These Body-Positive Women Will Inspire You to Wear a Bikini with Confidence
Body-pos blogger Kenzie might be all about helping you "love your damn self," but she opened up in this Instagram post about how she hasn't always had that level of confidence: "This girl right here used to not be able to: 1. Leave the house, 2. Look at her face the in the mirror, 3. She didn't even own a full length mirror till 26 years old, 4. Wear t-shirts comfortably, 5. Had to work out fully clothed and covered, including yoga classes, 6. Have a panic attack when someone wanted to touch her, 7. Not eat in front of certain ppl, 8. Hurt herself, 9. Book surgery consults and cancel immediately afterwards, 10. Basically hide and hope no one found her... And now????????? She's my BEST FRIEND. And wearing a bikini!!!!!!!"
International body-positive speaker and author Allison Kimmey recently went viral for an Instagram post reflecting on what it's like to teach your daughter body-positivity from a young age and what the word "fat" truly means. (Think about it: Here's what we really mean when we call people fat.) In this post, she explains how her journey to becoming a body image activist has changed her perception of the world: "It blows my mind that I'm able to have this message of body acceptance and self-confidence shared with the masses...and it warms my heart even more that my activism in the way of body-positive parenting has received so much mainstream press," she wrote in the caption.
Blogging about eating disorder recovery and body-positivity, Nia is no stranger to the #realtalk of what it's like to try to overcome your insecurities. But in this Instagram post she writes that posting this picture is "the scariest thing I've done in a really, really long time." Nia went shopping, looking for some other clothes, and decided on a whim to try on some clearance bathing suits: "I thought to myself 'What if I just try one on? It won't kill me. It might not fit. I might be upset. But it won't kill me.' So I decided to try it on. And while I love the color and it fits really well, I was still scared to death to be wearing a bathing suit!! I haven't even bought one in the last 5 years. But today I did! Today I bought a bathing suit. And a bikini at that!! Not since elementary school at least have I worn a 2-piece suit. But this [body-positive] community has inspired me so much."
Liz Golden may be a model, but that doesn't mean she's immune to body image worries; Golden previously opened up about how she went from eating 500 calories a day to becoming a body-positive influencer and then posted this Instagram comparing the two points of her life. In another, she outlines exactly how she feels about the "perfect body."
"Some people will see this photo and tell me how I am obese and should stop promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, without even knowing what kind of lifestyle I live. I am often told if I go on a diet and lose weight I would be perfect. Perfect according to who? You? Society? Like really according to who?? The thing is, I don't care about being labeled as "worlds perfect body", because I really do not understand how there can be just ONE perfect body type. It's like labelling your favourite donut as 'worlds best donut' and saying it should be the only ONE donut we should all eat. There is more than just one flavour to most things in life and they all deserve to be glorified. I will be a broken record and say it again, we are not meant to be one size fits all."
Morgan Bartley posted this before-and-after pic to Instagram—and then it was deleted for no reason. She fired back with an "IDGAF, haters" response: "Never let worldly pessimism or judgment prevent you from living your life and celebrating what you've done with it. So yeah, I've lost over 110 pounds and I think I look pretty freakin bomb in a bathing suit on the beach, and that's after a lifetime of letting insecurities hold me back from experiencing life. Yes I'll continue to wear a full face of makeup to the beach and yes, I'll continue to be DAMN proud of who I've worked so hard to become."
Gina Susanna, the self-love advocate behind #embracethesquish, didn't just post a fab bikini shot of the suit that made the cut—she posted the two that didn't quite fit, in order to make a point about the whole bikini body obsession. (And that's not the only hashtag that will fill your feed with self-love.)
"Two suits that I loved, but they didn't fit quite right. One too small, one too short. But my BODY was just fine in both. I needed a bigger size—my body didn't need to get smaller. For anyone out there looking to buy a bathing suit for summer, know this:
1) Your body is good enough the way it is RIGHT NOW.
2) You are buying a suit to dress the glorious body you have at this very moment. Celebrate that. You don't need to change it for a silly piece of fabric.
3) No one should ever pressure you to wear a bathing suit if you're not ready. Rock some cute ass shorts and a tank if you want. Or a gorgeous dress that makes you feel amazing. Or flowy palazzo pants and a tee. WHATEVER you want. No one has the right to tell you to wear ANYTHING you're not comfortable with."
Body-positive activist Sarah Sapora has something she wants to say—via an Instagram post, of course—about National Bikini Day: "Here's a reminder for you that an imperfect body in the process of change is still worthy of self-love. As a plus size woman over 35, I often find myself on the wrong side of the 'reasons I shouldn't feel ok about who I am.'... Society can come up with a hundred reasons why we should feel bad about who we are. But you only need one reason to remember why you shouldn't. Because you are alive. Happiness and peace is literally inside you. We just have to let it shine.
I'm not saying not to desire to improve, or not to desire a more healthy lifestyle if that is what you want. And I'm not saying that you owe anyone any explanation as to your body weight, at all. What I am saying is that EVERYTHING in your life starts with love."
Body confidence coach Michelle Elman took to Instagram recently to remind the world that body-positivity isn't about what you wear or what you look like, but rather how you see yourself. "You can't assume body positivity because a person lives in a body that is outside of the beauty standards. You can't assume body positivity from someone's appearance. You can only know if someone is body positive from their actions! Do they stand up against bullying and body shame? Do they resist diet culture, or at the very least refuse to promote it? Are they intersectional? Does she actually identify as body positive themselves? ...Body positivity is not the same as body confidence."
"BREAKING NEWS: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOSE WEIGHT TO BE WORTHY OF WEARING A BIKINI THIS SUMMER," wrote Megan Jayne Crabbe, body-pos activist and author of
, in this Instagram. "I used to spend every single summer starving and sweating to get the body on the left, telling myself that I was only allowed to be seen in swimwear once I'd hit that goal weight (and even once I did, it still wasn't enough). Not once did I ever hear the message that you don't have to shrink your body to deserve a summer in the sunshine.
Which is why I'm telling you now, so that you know the truth: you do not have to lose weight to be worthy of wearing a bikini... This year I didn't set a goal weight to hit before my holiday. And I didn't sit by the pool sucking my stomach in and worrying what everyone else thought about my body either. I just went. I laughed and played and ate and swam and wore every damn bikini I own without changing my body one bit. And guess what? It was so much better than all the self-hatred filled holidays that came before."
In this post, creative director at IAMPROUD and body-positive, self-love advocate Sophia Anderberg is reminding all of her 70K Instagram followers that we're all in the same boat together—even though every person and every body is very different. "Before you put yourself down for the weight you have not lost, the cellulite you have got on your butt or the bubblebumps you have on your thighs, look at us! The only reason we have a hard time loving our bodies is because of what society made a picture of that we will be happier if we lose weight or look in a certain way. If you have cellulite, or if you don't, if you weigh 55 kilos or 85, or more, or less, if you have dark hair or light hair, thighgap or no thighgap, WELCOME TO BE A SEXY HUMAN, regardless of your body size! Two girls in the picture, two different bodies, two different personalities, ONE LOVE for our own bodies! If we can, you can! You are perfect!"