Ahhh summer. Right? The sun's out... the pool is calling. But, if you're like me, when the pool or beach calls, you hang up. Because when they call, that means it's swimsuit season. Leave a message, summer...I'm not swimsuit ready. However, I had to go shopping for a new swimsuit this year, and it's almost as bad as going jeans shopping, am I right?
But why? Why is shopping for swimsuits so very bad? While on our vacation, I was doing my usual people watching (because who doesn't love people watching), and I noticed something. I only saw a few women walking around in only a swimsuit. Only one or two were wearing a two piece, and the rest were always wearing some sort of cover-up, or was wearing something else entirely and no swimsuit. Meanwhile, men were walking around in their swim trunks without a care in the world. No shirt, no problem!!!! Didn't matter what shape they were in. Being at the pool meant wearing a swimsuit. Seems simple.
But it isn’t so simple. And that got me thinking, why do women care so much about having to wear a swimsuit and men just go with whatever? Yes, I understand that there's a lot more attention placed on women's bodies, and often, we are harder on ourselves about our bodies then we should be. I understand how difficult it can be to feel confident in a swim suit, when seemingly, the world wants women to look like swim suit models. Real women wear swimsuits, not just models in magazines. I struggled with this post, to be honest. While typing it, I thought maybe I should add something about choosing the right swimsuit for your body...but a quick search on google left me kind of disheartened. Yes, you want a suit that flatters, but I drew a line when I started reading articles about suits for "a big butt", "small chest", "thick thighs", "back fat", "sporty body","large arms", "lots of cleavage". I'd had enough. Fact of the matter is, when I read those articles, I felt like they were saying..."hey girl with the big butt, here's the suit for you!" and I'm not cool with that. Where are the articles about swimsuits for men with beer bellies, short legs, or hairy backs? I don't want this post to feel like that. I want to empower you to wear whatever suit that you like. If you feel great in a tankini, wear it. If you love to show skin, do it. I don't care what the articles say about your best bet for swimsuits.
There was a time, back in my college days, that I would jump at any opportunity to put on my barely there bikini and hang out by the pool, the lake or the beach. But then my kids came along, and I was no longer comfortable with how my body had changed. Looking back through some photos, I found these and I remember distinctively, that I did not even own a swimsuit then, because why would I, if I was never ever putting one on ever again. Ever.
Somewhere along the way, my attitude changed. My perspective grew and evolved into having a better understanding of who I am now as opposed to who I once was. Yes, I started working out to gain confidence and muscle tone, but, more importantly, I quickly realized that I had two sets of young eyes on me. Both my son and my daughter needed to see me loving who I am and they both needed to see that I have a positive body image and confidence to be myself. So, I went out and I bought not one, but three swimsuits, all two pieces.
Do I still have areas that I am self conscious about? Absolutely. It’s that stubborn lower stomach area, that I affectionately call “mama flub”, because I earned that growing two humans. So, to help me over that hurdle, I went for a two piece suit that has a high waist bottom. That way I could cover the area that I dislike, and still show off everything else. A note about high waist bottoms, you might hear that they look like diapers. But, I disagree. I chose some that have cutouts on the side because I think that they look more like a swimsuit and less like a diaper. I also like that they are higher in the back. These all came from Target. I only kept the two in the first image, and the striped top from the bottom set. Although, I regret not keeping the polka dot bottoms. Again, I decided that the cutout sides looked less diapery, but actually, they are all cute.
I have one swimsuit bottom that isn’t a high waist, and I had ignored it, up until I decided to write this post. It goes back to being self conscious about my lower stomach area. But, here it is, and admittedly I don’t hate it as much as I used to.
Will I ever go for the skimpy string bikinis again? Maybe. The truth is, women have the most amazing choices for swim wear. Tons of options for cut, style, fit, pattern, color... etc, so why wouldn’t we want to wear as many styles as we like? Men don’t necessarily have as many options. It’s similar to shoes! I am going to set a goal for myself. Next year, my goal is to care less and be fierce more. To buy a skimpy bikini and wear it, proudly. No matter if I still have the mama flub or not. If I like it, i'm going to wear it, and I challenge you to do the same.
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