The thought of putting on a minimal coverage bikini can strike big-time fear and insecurity into the heart of almost any of us – even if others might think ‘she has a perfect body’ - whatever that is. Consider the following statistics related to swimwear:
- Only two percent of women surveyed reported feeling great in a swimsuit
- Eleven percent feel extremely uncomfortable in swimwear
- A whopping eighty-two percent report feeling pressure to get in shape for bikini season
And when we feel that kind of pressure about what they are wearing to the beach, it can quickly deflate any eagerness we might have had for summer to arrive. Many feel as though their body is on full display – flaws and all – while wearing a body-baring suit. It’s easy to obsess on that thought alone when you are feeling extreme self-consciousness. And how can you have any fun at all when you are obsessing about your appearance?
Unfortunately, there is a lot of psychology wrapped up in body image and swimwear. For many women, our image is one of the core ways in which we define ourselves. We learn from an early age that we are judged by our appearance. And so, we learn to judge ourselves with the same external view. And that view is especially harsh when we try to bare nearly all in a minimal coverage bathing suit.
The tendency to think like this means throwing on a bathing suit and having a relaxing and fun day at the beach or pool is never as simple as that. But it should be. And no matter what body type you have or what physical and health goals you are still trying to meet, every woman can put on even the boldest minimal coverage bikini and rock the look! The key is having the confidence to do it – and in truth, we all could use a little help in that department sometimes...or, mmm, all the time?
Reframe Your Outlook
Overcoming personal insecurities is a lifelong journey for most people – and it’s certainly not an easy path. But one of the best steps you can take is owning your physical insecurities and then shifting how you perceive them one small step at a time.
For instance, when we put on a sexy bikini and look in the mirror, we rarely see the sexy part – even if that’s the only thing everyone else sees. Instead, we look in a mirror and see every tiny flaw and everything you want to improve on full display. But the next time you try on a bathing suit, try doing something else. Try finding one thing – just one - about your appearance that you love; even the harshest self-critics usually have at least one asset they like about their bodies.
And if you begin to think about your body in terms of what you love and emphasize positivity, whether you realize it or not, you are starting on a path to change your entire perspective about your body. This process can start with something small, but soon you will start noticing other little things about your body that you like, or maybe you realize certain areas don’t need as much work as you thought they did.
Slowly, your perception of self and its relationship to your body will change when you start to do this on a regular basis. This is the best way to build long-term confidence that lasts – realizing that you don’t need to change your body to rock swimwear (even a minimal coverage bikini); you just need to develop a healthier relationship with your body image.
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
You might be thinking that the last point was great advice, and someday – maybe months or years in the future – you will feel absolute confidence in even the skimpiest bikini you own. But what are you supposed to do until then, steer clear of all swimwear? Nope. Put on that bikini and fake your confidence! Whether you realize it or not, that’s what almost all of the other women you see in bathing suits are doing too.
It’s going to take our culture a long time, maybe generations, to undo all of the damage that media representations of the female body have created. The idealized thin, toned, and tanned ‘bikini body’ is burned into our brains. But it’s a myth and a fantasy. The vast majority of women couldn’t attain that body no matter how many changes they make to their exercise plan and diet. Women come in all shapes and sizes. And many women – and men – are beginning to realize the value in celebrating that.
So, throw on your sexiest body-baring bikini and realize that you do look great in it, even if your confidence level needs a little time to catch up. Nobody will see your internal struggle, but they will see someone who looks amazing and serves as an inspiration to all of the women around her who face the same fears and body image struggles every day.
And as you exude confidence, whether fake or real, remember to give yourself license to take some chances. Try a new suit – something bold or daring. Add accessories that you love. Be the first to try a new fashion trend in your area. If you’ve always been too timid to get a minimal coverage bikini, now is the time.
There is nothing like trying something new to give our confidence a boost and help us shine. Unfortunately, in many instances, we tend to make conservative fashion choices when we feel self-conscious. But forget that! If you are focusing on creating a new outlook on your own body, you should be as creative as you want to be – don’t hold anything back. Try on as many suits as you would like until you find one with the right color, fit, style, and cut that makes you feel like a million bucks!
Self-acceptance is hard. It won’t change overnight. But it shouldn’t stop you from taking chances, even if that means baring a lot in a sexy minimal coverage bikini. Taking the first step can be hard, but before you know it, you will be too busy having fun in the sun for those negative thoughts to rain on your parade!