Listen loud and clear:
Doing this shoot was THE MOST HORRIFYING THING I could EVER think of doing other than being stuck in a field of frogs or drifting in the ocean by myself…. I don’t even enjoy being in a bathing suit around my husband or best friends, let alone putting me in one for you all to judge, pick apart or have a say in. But, it was because of exactly this that I decided to do it. If I am all about living open + honest for you, then what better opportunity to be as real as it gets than early on in bathing suit season?
So, let’s chat. Let’s be real for a few, ok?
First and foremost, finding a modest swimsuit that I feel confident and cute in is a challenge every year. I have super cute two pieces, I have all kinds of cute one pieces, but no matter if I am in a two or a one piece that shows my stomach or not, every year I face the challenge of keeping well-covered as it seems the material on swimsuits get more and more scarce year after year. That is until I found Kortni Jeane Swimmers. I mean, Y’ALL, these are perfect. They are cute, spunky, fun, modest (without being so modest you feel like a nun…), and they are affordable. So when I saw featuring a Kortni Jeane swimsuit as an opportunity to show-off adorable suits (mom and/or hubby approved), and also an open door to talk about a whole lot more than just what swimsuit I love and think you should buy for this summer… I felt I should jump on it.
I have written about it on here many times- body image is the greatest struggle I have had in my life since the 5th grade. I wrote about it once before, but I sat on the counter of my bathroom duct taping my stomach because I was angry I wasn’t as skinny as some of the other girls in my class. I will openly say I wish I had maybe more toned thighs, and my abs aren’t quite as flat as I have always hoped. I have stretch marks on my thighs (for real) and my arms have always been a sore subject. But even with all these things, over time I have found such a confidence in exactly who I am exactly as I am. I am a firm believer in positive self-talk. If you don’t have a group of friends surrounding you who talk positively about themselves and others, then it might be time for a new crew. I know that as summer inches closer and closer, and spring breaks are passing by with girls in their teeny weeny bikinis with their perfectly toned bods plastered across your Instagram, we can start picking apart everything about ourselves we don’t like. And, even worse, we will start picking apart OTHER women to make ourselves feel better. LISTEN- Do not fall into that trap. Just don’t. Body image is a roller coaster, and it’s something every woman out there struggles with in some way- whether they talk about it or not.
Second, body shaming is just as real to “skinny” girls as it is to “curvy” girls. No matter what, because of the world we live in, we are ALL susceptible to it. If you catch yourself shaming a girl in anyway because of their body type, pause for a moment. Where is that coming from inside of you? I recently got frustrated on Instagram reading comments on one of my favorite blogger’s photos as she got shamed for being FIT. Since when is it frowned upon to be healthy? Just because someone is thinner doesn’t mean they don’t eat, it doesn’t mean they need help, and being fit shouldn’t be a source for them to be shamed. She works out and works hard for that body. Let’s celebrate all body types, and own the one we are.
Be kind, friends. It’s pretty simple. Celebrate others. It’s that easy.
I will continue to be one who chooses to talk about positive body image (despite how hard it can be for me sometimes), because I KNOW what it’s like to feel alone in the struggle. I know what it’s like to starve yourself to “perfection”, to be left still disappointed at your lack of it. (Hint: You will NEVER be perfect.) I have chosen to embrace my body, and I will not miss out on the fun by the pool this year simply because I don’t want to be in a swimsuit. (That’s certainly been me in years past!)
I literally just learned what this hashtag means last night… but #FOMO (HA). The #FearOfMissingOut, but seriously… you don’t have to battle that if you move past insecurity and choose to get in the suit with confidence. Be you, do you, love you.
It definitely does help having a cute suit from Kortni Jeane, too.
Hey, y’all are beautiful. Thanks for inviting me into your life and thanks for reading my story. I hope it can encourage you. It’s not easy sharing your deepest insecurities or the fact you have stretch marks… ha. But, it is SO worth it to me. People need to talk about these things, so I will gladly start the conversation.
All Photos by Cottonwood Road Photography for The Cake by Hannah