For most people, the thought of being in swimwear is nerve wracking. I mean, let’s face it – for most of us it’s the closest we will ever get to being naked in public.
I myself am no different to anyone else with this. Swimwear season rolls around and immediately I feel anxious. My terrible habit when at a beach is to find someone there who in my mind has a similar body type and shape as I do. Only then I will I relax a little. With living in Australia and some people here having bodies that look like they have stepped out of a magazine, that isn’t always easy.
Over time, though, I have learned to see that the perfect bikini body is simply the one I already have – the one that allows me to embrace new experiences like diving headfirst into the sea, trying water sports or simply sitting on the sand and chatting with friends.
The harsh truth is that there is no fast fix to getting a positive body image. It will be a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Some days you will feel like you have cracked it, whereas others you will feel worse than before.
To help you on your self love journey, I have devised a list of things that really helped me learn to like myself a little more:
- Follow people on social media who look like you do. My Instagram feed used to be full of people I wanted to look like, yet in every day life I only ever saw a handful of people with abs and tans and flawless skin like that. Changing who I followed to reflect reality was a gamechanger. Only following stick thin, chiselled people will only make you feel inadequate and ugly because you’re not stick thin or chiselled. The truth is that there are SO many body types out there, you just have to make sure you are seeing them! Useful hashtags to find a range of body types are #normalizenormalbodies #allbodiesaregoodbodies #midsize #plussize #loveyourcurves
- For every negative you think about yourself, tell yourself two positives. This one isn’t always easy at first, but soon you will notice more and more things you like. Every time I panic about cellulite, I remind myself how much I like my eyes or my skin. Soon you’ll even notice weird things that you like about yourself, like the fact that your calves have a nice shape
- Practise wearing your swimwear. Yes, it feels weird walking around your apartment in a bikini, but wearing it gets you used to the feel of it on your skin and how you look in it
- Understand that everyone is different… and that’s great! I think Margot Robbie is beautiful. I also think that Lizzo, Melissa Fumero, Melissa, McCarthy, Beyonce, Emma Stone and Meryl Streep are. None of those women look the same, but that’s the point. Beauty comes in all different forms. If you can appreciate the beauty of others, then you can learn to appreciate it in yourself
- Appreciate what your body does. You might not be able to shout ‘I LOVE MYSELF’ and mean it, but everyone can think of reasons why they appreciate their body. Legs that allow you to run, hands that allow you to write, eyes that allow you to read, whatever it is – start appreciating the functionality of your body and the opportunities it brings so that you see it as the amazing thing it is rather than just through the lens of beauty
- Realise that EVERYONE has insecurities. Yes, everyone, even that person who you wish you could look like. You aren’t alone in these thoughts or feelings, no matter what your brain might tell you
So there you are, six simple steps to start improving your perception of your body.
By no means am I Miss Confident. If anything, developing a healthy body image is still something I work on daily, but that’s okay. The act of working on changing that attitude is the main thing. But if I can be a little kinder to myself every day, then so can you.
For more uplifting content like this, why not follow me on Instagram at @jesskitchingwrites?