Next week marks the one year anniversary of that time a picture of me in a bikini went viral on the net and everybody from the Today Show to international newspapers covered it as a major headline. If you’re not familiar, you can read about all the hullabaloo right here. If you are familiar, then I’m sure you can imagine how awkward it might be for a picture of yourself… in a bikini… to be the thing that gets you attention. It’s a little disconcerting. But what I loved at the time –and still adore a year later– is that the thing that went viral was directly in line with what I believe. Even if I wasn’t thrilled to have myself half-clad in pictures in international newspapers I was thrilled by this sentiment, I wear a bikini and I always have no matter what my body looks like.
As you can see from the photos I grabbed, I wore a bikini before I had kids, while I was pregnant and now that the stretch marks from those pregnancies are on full display, I still wear one. Aerie’s new campaign is, There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Bikini Body and I could not agree more. Somewhere over the course of our history we started measuring our bodies (and our worth) by how much we mirrored the examples we saw in the media. If we couldn’t be a perfect size zero, if our abs weren’t tight, if our booty didn’t look like a sixteen year old gymnast, we decided it was better to hide them away. This mentality is so ridiculous it makes my skin crawl!
Sister, your body is beautiful just as it is… and more than that, your body is a gift! So you have chubby ankles? Do you know how many amputees who’ve lost their leg would love to have your chubby ankles? You don’t like your upper arms? One of our readers has severe burn scars down the whole left side of her body. She dreams of having the smooth skin you have on your arms! You’re hiding those stretch marks and extra baby weight from your pregnancy while all over this nation women are weeping because they can’t conceive. Shift your perception friends, your body is a beautiful gift and you should be confident when you show it to the world.
Confidence means you should wear whatever makes you feel great by the pool and for me, I’ve always preferred a bikini. Yes, even with stretch marks and yes even if you’ve got some rolls or moles or birth marks or whatever else you think you need to keep hidden. Now, if you love the way you look in a one piece, more power to you! If you prefer yourself in boy shorts and a tank, get it girl! But seriously, it’s supposed to be fun to wear a bathing suit! Typically we wear bathing suits because we’re near a large body of water and supposed to be enjoying ourselves. Don’t you dare let someone else’s definition of beauty hold sway over how you choose to dress or the way you feel once you’re out there.
Friends, you only get this one wild, precious life… do you want to live it feeling ashamed because you have some rolls in your tummy? Or do you want to get out there, with the sun in your face and joy in your heart and just accept the beautiful body you’ve been given, no matter what? I think y’all know what I’d choose.
Thank you American Eagle Outfitters for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Aerie by American Eagle Outfitters, all content and opinions expressed are my own.