‘Summer. The word that has been striking fear into the hearts of plus size women since the dawn of time. But no more! After last summer’s #fatkini revolution, the market for plus size swimwear has exploded. From bikinis to swimsuits and two pieces with both low cut and high waisted styles, there has never been such an abundance of hot, plus size swimwear.
I don’t know about you, but I love the beach. The sun against my skin, the sand between my toes and the splash of the gorgeous cool water as I jiggle my way into the waves. For years I refused to go swimming and refused to be seen in any form of swimwear for the fear of being heralded ‘a beached whale’. But now, my clothes are off and my swimwear is on quicker than you can say Factor 50! At the beach, no one cares what you look like. People are there to have a good time, get a tan and bury the youngest member of their family up to their neck in the sand – not to judge your body, despite the fact that, more often than not, we convince ourselves that is their sole purpose.
As a plus size woman, you are almost taught to fear swimwear because it in- cludes everything we are ‘told’ we should avoid. Tight, clinging fabrics, bold prints, low necklines and high legs. We are made to feel as if when we stand in front of our mirrors, scrutinising every inch of our- selves that we are alone in this judgement of our form, when in fact, that is far from the case. EVERY woman has, at some point in their life, stood in front of their mirror in their swimwear and been saddened by what they have seen. Big, small, black, white, old, young – this insecurity is not size specific or any kind of specific. For one reason or another we are all made to feel that we don’t deserve to enjoy
the beauty of summer. Worrying about revealing your body, especially during the single day of good weather we get every year, is not something that only fat women go through. ALL women go through and
I propose that it is time for change! We ALL deserve to feel beautiful, nude or clothed, in summer or winter and we also all deserve to know that we are not alone in these insecurities. Women of all shapes and sizes are struggling with their swim- wear, struggling with feeling the pressure to be ‘beach’ and ‘summer’ ready. Are you a woman? Do you have some sun block? Then you are good to go. In this realisa- tion, we can help one another conquer those unfounded fears and start enjoying our bodies at all times of the year but especially during the summer.
As we have seen since the social media #fatkini and #effyourbeautystandards campaigns really took hold, there is no ‘right’ bikini body. No ‘right’ way to be a gorgeous, con dent, sexy woman, despite what we are often told. That power is within you and it always has been; some- times we just need a little push to bring it out of us! Whether you prefer a bikini or a full suit – embrace your beautiful bodies in them.
Embrace the way the sand feels under your feet or the way the sea slaps at your legs. Once you get past the initial fear of those rst moments exposed, I assure you, nothing will ever feel more empowering or glorious. Look at all the other women on the beach or at the hotel pool. Find one and tell her how wonderful she looks in that one piece or how fabulous the pattern is on her bikini – encourage other women with your words and I guarantee that one small act of kindness will stay with her summer after summer.
We are who we are and we are beautiful, our confidence and happiness is no
one else’s concern other than our own. Just like the #thisgirlcan campaign
proved, any woman can feel great exercising, #allgirlscan wear swimwear this summer and feel and look wonderful.’
words: Kate London James