Considering the conditioning we as humans are bombarded with on a daily basis, wearing a bathing suit is no easy feat. So, it comes as no surprise that throughout the process of singularly wearing only a swimsuit and nothing else, one experiences many emotional stages to staying body positive in a swimsuit. Once we take off our cover-ups and reveal our whole selves to the world (or, you know, just the people at the beach or the pool), staying fully confident and comfortable in our own skin can be tough. I know when I’m in that setting, I have day dreams that everyone’s conversations around me are about the cellulite on my butt or thick love handles. But in reality, it’s all in my head. Because while it might be hard to stay body positive in a swimsuit, it’s not impossible.
That being said, the whole process is definitely an emotional undertaking, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. No matter size or shape, being exposed in basically your underwear isn't a situation we're taught to be comfortable with. And while sporting a bikini is considered normal in today’s society (whatever happened to pants and long sleeves as swimsuits?), it definitely takes extra courage and confidence to really lay back and relax enough to enjoy whatever activity you’re doing. Whether it’s beach volleyball or Marco Polo (yes, I’m secretly seven years old whenever I’m at a pool).
So, here are the seven emotional stages of staying body positive when wearing a bathing suit. Because like I said, it’s no easy feat.
You know that absolute feeling of joy when you find a beautiful bathing suit you actually, in all honesty, feel really good in? That’s what true excitedness feels like. Because after days, weeks, months, or even years of searching for that one perfect fit, you have finally found it. And no longer are you dreading those days you know you’ll be dragged to the pool or the beach. In fact, you’re quite looking forward to them, because you know you’ll look great and feel great.
But then self-consciousness kicks in, like it often does. While the bathing suit looked great in the fitting room where you first tried it on, the natural light in your home is making you doubt your early infatuation with it. As well all know, there’s no hiding anything in natural light, and all those stretch marks, cellulite dimples, and thick hairs are bound to show with any kind of bathing suit. While you know you want to wear it — and you know in your heart of hearts that there's nothing wrong with stretch marks, cellulite dimples, and thick hairs — you’re doubting whether or not you should.
And then, by no surprise, the anxiety kicks in. What if all my friends comment on my thick thighs? What if someone notices my severe bacne? Those are some of the thoughts going through my mind, especially after reevaluating my decision to even buy the damn swimsuit in the first place. Cue the tears, cue the sadness. Because there’s no going back now.
But maybe there is, because I wouldn’t have bought this bathing suit if I didn’t love it. And if I love it, I know it fits me well enough to make me feel like my best, most confident self. And that best, most confident self has love handles and back chub! I didn’t buy this bathing suit for anyone else, and I know I can pull it off.
But what if I can’t? What if I run into my middle school rival at the beach and she makes fun of my rolls? What if my bikini top comes undone and it washes away in the beach tide? What if?! I know I can’t live my life asking that question, but I can’t help but think of the worst possible, most horrifically embarrassing, situations I could get myself into once I have the bathing suit on and am headed to my beach-y, vacation destination.
But I had enough courage to put the bathing suit on and walk out of the house, so I can do this. I might not fit into the conventional “beach body” category, but that’s not supposed to be me anyways. I love my curves! My wide frame certainly makes it a struggle to find fitted bikini bottoms. But alas, I defied all odds and am rocking a bathing suit I really love. I shouldn’t worry about what people think, or what terrible situations may arise. Because right now, in this moment, I’m comfortable in my own skin and confident enough to take off my cover up with ease and enjoy the summer sun.
And finally, it’s come time to strip down to that amazing bathing suit. At the end of the day, this experience is for me. And while I admit it would be nice to have a whole beach or pool to myself, it's not necessary. Because who cares what people think; I feel hot and sexy and alluring, and I'm going to enjoy every minute of being in this swimsuit. Ultimately, it's about how I feel and that's all I'm concerned with.
And it's not much to be concerned about, because you know I'm dazzling.
Images: MiaJuicy/Facebook; Giphy