BIKINI BODY CONFIDENCE | Swimwear Series Part 2 | +5 Tips on how to wear a two piece with confidence
Today I bring you another bikini post. I really hope I get the chance to do at least two more of these plus size bikini (aka fatkini) posts this summer, since I have so many potential bikini combinations that I want to share with you. I hope I will be able to inspire those of you out there who would like to wear a two piece, but aren't in the right place mentally to do so yet.
Sometimes our fears can seem like they are only our own. Sometimes we look at other people who appear so brave and confident, and we couldn't imagine them ever being anything other than that. Brave and confident. Sometimes that's just an image that they project. Please do not feel like you are alone in your insecurities, and certainly don't get stuck in the mindset that being a certain size somehow justifies you beating yourself up about your looks or body shape, more than the next person. Even the people who have bodies that completely conform to the current beauty standards, can be insecure about their body and wearing swimwear.
If you simply do not want to wear a bikini, then don't. However, if you do, but you just need a little encouragement, and maybe a little confidence boost, then here are 5 tips and realisations that helped me become a lot of more confident about wearing swimwear, which might help you too.
Don't worry, or care, about what anyone else might think about you, your body, or your swimwear.
The fact is that most of the other people at the pool, or the beach, are too busy having fun and minding their own business to pay much attention what other people are doing or wearing. And if they are not, they need to get a life. Seriously! That, or you need to find a new pool or beach to hang out at! The pool (and the beach), is not a fashion show if you don't want it to be, and it is certainly not a beauty contest. So make sure you remember that at every stage when you are prepping yourself to get the courage to rock your curves in your awesome two piece with confidence and pride.
If you saw my previous bikini post of this year, you might remember that I was very candid about how the idea of wearing a two-piece after so many years, initially freaked me out. I was suddenly thrown into anxiety, and plagued with very negative thoughts and feelings about my body, thanks to a fear of exposing parts of my body which I never expose, and don't quite love. It made me question my confidence after being so sure that I had made peace with my fat body.
Either way, I really wanted to wear a bikini regardless. I was just
afraid petrified of judgment. It was also that same fear that pushed me into wearing a two piece no matter what. And then doing so, reminded me, that not only should I not care for the negative and spiteful opinions of others, but that nobody at the pool really cares about what other people at the pool look like, or what they are wearing. Plus, the pool is full of every body type imaginable! Nobody really stands out. And there I was, expecting stares, finger pointing, and tactless people saying horrible things - perhaps to my face, or maybe just loud enough for me to over hear, - and which might make me run away from the pool in floods of tears. I only over heard one comment, and it was positive. It was a compliment. Nobody else seemed to acknowledge I was even there, except for my friends.
It's OKAY to get used to it gradually. And to cover up.
Wearing a two piece doesn't mean you have to bare all, all of the time. If there are certain parts of your body that you are petrified of baring, but you feel you will definitely be exposing them in a two piece no matter what, then think again. There are two piece designs that are quite modest. It's not all just g-strings out there! There is also a myriad of cover-ups available for everyone in many different styles, should you want or need them. From stylish robes that may or may not be made to be worn at the beach and the pool, (it doesn't matter if it was made to be worn over clothes in everyday life. It can also be worn over swimwear), to cool sarongs that can either be worn as a skirt or a dress, depending on how you tie it around yourself. We are spoiled for choice!
I've seen Chastity over on Garner Style wear a shirt over her swimwear, and it looks really chic. Luanne over at Weesha's World wore a beautiful Kimono over her Kate Spade swimsuit. There are also dresses and jumpsuits that are made to be worn over swimwear. I've seen some beautiful and very affordable things at Primark, for example. (But hurry! Summer is nearly over and they won't be stocking up on them again this summer!) And if you really don't want to buy anything new, you can always raid your closet for something you may well have even forgotten you own!
Don't be afraid to let your imagination get ahead of you if you feel the need to cover up when you are not in the water, but you still want to look cute and stylish! For me, exposing my tummy is a struggle. My tummy is not how I would prefer it to look, and I'm always expecting someone to do or say something hurtful about it to me. I also suffer from bloating which doesn't help, and it can really knock my confidence some times.
That is why I love these high waist bottoms from Calzedonia so much. I can just pull them up if I'm feeling unsure, (looks almost like a one piece), and pull them down when I'm feeling a bit more confident about myself. Even just the freedom to pull it down if I'd like to tan my tummy without needing to go topless is great. My tummy had never seen the light of day before. Ever. (FYI, these high waisted bikini briefs are on sale at the moment, down from 15 euros to just 6 euros). This design has really helped me feel more confident about wearing my tummy out, and even being OK with a VBL some of the time. (More on that below).
I just wish it was available in white, and with ruffles!
Your bikini top can offer the same support and lift as a bra.
There seems to be a lot of misconception about support for our breasts when choosing swimwear. Some people believe that swimwear cannot act similarly to underwear - especially bras. This is simply not true. I often wear my swimwear as underwear when I am headed to the pool, and it's great to feel supported en route as well as during my stay at the pool.
