Gaining the confidence to bare some skin might be a tall order for some women, however, but as singer Mary Lambert emphasized in a previous C'est Prune interview, every body is a bikini body. Everyone has the right to flaunt their body at the beach and enjoy a bit of sun, sand, and saltwater — including you! So here are some tips to get you started:
Adopt a different mindset
Growing up, we’ve all been fed with a steady diet of impossibly high beauty ideals by the media. But real women have different kinds of bodies and the ones we see in print and on our television screens only represent a small portion of the female population.
One way to adopt a different mindset is to look for positive things about yourself. Sometimes moms are ashamed of their stretch marks, for example, but they should learn to look at them as a sign of giving life to another person, which is a truly wonderful and selfless act. By putting a positive spin on your perceived flaws, you’ll become more accepting and loving of yourself, which will definitely radiate out to the world.
Find the right cut and style
You don’t have to wear a black one-piece just because you think it is the most slimming option. The key is to find the best cut and style for your shape, and there are loads of fun, creative, and flattering options to choose from today. For instance, this off-shoulder one-piece from La Blanca is particularly great for showing off curves while also supporting your chest with a built-in bra.
When shopping for swimsuits, take your time in finding pieces that actually fit your shape, instead of hiding underneath more fabric as it tends to be unflattering. Another trick that helps build confidence is to look for clothing that represents your unique personality. Different textures, patterns, and colors can help do that.
Test the waters
Gaining confidence is easier said than done, and wearing a swimsuit in public for the first time can be very intimidating. Start slow with a more conservative option like a one-piece perhaps, or layer your swimsuit with a cover-up like a caftan dress or a flowy top. The button-down shirt featured on Woman Within is made of breathable cotton, which ensures that you'll still be comfortable lounging on a hot summer day with multiple layers on. It also provides more coverage if you’re not completely comfortable with the idea of wearing only a swimsuit.
Mastering the art of accessorizing might also help. A floppy sunhat, stylish shades, and a woven bag can get you excited for the beach. You can also try doing your hair and putting on makeup — if you’re not planning to take a dip — if that makes you more confident. If doing small acts like painting your mug might make you happier with your appearance, everything else will eventually follow.
Surround yourself with supportive people
But no matter how hard you try, we understand that there are just those days when you can’t shake your insecurities off. When this happens, Instagram influencer Joann van den Herik finds support from other people— whether it’s from her network of family and friends, or with celebrities and other public figures.
Look up to body-positive role models and relatable women who are candid about their everyday experiences with their bodies. They might help you realize that the only requirement for having a bikini body is to put on your favorite swimsuit. Surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are and make you feel good about yourself.
The beach is a public environment, which unfortunately means that even body-shamers are welcome. When dealing with judgmental people, body-positive beauty writer Amanda Richards points out how it might not even be about you, and that body-shaming is more a reflection of other people's own prejudices or self-hate.
If you have the opportunity, educate people on how their words affect others, especially if they seem unaware of their body-shaming. Their words might hurt, but at the end of the day, they are only words. Remember that you are more than enough! Try not to let those words have power over you and spoil your day at the beach.