As the title suggests, this post contains photos of me in swimwear. Unlike the millions of images swirling around the internet, I am purposely uploading unedited, unfiltered holiday photos. Why would I do this to myself? Well, I’m bored of looking at magazines with ‘beach perfect’ celebrities who have the time, money, make up, stylists, nutritionists et al., aiding them to achieve said look. Believe me when I say that I’m very pleased for them. A gorgeously slender and toned body is something that shouldn’t be hidden away. But neither should a wobbly body or a body with cellulite, fat rolls, scars, missing limbs, skin conditions, excess hair… The media and, in turn, our society are quick to list these as imperfections, but I’m here to say that our bodies are just perfect. Your body is the shell that enables you to live your life and you should be allowed to celebrate it, without embarrassment or judgement, no matter how it looks.
I truly believe that more images of everyday women should be accessible; a normal sight in life and media. I love the Dove Real Beauty Campaign. It’s one of the first mainstream companies to feature beautiful women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities. Whether they’re photoshopped or not, the images portray happy, confident women and that is such an important and influential advert in a sea of idealistic images.
I had a debate with one of my closest friends recently who said to me “Some of the people you follow on social media are giving off a bad message. It’s not ok to be really overweight or unhealthy.” I agree with the unhealthy comment. I pointed out to my friend that if someone is overweight it’s not always because they are unhealthy; there are multiple reasons people carry more weight than others and this often isn’t due to their lifestyle choices. Don’t get me wrong, some people are fat because of the way they choose to live, I’m not denying that. I can be a salad dodger as much as the next fat or thin person can be, especially if I’m tired/stressed or just fancy pizza instead. But what if the ‘everything in moderation’ motto doesn’t apply for your body? What about people who have a health condition that limits their ability to exercise? I personally know all about this one. Exercise can sometimes result in pelvic agony for days afterwards… What about people who are reliant on medications? Many tablets out there can affect appetite, metabolism, digestion and energy levels… What about all the emotional eaters out there? Comfort eaters, yoyo dieters; different emotional states and psychological well-being will have an impact on eating behaviours. It’s ignorant to say that someone is advocating a negative lifestyle just because they are larger than what is deemed to be a healthy body. Food allergies, fluid retention, bloating… I could honestly go on and on about this and I haven’t even mentioned people who do ‘move more and eat less’ and are simply heavier due to their genetics. So no, I don’t follow people who give off a bad message. I follow healthy, strong, magnificent people who go against the grain of society and enjoy their bodies even if they aren’t toned or a size 10. They’ve put themselves out there so that onlookers get inspiration and motivation to respect their body, boost their self-esteem and cherish the way they look.
Anyway, back to my body specifically which recently went on a family holiday to Switzerland and Spain. I previously wrote about my holiday essentials as a plus size lady. This contained a brief run down of the beachwear I was planning on wearing; bikini included. I hinted that I may wear a bikini out in public for the first time in years… sadly, this did not happen due to the cups of the bikini being as supportive as a feather. I was practically falling out of it at a standstill and the thought of me flopping my baps out whilst preventing my child from face-planting a sandcastle or being swept out to sea was enough to put me off wearing it. I did get my husband to get a snap of me in it though!! Just to prove that I took it with the full intention of wearing it. Et voila…
So it was the trusty faithful tankini and bottoms combo for me this holiday.
I’m thrilled to report that everything remained in situ and thankfully my son didn’t drown or get a face full of sand. In fact, Mr Precious wasn’t a fan of sand in the slightest… I get it Rupert, the stuff ends up everywhere and will always ruin a good sandwich.
Final note: I realise by discussing appearance, I am adding to the superficial debate that doesn’t even feature on millions of people’s radar. This is a very 1st world problem. However, it is an arduous battle and can be crippling for those who have yet to unearth their beauty. I wish I had discovered body positivity sites years ago.
Go forth and be proud of what you’ve got. There’s no-one else in the world like you.*
*comment does not apply to my identical twin cousins… or any other identical siblings/clones out there.