The excitement for the warmer months is often abruptly hampered by the pressures of achieving the coveted “bikini body.” This replaces the anticipation with self-doubt. Aren’t we all familiar with that icky feeling?
Studies have shown that trying on swimsuits or imagining themselves in one triggers self-objectification among women. There is no quick and easy solution to rid ourselves of all these body worries. But there are several ways that we can help each other appreciate our bodies more.
Bring Out Your Beauty
Sometimes we don’t recognize the beauty we already possess. There are small practices that give way for us to clearly see what we already have.
Take care of your body.
Accepting your body means showing it the tender loving care it deserves. The simplest first step is to eat healthier. Introduce more fruits and vegetables into your diet to give your skin a radiant summer glow.
Regular exercise is also a must—but not simply for weight loss! Exercise keeps your body healthy and helps it avoid injury. The trick is to work out with the simple goal of keeping your body functional and active.
Treating yourself is right for you, too, so allot a time in your week to get pampered. Visit your favorite waxing salon before hitting the beach. A fresh haircut and mani-pedi can also get you into the summer vibes.
Choose flattering swimsuit styles.
Different swimsuits are designed to flatter a variety of body types. If you don’t like how bikinis look on you, maybe you just haven’t found the style that accentuates your best assets!
First, you have to know the shape of your body. Are your shoulders and hips similar in width? Do you have a defined waist? This knowledge will be your guide in picking out what kind of swimsuit suits you best.
Note your areas of concern, too. For example, does your bust size leave you with a sore neck from all those halters? Switch to bikini tops with thick straps and underwires because these provide excellent support.
Flattering bikini bottoms are also a big challenge. If you want to highlight or enhance your curves, try thongs and cutouts. For better coverage, high-waisted bottoms and boy shorts are good options.
Remember that there is no “right” or “perfect” body shape. When looking for a swimsuit, go for what makes you feel best!
Go for colors that go with your skin.
Aside from flattering styles, there are flattering colors on your skin, too! Two factors are involved in finding out the best colors for you: skin tone and skin undertone. The basic principle in finding your colors is to complement your undertone and contrast your skin tone.
While skin tones are pretty straightforward, undertones are a little tougher to figure out. A good trick is to see if your veins look green (warm undertone), blue (cool undertone), or a mix of both (neutral).
Don’t be afraid to play around with colors! Use the color wheel as your guide to mixing and matching bikinis to find a good harmony or contrast.
A Shift in Mindset
According to supermodel Ashley Graham, health can be difficult to grasp when bombarded with messages that tell us we are not good enough. In reality, health should be about taking care of oneself. This includes having space to be you.
Societal pressures often make us feel like our bodies are too much or too little of something. But we can fight these lies by affirming our bodies for being what they are.
Have a good support system.
It is difficult to get out of a negative headspace when it is a regular presence in your life. Surround yourself with friends you genuinely like. These are people who will not judge you or guilt-trip you to look a certain way.
Besides, aren’t beach trips much more enjoyable around your favorite people? Quality time with real friends will make any typical vacation especially memorable. Time to include “great company” on your next beach checklist!
Your body is already a “bikini body.”
Truthfully, the most challenging hurdle to jump over is our own selves. We are our harshest critics, after all. But it is about time to debunk one of the biggest myths of womanhood—the idea that a bikini body is earned.
By having a body, every woman already possesses a body fit for the beach! Don’t buy into the notion that there are only certain kinds of bodies that are acceptable. Practice this truth every day by letting yourself wear what you like, and it will slowly come more naturally.
Remember, you don’t have to please anybody with your appearance. Let go and enjoy wearing that cute bikini you’ve been eyeing.