Two years ago i looked at the pictures that she posted, and the vast array of women of all shapes and sizes that then joined her, and thought wow, they are so brave, I wish i could do that!!
You see, for a very long time i have not been happy with my body. Its funny as people see me being quite tall, of average weight and happy to post pictures on the internet, so they always say
“Why don’t you wear a bikini? You have a great figure”
But really its that i’ve learned to dress my shape well. I’ve learned to use clothes as my armour and I’m happy in my outfits most days, choosing to show off my best bits in carefully selected items.
The thought of shedding those clothes was quite frankly harrowing.
My son is nearly 7 and I haven’t worn a bikini since the year before i was pregnant, so approximately 8 years ago. I was a happy in love 25 year old who was in Italy with her husband to be. I had a taut stomach and even some muscle definition. I had an itsy bitsy bikini and i didn’t mind wearing it one iota. Then with my pregnancy and a huge baby (all 8lb 9 oz of him and super long to boot)came, suddenly i was left with red raw stretchmarks and saggy skin everywhere.
I no longer felt like me in this body.
The carefree girl who grew up at the beach in bikinis having fun.
She was gone for a really really long time.
Nobody warns you how children can really effect your body and mindset, you just know that its all worth while when you receive that tiny bundle of joy in your arms, and i grant you it is.
But i’m still me. There’s still a girl screaming to wear a bikini and head the beach to have fun.
So why not?
Yes i have stretchmarks!! (Lots infact!)
No i am not toned.
But i am healthy and happy.
Whats stopping me?
Well apparently it was just me.
When i first wore the bikini out in public, nobody stared, nobody pointed and really not one person cared, except me.
It goes back to the same thing i keep banging on about, the more we normalise ALL body types, the more we all feel comfortable with who we are and how we look.
I have a similar figure to my lovely mum, stretch marks and mum-tum and all, and every summer she would wear her bikini and not care one bit. In fact i always thought she looked cracking for her age (she still does now at 55!!). She has been a wonderful role model and seeing her with her wonderful figure, with its stretchmarks from my sister and i, made me realise i can do that too! As did seeing Vicki and all the other wonderful ladies who are #ProudInMyBikini.
I am so happy to be joining in this wonderful movement of ladies in bikini’s!
My body is not ‘perfect’ I have a road map across my tummy, there is no six pack in sight, i have claw marks down my thighs and a jiggle when i walk.
But this is my body, no body else’s. There is no comparison to be had as i’m just me.. nobody else. Stretch marks and all, it has taken me a long time to realise that this is still me, and i am worthy of wearing a bikini.. we all are ladies!
That seems incredibly low to me. Where are all the bikini’s ladies?
After my journey i thought i’d share some tips on wearing a bikini:
- Order a few and try them on in the comfort of your home. There’s nothing worse than trying them on in the harsh lighting of a shops changing room, plus the pressure and stress of getting changed/unchanged. Order online, like from M&Co and try them
- Try a few styles: High leg is super flattering and elongates legs, high-waisted will cover most tummys, tummy control panels will hold you in and support cups will hoist you up when needed. There are some great styles on the market, its just about finding one that suits you. So don’t be scared to try new styles as they may turn out to be the one for you.
- Choose Pattern/Colour! I think sometimes an all black swimsuit can be harsh, a little ageing and not very flattering. Its universally thought that black is slimming but honestly, i think a bold pattern or bold colour will actually help detract away from lumps and bumps and create a much more interesting look!The interest will be far more in the beautiful bikini then whats underneath it.
- Once you’ve chosen your bikini try it on in front of the mirror multiple times before you go out. I found actually giving my reflection a bit of attention helped. It made me look closer and think about why was i so concerned. Better yet, take a selfie and send it to some lovely trusted friends for feedback. You will soon see they, and nobody else, will see the things that you pick holes in.
- Stand with confidence! And if you don’t feel it, fake it till you make it i say! When you’re finally in your two piece and you’re out at the beach/by the pool, try to relax in to it. There’s nothing worse than looking uncomfortable and tense. Your body will go rigid and you will make yourself look far far worse. Try relaxing your shoulders, don’t hunch over and smile. Confidence always starts with a smile.
- Use a cover up. I loved the light maxi dress cover up here, its light and airy and perfect for throwing on when walking around. If you’re not feeling confident start by just taking your cover-up off around the pool or sat on the beach, then pop your cover-up on when walking around. You will gain confidence by just sitting out in your bikini i promise!
A big thank you to M&Co for working with me, sending me this wonderful bikini and really pushing me out of my comfort zone!
I love my new bikini, you can find this one here!
And the gorgeous cover up here
And thanks to M&Co here is a fab discount to help you on your bikini clad way!
Terms & Conditions: 10% OFF FULL PRICE – 10% off full price valid online at www.mandco.com until 31st July 2017. Excludes promotional or sale items and online P&P charges. Items from non-participating concessions are excluded from this promotion. Returned items will be refunded at the discounted price paid. Use promo code RACHEL10 online. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
Do you wear a bikini? And if not would you consider trying one this year?