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The Dreaded "Bikini Pic"

By Jasmine Burke

· Body Image

Thank you Jasmine for this great post from Thoughts From Jasmine

As I wrote recently in a post, for the first time in a while I’m actually okay with my body. I’ve had so many different issues in the past, tried every diet under the sun, and cried over the way that I look more times than I can count. However, the more I look back at that, the more I don’t understand why that was ever a thing.

 

Why, as girls, do we decide from a young age that we’re not good enough? It’s like, you reach adolescence and suddenly you have to be dieting, or unhappy with the size of your boobs, or looking for something to change, and when you really think about it, it makes no sense. We’re all bonded by this shared sense of insecurity and this need to hate everything about ourselves, and the more that you think about it, the more you realise how toxic and messed up this world is. I was always worried about the way I looked, regardless of what I was wearing, but for a long time, you would never catch me in a bikini or cutout swimsuit.

 

I’ve never really had a flat stomach, and though I may love my boobs (now), they have never been, and probably never will be “bikini suited” boobs. So, I’ve never really been able to post that classically attractive bikini picture to Instagram because I have never and probably will never look like that. But that’s not a problem, and I know now that that shouldn’t stop me being happy and posing my butt off in a swimsuit. This year, now that I’m in a better place mentally and was jetting off to a couple of countries, I figured that now was the time to push myself out of that comfort zone. I am cute. I have an alright body and a positive disposition, and I am allowed to love the way I look even if it isn’t classically “desirable”.

 

What really pushed me into this mindset was a talk I had with Antonia from Mermaid in England, in which she talked me through the mindset for her new colour changing swimwear line. Mermaid in England aims to promote body positivity, using the change of colour in their swimwear as a greater metaphor for change: changing the way you feel about your body, your attitude to swimwear, how our bodies are represented in the media, and the way we look at other people. I was ready to make these changes for myself, and their swimwear was the perfect step. So, I cautiously packed the (fairly skimpy for me) silver ‘Vegas Baby’ swimsuit in my suitcase, ready to see if it actually transformed as much as I was told it would.

It was not a swimsuit any previous version of me would have worn. And even as I put it on, I was very cautious as to how the lack of boob padding left my boobs to really perform for themselves with very little push up or assistance (As someone who is relatively boob-conscious, this was terrifying). However, I was so excited to show off my magical colour changing swimsuit, that these worries quickly subsided and I head to the pool. I was surprised to see that the colour change worked surprisingly well and efficiently! Within a minute of diving into the pool I was sporting a set of silver zebra stripes, and they also started fading immediately after leaving the water. It was fun to mess around with, and distracted me from the fact that my body was on show, allowing me to parade around, proud of my semi-magical suit. The best thing about the colour changing, for me at least, is that it brought my focus to something else: I was too busy getting excited over the colour change that I wasn’t stuck on my usually OMG MOST OF MY BODY IS ON SHOW, SUCK IN JASMINE, SUCK IN, thoughts.

The swimsuit that I’m wearing retails at £54.99, and the different bikini tops and bottoms that they do (which all also have their own colour changing abilities) retail from £24.99 depending to the cut on sale. Yes, this is obviously is more expensive than something you could pick up in Primark or other retail stores, and they recognise it, but their prices are a reflection of fair wages for their workers. Speaking to Antonia, it was clear that she takes an interest in each of the factory workers lives and thoughts on the swimwear, and so the price of the swimwear insures that they earn a decent amount for the work that they are doing. Also, I can confirm that the quality was worth the price. This swimsuit made me feel so confident, and eased me into bikini pics as I was able to show off a feature other than my body, drawing the focus away from my slight insecurities.

Would I purchase from Mermaid in England after this? Yes! I had so much fun with this suit and all my friends were as entertained by it as I was. I can’t wait to try different colour changing things, maybe even branch out into their proper bikinis… Who knows?! The world is my oyster.

It is never too late to feel good in your body. And anything that encourages that, and makes the whole process easier for yourself is something worth investing in.

Thank you so much to Mermaid in England for sending me this swimsuit and allowing me to test it out! Let me know what you think of the pics in my comments!

Lots of love,

Jas xx

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