One advantage of wearing a two piece, is that it is possible to buy your exact size for both halves your body. You can even buy the top half using the same sizing as you would when purchasing bras. Not all retailers offer this option, but there are some who do. Being able to buy pieces separately in the correct sizes is perfect for us busty ladies who prefer support and lift, as well as our not-so-busty sisters who would like to feel just as supported and have the cups actually make full contact with their skin. The other great thing about buying bikinis as separates, is that you get to mix and match your pieces so you can personalise your look more.
I find that with one pieces I'm usually stuck with a top half that is too small for my breasts. That usually results in my girls being squished downwards, and fabric squeezing into the fullest part of my breasts and creating a bulge where I do not want, or need, bulges.
The bikini top I am wearing in this post is from Etam, and pretty much supports me like most regular everyday bras, which feels great. In fact, when I burned by back a few weeks ago, I wore this bikini top as a bra, because the smooth fabric didn't irritate my skin at all. I bought it according to width and cup size, just as I would have a bra. I like the print on it because it is simple and cute. I don't know what it is about this print, but I find there is something very youthful looking about it. I like that. I also find that this style provides more coverage over the breasts than my Calzedonia bikini tops, proving that there are styles, shapes, and designs, that do not force you wear a plunging neck line that leaves you feeling exposed if you are of a more modest persuasion. Nor it is all frumpy 'let's hide the fat girl's body' designs either. There really is something for everybody out there.
Personally, I find it depends on my mood. Some days I'm happy to wear my more low cut halter neck bikini tops, and other days I just want to be a bit more covered up and supported. It's all about personal choice and what each one of us does or doesn't feel comfortable with.
Your chest size, whether you be busty or not, should not be a hindrance to you.
All body shapes can look cute in a bikini. Seriously. It's true!
There is this erroneous idea that the only types of Plus Size women who can wear a bikini well, are the ones who have hour glass and pear shaped bodies. The rest of us can just forget it. We see this everywhere in mainstream media whenever a plus size woman is being featured. Most plus size models, are at the smaller end of plus size, and they usually have these body types. We don't get much exposure to other body types, except for in real life. Well, I am what they call an apple shape. (I have no problem with having my body shape compared to a fruit. I am still a woman, and a fruit is still just a fruit). I have a tummy, a not-so-small high waistline, not very wide hips, and a not-very-rounded behind. I basically have the opposite of what I would prefer to have if I were living in an ideal world. I sometimes joke to my friends that if I could move all of what is on my tummy, and put it on my hips and on my butt instead, I'd be pretty perfect looking, lol. But this is not an ideal world. I do not have perfect looks according to today's beauty standards, and my body shape does not define who I am as a person, or what my worth is as a human being. I owe it to myself to love my body as if it were the body type I'd prefer, and I also deserve to be loved and respected by others. I happen to think I look pretty cute in my bikinis, despite being 'so flawed' (according to our current beauty standards, of course), and I bet you look pretty darn cute in your swimwear too!
Before we proceed to tip number five, please allow me to go off on a slight and quick tangent....
These photos were taken by my cousin and a friend of mine, when we went to the pool over the weekend. When I saw this last photo, (below), my instant reaction was, "I love this picture! Yes, you can see what I think is quite an obvious visible belly line, but I love this photo!" I was genuinely happy and excited with how this picture came out. If someone had told me before that day that that would have been my reaction to a photo where I have a VBL, I wouldn't have believed them. The only reason you don't see this in the other photos, is because of the lighting.
I don't have an excuse for why I have such a chubby tummy. I have never been pregnant, so my tummy is not the result of the amazing and miraculous process this is motherhood. I do not have PCOS. I don't have a thyroid problem. As far as I am aware, I am perfectly healthy. I have not recently experienced any kid of drastic weight loss either, so it's not left over excess skin, or anything like that. I do have water retention, so it's partly water, as well as good old fashioned fat. Tangent over!
Beauty is subjective. It lies in the Eye of the Beholder. Please yourself, not others.
The truth is, that regardless of size, baring skin isn't always synonymous with attractive, stylish, or confident, and covering up isn't always synonymous with unattractive, frumpy or insecure. We can be covered up and still look cute, sexy, trendy, be confident, etc; just as we can be plus-sized and still look great in a two piece, or be thin and not look great in a two piece. There will never be a moment in time when absolutely everybody will agree on what is beautiful and what is ugly. If you are limiting yourself based on what people might say, you will never be free, and you will always be disappointed.
So go be free without disappointments!
And on a last note...
Remember, first and foremost, that you are valuable and deserving of love and respect, regardless of how you do or don't look, and go with that.
Your body is yours, and you are not obliged to expose it or hide it based on someone else's dogma and prejudice. If you want to cover up for yourself, then cover up. If not, them don't. Are you going to wear a bikini, a one piece, or a burkini to the pool/beach? The only person who can decide that for you, is you, and you alone.
If you are still feeling uninspired, here are some links to blog posts by other PS Bloggers who have also blogged about their fatkinis:
SUITS, HEELS & CURVES
CURVES BECOME HER
I could go on, but there are so many wonderful and amazing plus size bloggers out there rocking the fatkini fabulously that this list would be endless. Please feel free to share links to your favourite bloggers in their fatkinis in the comment section.
Until next time,