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I don’t know if there is anything that I dread more than the stress + hassle that comes from swim suit shopping every spring.
I mean, there is truly nothing worse than standing nearly naked in all of those dressing rooms with that unflattering, fluorescent lighting aimed at every insecurity I have with my body.
You’d think that online shopping would be the better option; but for me, that seems to only invite new problems into my life- like when I finally receive my purchases in the mail and realize that that ‘cute’ suit that I thought would fit perfectly is made with too sheer of fabric, is too poorly constructed to support my rather full chest, or is not nearly as flattering on me as it is on the six-foot three model who’s wearing it in the original picture…
Let’s be real, nothing ever looks as good in real life as it does on a photo-shopped model who’s soaking up rays at some lavish beach resort.
Typically I hold off to the last moment possible before pursing that perfect suit that will make me feel sexy + confident while keeping me covered in all the right places. That’s a tall order for a bathing suit; and in full disclosure, I’m not sure one really does exist. But that hasn’t stopped me from looking.
This year, after a long, rough winter that drained any + all willpower I once had to stick with my fitness routine, I thought I’d start my search a tad earlier- in hopes that visually seeing that bikini lay on my kitchen table would be motivation enough to keep me from that late night snacking that had become a bad habit of mine.
Truth is, that trick only worked for about a week before I was back to my old ways. But what did transform my attitude toward swimwear was (much to my surprise) a candid, late-night conversation with my boyfriend.
[Allow me just a moment longer to explain, I promise I’ll get to the good stuff soon!]
You see, I don’t typically ask for my boyfriend’s input when it comes to decisions such as which bikini looks better? It’s not that I don’t value his opinion but I’m a hard enough critic on myself. Opening the floor for more judgement (no matter how nicely he may phrase it) is just a slippery slope I’d rather not climb.
But one night, after a few too many adult beverages I admitted to him the details about my latest bathing suit haul. I had bought a number of suits online + I was sure that this time around I had finally found the one- that ‘perfect’ swimsuit that I couldn’t wait to wear all summer long.
Not only did I tell him about my latest findings but I whipped out my phone + even gave him a sneak peek at everything I had bought.
He didn’t hate my choices, but he too took out his phone + showed me a few bookmarked photos of suits he liked. What I saw on his phone that night was absolutely the last thing I had expected + it actually transformed my attitude toward bikini shopping… but please don’t tell him that- I’d prefer he think that I came to this revelation on my own 😉
Curious as to what I learned that night? Don’t worry friend, I’m sharing all the details below. Plus I’ll give you a few more tips on just how to rock that bikini in time for summer to roll around.
From body confidence boosting beauty tips to optical illusions we can all replicate, these 7 tiny tweaks can make you feel much happier about ‘baring’ it all in public.
Secret #1 to Easily Gain Body Confidence in a Bikini: Try EVERYTHING on!
There are absolutely no rules you have to follow when it comes to choosing the right bikini. And by no means does your suit have to be a trend-setting itty bitty string bikini if that’s not your comfort zone.
Let’s back up to that example I mentioned earlier that involved my boyfriend. Can you guess what type of suit he picked out?
In all honesty, I expected for him to suggest one of those little triangle numbers. You know- one of those suits that has barely enough fabric to keep the privates… well, private; a suit that might as well be painted on because one false move and suddenly I’m giving a free show to anyone close by?
Much to my surprise, he choose a modest high-neck halter top paired with a classic tie-on bikini bottom- something that I personally had never before considered as an option. In reality, I didn’t have high hopes for his selection but the next time I found myself wandering around in Target, I decided to try on that specific style- just out of curiosity.
You know what I found?
I fell in love with it. (Whoa. Never thought I’d say that!). Just something about how it covered me up in the right places + how it felt sexy and modest all at the same time- I was hooked.
My point here is not to ask your boyfriend for his opinion on bathing suits, but it’s to not be afraid of trying different styles, cuts, textures + fabrics.
While you might not feel amazing in a halter neck, you could feel fabulous in the same print, just with some more supportive shoulder straps. Or if you’re conscious of your tummy, high-waisted bikini bottoms may be the right compromise for you- something halfway between covering up completely and flashing just a small, flirty patch of skin.
Shirring and ruffles are another great option for highlighting + hiding the features you most + least like about yourself.
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Don’t be afraid to explore new options- you may very well be surprised like I was by what you find. And trust me, once you find ‘the one’, you’ll realize it was well worth the hassle.
Secret #2 to Easily Gain Body Confidence in a Bikini: Get Tan
It’s no secret that dark clothes are ultra slimming. I mean, isn’t that why everyone feels so great while sporting their favorite little black dress?
But did you know that the same rule of thumb applies to your skin too? A body with a bit of color or darkness to it always looks leaner. Not to mention, it helps to hide those imperfections we may feel self-conscious about. Cellulite, stretchmarks, dimples- yep, we all got ’em, but if you’re not quite ready to flaunt them on a public beach, a tan will help diminish their appearance.
