Why You Don’t Have to Wear a Bikini to be Body Confident

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now and never quite expressed myself how I wanted to (and so never hit publish) but I’m here to try again! I appreciate that being body confident is something that any one of any size can lack (although let’s be clear there’s different levels of privilege within sizes that shouldn’t be ignored too-that’s for another day though) however this is all written from my personal perspective. The thing that prompted this is seeing women and some men of all generations not feeling good about themselves and putting themselves down. I forget sometimes that there’s a lot of people out there who might not even understand what being body confident means, or even being body positive towards others. I hear and see the same old things at the moment especially- I need to get holiday ready, I need to get a bikini body, I won’t wear that because I can’t, etc etc. This narrative (which is BS to me but I must remember it’s not to others- it’s their reality) is from a long standing diet culture we are in where having a ‘Bikini body’ or being ‘beach ready’ has been a narrative for years and so we start to believe it.

So to combat this, the people that think the above is crap (including myself) , post photos of our bodies in bikinis to show we still look amazing/ feel fabulous/ no one died when we wore a bikini. And that having a bikini body involves having a bikini and putting it on our bodies. Simple.

Which is a conversation those who want to, should be having, and by being body confident in a bikini is showing it to the outside world and inadvertently encouraging others to feel they can do it too! All positive steps right?

Except the words body confident and body positive are now associated with this type of photo or narrative. Search body confident or body positive on instagram and what do you get? Bikinis, underwear and nakedness, it’s become part of the words and hashtags and what people think of when they hear them.

Now of course not everyone wants to show themselves in all their undies or swimmers to show they have confidence in their own skin, and not everyone might be at that stage, it’s a journey isn’t it!? But does it mean they aren’t in some part body confident if they don’t want their co-workers/associates/boss etc seeing them in a bikini? Course not. Can they feel like they aren’t body confident if they don’t wear a bikini or post photos of themselves in swimwear? Probably. And that’s the catch for me and the reason for this ramble. We need to get it out there:

It’s okay not to want to wear a bikini on social media!

You also don’t have to feel you have to prove yourself either. We can be body confident wearing anything (or nothing!) it’s all about how you feel isn’t it!?

To quote the fabulous Lauren Hill:

Showing off your ass cause you’re thinkin’ it’s a trend

Girlfriend, let me break it down for you again

You know I only say it cause I’m truly genuine

Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem

So don’t follow the trend and pretend to be something you’re not- and be the best version of yourself. (Ps Lauren Hill had some BANGERS G!) Now that’s not to say that wearing a bikini for the gram, posing in some fab undies or even showing off your beautiful curves and rolls like Grace did here (Iconic!) isn’t a necessity too. If you feel ready for it or that it’s just your kind of vibe go for it! It’s all about how YOU want as an individual to profess your love for your body. If that involves creating some beautiful art, posing for a selfie or getting in the nud then that’s your prerogative. But I also believe there can be body positive and confident posts that are different to this. That don’t follow the trend of ‘showing off your ass’. That feel more of an accessible movement and that show confidence but not necessarily skin.

I then started to think about all the people I know …. the confident career gals, the confident parents bossing raising a child, the confident students all winning at life, plus size, petite, tall, straight size, male, trans, bloggers,writers or just generally living life people who exude confidence! It’s about the person and how they express themselves and their confidence.

Which is exactly how body confidence should be- how each individual expresses themselves when it comes to being body confident.

Outfit:

I want to hear more of this all round narrative on being body confident- how we are being confident within ourselves, in clothes, in situations…. beyond just body confidence probably. And I’m thinking of a hashtag to get this going

#ADifferentKindofConfidence

I’d love to see you using it- I want to show body confidence in all its guises and stages to really collate an all round positive vibe hastag to show the wider world there are confident people out there similar to them, on a similar stage of their journey and there are people that don’t wear their swimwear/underwear to ‘prove’ it, just as there are ones that do. I wanna see how you do you!

I could ramble for days on body confidence, what it means to me and how it’s helped me truly accept my ever changing body and for me how you celebrate your body confidence is entirely up to you- if it’s by wearing your first ever bikini on holiday, if it’s wearing a nipped in waist dress to show off your shape, bossing an outfit for work, not getting baby sick on your clothes for a whole day or if it’s running down Oxford Street completely in the nud, that’s all fine and good on you! So let’s spread that confidence and body positivity as far as we can with the hashtag Are you in? Tell me your thoughts below!

PS All these photos are unedited, thanks to Luke for the photos as ever and Faith for making me howl with laughter (light beams suns own)