Hi lovely humans!
I recently went to the beach and had a few thoughts I wanted to share, in hopes that it will spread a bit of love and help people to look/feel a little different about the whole trying on/wearing swimwear ordeal that many of us find slightly terrifying at times. So have a read if you’ve ever felt less than confident when it comes to swimwear and hopefully it will prompt you to go a little easier on yourself and start enjoying your beach/pool outings that little bit more.
Sitting on the sand at a stunning beach on a beautifully warm day, a lady walks past in an orange bikini, I’m guessing she’s around 35 (purely a guess as she has two primary school-aged kids in tow and just seems to be about that age) and looks to be around a size 14, which is the current average for women’s dress size in Australia might I add (note that I only know this as I spent years working in a swimwear store and I literally only paid attention to what size she may be for the sake of this story). Do you know what the first two things that come to mind when I see her are? Firstly, ‘Aw what a gorgeous happy-looking family enjoying this beautiful day. I hope I’ll always be that happy with a gorgeous family of my own in tow.’ And secondly, ‘I absolutely LOVE that orange colour! I need to get me an orange bikini!’.
I wonder to myself: when she put on that bikini and looked at herself in the mirror before she left the house this morning, are they the first two things that came to her mind? That she is happy to be going to the beach with her beautiful little family and that she LOVES this orange colour/bikini? If so, GOOD! However, sadly, due to the societal pressure placed on women to look a certain way, I doubt it. Based on my experience as a swimwear salesperson and as a woman myself – the first thing we so quickly do is critique ourselves in every way we possibly can without focusing on the POSITIVES, of which there are always SO MANY. Yet for some reason (cough cough, socially constructed idea of beauty and perfection brought on by the industries in the world which profit from such – im lookin’ at you!) we always overlook our positives and our uniqueness.
So I ask you this; when you are at the beach, do you sit there and critique every small part of everyone else’s body on the beach and criticize it? Or do you spend most of the time focusing on (worrying about) what your own body looks like? I can almost guarantee the majority will say the latter. Therefore, this blog is a public service announcement to all women and a reminder no one is looking at you in your bikini on the beach thinking ‘ew look at those stretch marks’ or ‘gosh those love handles don’t do her any favours’ or ‘wow her boobs are so small’ or ‘her legs aren’t long enough’.. if for no other reason than they are too concerned with what they look like and their own ‘so called flaws’ that they most likely won’t be paying any attention to you! And if they are noticing you, it will be for a good reason such as ‘wow love that colour bikini’! So next time you try on swimwear or see a bikini you like – get it! And do it for YOU and because YOU like it, not because of what anyone else is going to think. Don’t get put off by the fact that you look different to the highly edited version of the woman modelling them in the shop (news flash: no one else on the beach looks like that and she doesn’t even really look like that either!). We spend so much time worrying about every single little aspect of our bodies whilst wearing swimwear, that I feel we are setting ourselves up for a terrible experience mentally whilst at the beach. Let’s not forget what we actually go to the beach for.. or at least what we SHOULD be going to the beach for. To have FUN! So let’s all focus on that next time we shop for swimwear and try to think of the whole process in a more positive light. The first thing we say/think when a friend criticises her body is usually something like ‘you look gorgeous don’t be silly’, so why don’t we feel that way about ourselves?
Therefore, I CHALLENGE YOU – next time you put on a bikini, the first thing you say to yourself has to be something POSITIVE instead of negative. And taking it one step further – give your friend or family member a compliment next time you see them in one! Let’s see what kind of difference something as little as that can make.
SPREAD THAT LOVE PEOPLE! Internally AND externally!
All my love,