Taking Back Beach Bodies
As a kid, there were very few phrases more exciting than, "Make sure you pack your swim suit." I would squeal with delight with the thought of fun in the water. I love to swim. I love water sports. I love hanging out by the water. It's all good. Be it the pool, the beach or a hot tub I was game. I am still game. Water aside, as we grow older the swim gear seems to turns into more of an exercise in anxiety than joy.
Why? As an identifying female, as a young teen I became acutely aware that not only did one have to pick out a swim suit to wear, it tends to look better when you can actually fill one out. I was a late bloomer so the thought of bearing it all when it was barely there was horrifying.
I couldn't wait to trade in my child body for an adult one. I thought of my forthcoming body like a gift in waiting. Like a stork to barren parents but in my case, breasts instead of babe. It was a rough few years. But while I was waiting the develop physically I had the time to develop confidence while no one was looking.
Over time - and with much self pep talks that it would all turn out - I decided to learn to love my body as it was. I had to do this because I didn't know what my adult body was going to be like. Like a good rain to dusty roads I washed away any body issues that popped up. I just put on my swim suit, flat chested, and choose to keep playing in the water. A sort of f-ck you to my breast expectations.
Many years later I get still pumped for those same water adventures but the swim suit can still be a tricky item to purchase. While shopping for a new suit if I see one - and it fits and flatters - I'll buy it. It's that easy. Usually off season and on sale! Take that, tricky suit.
I know for many people the thought of getting a new swim suit is the ultimate judgement. It's a bit of a task. Eventually it's just you and the suit in a poor lit change room. I get it.
To add to our own body issues we are bombarded with images of "ideal" beach bodies that truly take a nearly impossible mix of genetics, exercise and diet, and a heavy sprinkle of Photoshop. They look amazing, they do. But what about the rest of us without that amazing mix?
Do you want in on a secret? We all have beach bodies. Just step on a beach and you've done it. Yay beach bodies! No body shaming or crash dieting required. Just a little acceptance and love.
Do me a favour? The next time you're at the beach look around. There's all shapes and sizes, right? They are all living and enjoying being near the water. That's pretty amazing. Next, look around and consider who is having more fun: the ones playing in the water or the ones staying far off on the side? Not only will you get a broader sense of beautiful bodies, you'll get to admire a bunch of swim suits too. Hopefully a lot of smiles.
If you're looking for some guidance for beachwear I have four tips to leave you with:
- Purchase colour that flatters your fairest state (there's no point selecting something that will look good once you have a tan. Pick something that looks good now.)
- Purchase a cut that is adjustable so you can get a more "custom" fit. Look for strings you can tie, notches you can cinch and panels that shape you.
- Purchase a style that suits your typical water activity. There are great brands that are ultra-sporty and there are others that are more floating-in-a-pool-on-a-swan worthy. Pick as many as you need that works for your varying activity levels.
- Take a trusted shopping buddy that will be truthful and fun. Or call me.
Whatever you choose, just get out there. That's why swim suits were made in the first place. To enjoy that beautiful body.