1960's Bathing Suit, White Flats: Thrifted.
I was thirteen before I wore my first two piece bathing suit. I had been overweight my whole life with a rather large stomach area so bikini's were out of the question. A frequent fish at the local swimming pool, I was fascinated by these older girls who wore two piece suits. Their tan and toned stomachs glittering with crystals as they gracefully lifted their bodies out of the pool. Jealously always overcame me.
For some reason when I was thirteen though I began to loose all of my 'baby fat' or whatever you might call it. My mom decided it was time to go out and get me a big girl suit instead of the sporty team ones I had been wearing for years. I'll always remember that first two piece. It was from Value City by Liz Claiborne. It was more of a tankini but still showed a peek of my stomach at the bottom. It was white with brilliant rainbow lines of color, a string tying up around my neck. A little fabric flower adorned the top. I wore that suit with such pride and until it was so worn out you could see my behind. I saved it as a momentum for the longest time until my mother persuaded me to give up my pack rat ways and pitch it.
I went through a lot of bikini's over the years. Deep purples, polka dots, florals, retro inspired, skimpy, revealing, and bandeau type. I was fearless in my two piece. It was my weapon of choice in the summer.
After I stopped swim team and got a bit older, I definitely noted changes in my body type. My hips got wider, my stomach rounder, my butt bigger. Unfortunately I never got the chest part that comes with all of these changes (I blame genetics). I saw myself changing and tried to stop it. Exercising, cutting back on food. I wanted so badly to wear that stupid bikini with confidence like I used to be able to do. I didn't use to feel embarrassed walking by people in it at the pool. Why did I now? I didn't use to feel embarrassed about posting vacation pictures of me in it on facebook. Why did I now? I didn't use to lay on the chair the whole time, stretching out my stomach and sucking it in. Why did I now?
I still feel like sometimes I can't anwser these questions. I wish I could say that I feel 100% confident in my bikini to this day but I can't. I'm still working on these insecurities one day at a time. One thing I have noticed though is how I've come full circle from my childhood. I started with a one piece, and I'm back to that one piece. One pieces shouldn't be feared. They don't mean you're fat, they don't mean you're insecure. They mean, hey look at me. I'm sexy and I look good- just as good as I would in that silly two piece. Just because you're more covered up doesn't mean that you're not as beautiful.
No one can help you beat your body insecurities but yourself. It takes finding the inner you and embracing it no matter what your body type is. I know you all can do it. You all are the most beautiful, brave, courageous girls I've ever met. I've received many emails, comments, and messages from you all about your body insecurities and worries. My tip? Have no worries. Be yourself, embrace your body, and don't ever look back. I have faith in you, it's time you have faith in yourself.
With much love, Lauren.
P.S. And further proof that I'm not perfect, this is what a good 50% of my photos looked like. Good thing they didn't name me Grace ;)