In high school I remember my P.E. teacher yelling at us "Ok girls, 10 more squats, you want the butt to look good in a swimsuit this year."
I remember the horror and anxiety it made me feel. I hated my body so much at that time and her saying that taught me I had to look good in my swimsuit and exercise was the way to get there.
It took years to like exercise without feeling obligated to meet societal expectations of "looking good in a swimsuit." Which as a straight size women, I did meet those expectations and never experienced any negative or stigmatizing comments.
Clients are starting to tell me stories of trying on swimsuits.
Some are excited and empowered because they have worked hard at cultivating a positive body image.
Some are nervous, worried, anxious, or ashamed at how their body looks.
Swimsuits bring up every food/body trauma experienced right to the surface and reveals quickly how far you've come on your body confidence journey.
First of all, there are few if any women on this earth who aren't aware of their body looks. Or that people might judge her body. Many aren't aware of the negative treatment some women experience in larger bodies.
But at the end of the day, you get to decide to care or not.
You get to choose to focus your attention of the feel of the sand in your hands while you build sand castles with your kids.
You get to choose to focus on moving your body through the cool waves.
You can choose to focus on the memories you are creating.
That doesn't mean it is easy or emotionally comfortable. However living a life in the body you have now, versus your dream body is important to your happiness. It's part of you allowing yourself to be seen. To show up. To take up space. Teaching my clients how to handle these negative emotions is fundamental to what we do.
Here are 3 tips to enjoy swimsuit season this year:
Confident and Comfortable: Nothing can make you feel insure faster than a swimsuit crawling up in places it shouldn't or falling down in places you don't want. One piece or two piece, it doesn't matter as long as it fits really well. The only question you need to ask are: Is it comfortable and do you feel confident?
Quality over quantity: It's better to invest in one swimsuit that fits well vs. several cheap suits that fall apart of don't provide any support.
You decide what is flattering: you get to decide what looks best on you, expresses your unique style, and what brings you joy. And for god sakes, stop buying black because someone declared it "more slimming." Where the suit that you love and you can wear with confidence.
Below are some brands that I love. Style varies between them all. But most (not all!) are size inclusive and offer options for larger busts.
If you want want something more affordable I would check out Target (look for their D/DD size options), Old Navy (super size inclusive), and Aerie.
Unique Vintage has amazing vintage inspired, size inclusive swimwear. If you need extra support in your bust I would be super careful buying tops from here as they don't fit great or provide much support. Bottoms are fantastic. If you are unsure about sizing or quality of the suit, email them. Their return policy blows so I would recommend order multiple sizes and options to prevent having to exchange anything or place second orders.
Title Nine offers supportive, bra-sized, mix and match suits. They have great swim shirts/shirts as well. Good quality but not as size inclusive as other brands.
Athleta has sporty, high quality suits, with some in bra-sized options. These suits are simple and effortless and can handle chasing kids around all day.
Trina Truck includes straight size and plus size options that are both fun and functional. Her collection is full of color and makes me happy just looking at it.
Albion Fit specializes in chic but modest swimwear. While I don't match up philosophically about this Utah based brand's beliefs in modesty, I do LOVE that everything stays in place and they offer beautiful designs and flattering fits. Offers family matching suit options for everyone.
Summersalt They keep getting better and better each year (I hope they start making more bust supportive suits with underwires or in bra-sized options). Love the mix and match option or the simple and chic one piece options.
Kortni Jean another Utah based modesty first kinda company with great prints and styling. They also have mom and me matching swimsuits that are super cute as well.