What is it about bathing suit season? Every year, around New Years, all the instructors at my gym start talking about working on our bikini bods. As if the only purpose to exercising or eating well is to somehow incite admiration and envy while strutting around in a bikini at the beach. As if, for the rest of the winter, we all just sort of crawled into a hole and covered ourselves in pie and macaroni and cheese and suddenly realized, Oh my gosh, bikini season is coming!
But there is something to be said for the insecurities that have a tendency to pop up when we stand in a dressing room, with that god awful lighting, and stair at the PILE of bathing suits we have dragged in with us. And at ourselves. The body that I am often (though not always…I struggle…) happy with suddenly seems not good enough. I have stretch marks on my thighs from when I shot up from being a kid to being the height I am now. I have cellulite. I have a little bit of extra skin from carrying my son inside of me for nine months. I have an imperfect body. But the crazy thing is– to be imperfect, one must assume that one could be otherwise perfect. And why in the world do we feel that we ought to be? I’m 29 years old and I enjoy a donut on the weekend. I like to eat pizza now and then and I love pasta. I am not running around drinking protein shakes and fist bumping my personal trainer and getting spray tans on the daily. That’s not my reality. So, the assumption of supposed “perfection” is not my reality either.
We are always reading about how terrible airbrushing and editing is for our sense of reality and our self esteem. So why doesn’t everyone just stop doing it? Why are we, as women, (or I guess specifically as bloggers/instagrammers/whatever) still smoothing our skin out in photos, or shaving off bits of our body to appear thinner on our computers? Why are we still feeling the overwhelming pressure to be as perfect as we can be? I don’t have photo shop, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t know how to use it. But I still feel that pressure. Even looking through these photos– a beautiful day, a beautiful bathing suit, and me. I was instantly drawn to all those things that I am insecure about. I am more judgmental, more unkind, more severe towards myself than I am towards anyone else. And I know I am not alone in that. I try hard in my daily life to be kind, and that kindness should extend to myself as well. I am working on it.
This past week we had some beautiful days. My husband and I had April vacation and we did lots of fun things as a family. We even went to the river, which is where we took these photos. I put on This beautiful swim suit and sat on the grass and dipped my feet in the water with my sweet boy and my husband and I felt happy. And beautiful. And strong. Because this time last year, my body was still building the perfect baby that I get to hold in my arms every day now.
These months ahead are my favorite of the year. Summer dresses, ice cream, long runs outside, days down the Cape, afternoons on the beach, and lots of bathing suits. I have been wanting to get in on the one piece trend, but my big bust and long torso have made it tricky to find anything that works. Which is why I was basically giddy with how perfectly this one from Lime Ricki fit my body. There are tons more gorgeous pieces on the site, and they are having a big old sale right now so if you’re in the market for a well made suit that looks gorgeous and hugs you in all the right places, hop on over. I still love my bikinis, but now that I’m a mom, I want some suits that are suited (see what I did there? God I’m clever) to having a baby crawl all over me/chasing after said baby if he ever decides to become mobile/jumping around in the water with aforementioned offspring. Ok. With that very long sentence, I am finished.
But I want to know: Can you relate to any of these insecurities? And if so, what are some things you do to overcome them?