Now, while I love soaking up the rays in the warm sun as much as the next person, these days I am much more conscious of how bad it can be for my skin. Sun damage is no joke. For that reason, I suggest a little fake bake to attain that golden honey color.
My favorite sunless tanner is St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse from Amazon. I love how it’s a mousse rather than a spray- so I’m not left with those weird streaks. It goes on easy, it lasts long without turning me orange + as an added bonus it actually smells pretty good too.
Secret #3 to Easily Gain Body Confidence in a Bikini: Waterproof your Make-up or Choose to Accessorize
A face full of make-up doesn’t exactly bode well with summer- I get it. Nothing worse than half-melted mascara running down your face or eyeliner that won’t stay put.
But for some of us, baring the better half of our bodies while also baring our normally put-together face- can be a lot to expose all at once. Thankfully, the beauty aisle has lots of options these days. And it’s entirely possible to feel put together with a light (waterproof) BB Cream paired with an (equally waterproof) mascara. My go-to favorites at the moment are: Better-Than-Sex Waterproof Mascara by Too Faced + Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Cream Gel with SPF 30 by Bare Minerals.
If make-up’s not your thing, consider pairing that swimsuit with a stylish hat (which doubles as added sun protection, #winning). Even a cute bangle, some fun sunglasses, or a funky pair of flip flops can add to your beachwear ensemble without hindering your activities.
Secret #4 to Easily Gain Body Confidence in a Bikini: Choose foods that work for your body
I don’t mean to confuse this option with ‘dieting’. Let’s be honest, I think putting yourself on a super-restrictive crash diet in hopes of dropping weight ‘instantly’ is just a miserable (and non-sustainable) way to go.
Realize though, that there are foods that can prevent you from feeling sluggish + bloated, which can be extremely beneficial while you’re wearing next to nothing in public. To keep your tummy feeling great + laying flat, consider anti-bloat options like leafy greens, potassium-rich fruits like bananas + melon, or even probiotic-heavy foods such as yogurt.
Personally, I like to give my gut every advantage when it comes to functioning optimally.
Opti-Greens 50 is an easy + convenient way to do just that. With each serving of Opti-Greens, you get the benefits of eating 11+ servings of vegetables, along with a blend of superfoods, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. The boost of nutrients from Opti-Greens 50 will help detoxify your body, balance pH levels, boost natural energy levels, reduce bloating + abdominal discomfort, and so much more!
I make it a part of my normal daily routine because honestly, I can’t imagine my health without it.
Secret #5 to Easily Gain Body Confidence in a Bikini: Stand Tall
Even the fittest of women don’t feel long + lean while hunched over. Be proud of what your momma gave you- throw those shoulders back + exude as much confidence as you can muster.
I promise you, stretching tall can make all the difference whether you’re 4′ 11″ or 5′ 7″. And it’s the quickest and easiest change you can make to your body. I mean if you really need some convincing- there’s always the fact that bad posture literally wreaks havoc on your neck + abdominal muscles…
Secret #6 to Easily Gain Body Confidence in a Bikini: Realize It’s Not all about You
Have you ever heard of the Spotlight Effect? If not, look it up because it’s 100 percent real.
You see, the Spotlight Effect is a known phenomenon where your brain magnifies risk + makes us believe that others notice us more than they actually do. This is extremely common in a beach setting where everyone’s feelings are already on high alert, and we’re particularly prone to feeling self-conscious about ourselves.
It’s the whole feeling of “everyone’s looking at me”. And while it’s certainly not true, it can be hard to get pass this feeling of being watched.
Because we are aware of our own insecurities, we assume that everyone else is to. Thus, we magnify their existence. That’s why we feel as though everyone else notices our cellulite, the jiggle on the back of our arms, those stretchmarks that appear on our thighs, etc.
The reality is: No One Cares! Trust me, your confidence will say more about you than any one body part. Remember: it’s your confidence that will create a warm + inviting presence which makes every single imperfection completely undetectable. When you are confident in who you are, everyone will be confident in you too.
So don’t sweat the small stuff + you just focus on doing you, girl!
Secret #7 to Easily Gain Body Confidence in a Bikini: Smile
Has anyone ever told you that the sexiest curve on a woman is her smile? Well, if you haven’t heard it before- know that it’s true.
Life is simply too short to waste time worrying about how your body looks in a bathing suit.
So instead choose to smile, have fun + enjoy the moment. I can guarantee that when you look back in ten years on this time spent with family and/or friends, the last thing you are going to remember is what your bathing suit looked like.
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It’s your turn, my friend. I’d love to hear some of your best body-confidence tips to minimize the fear + worry that goes into donning a swimsuit for the summer months! Leave ’em in the comments below.
Also, because I love sharing strategies to get you feeling like your best self, join the hundreds of other women who invite me into their inbox each month- I promise to share only my best stuff- plus I’ll give you (free) instant access to my entire library of fitness downloads 🙂
Here to support YOU! XO- Britney (ms.fit.farmer)