contradictory adjectives you can imagine. On top of that, when summer begins, we are supposed to reveal our new selves like butterflies, and feel confident in our bathing suits — all with frizz-less hair, remarkably clear skin, and a body carved by angels (or inspired by Victoria’s). We’re talking months of Pilates classes, wheat grass shots, and every beauty treatment imaginable just shy of an actual face lift. Just for that one little string bikini. But with a full course load, career, or life at all, who has the kind of time, or the desire, for that? When it comes to being confident in a bikini, months of planning really aren’t required.
Investing all of your energy in thinking about how you could look better detracts from how truly beautiful you already are. With some self-realization and a little bit of feel-good prep, you’ll be ready to take on that bikini in no time. Everyone enjoys to feel confident and fabulous in a bathing suit this summer, and the truth is that with some reminders, it can be a lot easier than you may think.
1. Know that being "bikini-ready" is a total myth
The only things necessary for having a "bikini body" are as follows: a bikini and a body. That's it. No one body type deserves to wear a bikini any more than another. When you're bombarded with article after article detailing the perfect meal plan and workout regimen that'll get you bikini-ready in no time, know that, while of course eating a little healthier and getting active is great, you can rock a swimsuit literally whenever you want. Your body is awesome and does so much for you. It deserves to be flaunted, if that's what you want! No six-week juice cleanse, hot yoga retreat, or Kanye Workout Plan required for you to love your body.
2. Pick a swimsuit that makes you comfortable (nothing else matters)
As Nicki Minaj once said, "Got a bow on my panties because my ass is a present." Your ass, too, is a present. And if you want to wear a thong bikini bottom (a la Miami chic), ignore any "How To Dress For Your Body Type" guide that tells you not to, because their advice is pretty much irrelevant. You don't need to hide, cover up, accentuate, or draw attention to any body part you don't want to. Small breasts don't require extra padding, and a curvy stomach doesn't mean a one piece. Fashion rules are meant to be obliterated. Focus on what kind of swimsuit will put your confidence through the roof. Pick out cuts and colors that you love, try on everything in sight, and splurge a little on the bathing suit you know you're meant to wear.
3. De-bloating can help
Half the reason you may feel uncomfortable in a bathing suit might not have anything to do with confidence, but may be because of a bloated midsection instead. It's usually totally unnoticeable, but it might make you feel pretty puffy and uncomfortable, which is hardly a recipe for confidence. The best ways to battle bloat are to drink plenty of water, eat smaller meals more frequently, and avoid foods that are high in salt and fat.
4. Accessorize like an expert
When in doubt, embrace your inner fashion girl. Sometimes overdressing a little can help boost your confidenc. So layer up on the chic necklaces, style a silk kimono as a cover-up, and lace up your sexiest mid-calf gladiator. Or, if dressing up isn't quite your style, at least bring your cutest accessories. A colorful beach towel, beaded tote bag, or hilarious pool float (the giant donut floaty seems to be very in right now) work just as well!
5. A little primping goes a long way
I learned the hard way back in seventh grade that a bold cat eye and the beach do not mix — but that doesn't mean you can't glam just a little. I'm not talking using buckets of foundation, but taking some time the night before to do a minty face mask, exfoliate pretty much your whole body, and moisturize like a champion will help you feel your sexiest. Or at least your squeaky cleanest.