Are you a bikini-shy woman? Here's how to get bikini-confidence this summer
I've been a bit bikini-shy all my life until about my late 30's/early 40's. I kept waiting for the perfect bikini body, convinced that the world would end if I exposed my less than taut midriff on the beach.
I was the 'plump' sister. I remember distant relatives would say 'she's got such beautiful eyes, so pretty' and then use the 'plump' word or 'chubby'. It might be why I've never been able to buy a Clinique Chubby Stick. Plump, is a word, that to my mind anyway, should only be used when referencing the wonderful effects of Hyaluronic Acid in my skincare. They honestly thought it was affectionately gentle, did not realise how my guts would churn inside, my cheeks warmed, tears occasionally pricked at my eyes and a feeling of embarrassment would make me want to shrink. There were even a couple of occasions when people came to lunch with their teenage son and I would make an excuse to eat my lunch in my bedroom.
That and a natural shyness (yes it is true) made me so self conscious in certain situations, like the gym hall at school. I can still remember the terror of having to run up to and jump on or over the 'horse' or, try to climb the rope. Netball was OK as I had the advantage of height.
All of this undermines a girls confidence and mostly, no-one knows it is happening. Over the years I learnt to conceal it and to appear confident but it is always there. I am always the 'plump' girl in my head. I've always battled with weight vs. my love of food. I'm that bride to be that puts on weight before my weddings.
So, it is no surprise that I always opted for a swimsuit rather than a bikini. Then in my late 30's/early 40's, I forced myself into bikini's. Gosh, I was cringing the first few times and have never quite lost the self-consciousness of being in bikini. But ageing and forcing myself, has given me more confidence to do as I please. And this is what I have learnt that I would like every girl and woman to learn too.
- No-one cares and if they do, they can look away!
- Enjoy wearing the bikini now because every decade that passes, you will wish you had that body back. You will kick yourself for not pleasing yourself then, when your body was in better condition
- Love your body. No, actually marvel at the miracle of your body. Every function, every cell. Your body is a walking, talking miracle, not just something that has to look perfect enough to hang a bikini on it. Love it! Revel in it! Respect it!
- There is always someone fatter than you and always someone firmer, more nubile than you. So what?
- Feel sexy for yourself. I mean feel it ladies. As you massage in the sun cream. FEEL how wonderful your body is, feel the sensuality of your body.
- Stand tall, don't look down and don't look away. Look confident and soon you will feel more confident and all anyone else will see is someone who looks at ease with themselves.
- Buy beautiful bikini's that make you want to wear them. If you have big boobs, check out Fantasie, Bravissimo, Rigby and Peller and get a correct cup size.
- If you have a daughter, it is even more important that you demonstrate that anyone can be a beach babe and be bikini-confident. Don't relegate your daughter to decades of feeling a bit less, just because they don't have Elle McPherson's body.
Just so you know, I have not given up my dream/belief/hopes/fantasy that I will one day have the perfect bikini body but until then, get out of my way....this bikini clad 'plump' girl, is going to live her life and love her life and teach her six year old daughter to do the same. How about you?