I, like 67% or the female population, am a plus-sized woman. This title of ‘Plus-Size’, along with the societal push to be perfect can cause uneasiness in even the thinnest of women.
For most of my life, this body-related anxiety has come to a head during a nice vacation. Stepping out in a bathing suit at all (let alone a bikini), has always been very hard for me.
When you head to the beach in a swimsuit, there’s an immediate paranoia that all eyes are on you. That’s what it’s like for me, at least.
I have always faced insecurities about my body. Like I said, especially on vacation which is the worst time for these annoying body insecurities to get in my way.
It’s interesting because when I’m on vacation, that’s when I’m most conscious of my body insecurities, but the vacation-mode me also seems to be a more confident version of me, willing to be brave and bear it (or should I say ‘bare’ it?)
It can be tough to fully enjoy a tropical vacation when you don’t enjoy being seen in a bathing suit, though. I never could feel comfortable in a swimsuit unless I had a cover-up on, and I would definitely not go into a beachfront restaurant in just my swimsuit.
Today, I could go out on the beach naked, and not have a care in the world. The lifeguards might, but that would be their opinion. I found ways to be confident about my body, and now I can let loose with no f*cks given. This confidence in myself, and in the way I look, did not come easy. Finding it forced me onto a roller coaster of emotion that could not have been solved with cake, or alcohol, or whatever the kids are doing these days.
I found my body confidence with a mixture of: The support of my friends, finding a personal style I loved, learning how to dress for my body, figuring out how to dress within my comfort level, and owning everything about my body.
Try to enjoy your surroundings
Enjoying your surroundings is how you enjoy a vacation, and this only really requires use of your senses, so your body is irrelevant. Your body might have walked you to the beach, but your eyes, ears, sense of smell and taste is what will let you enjoy where you are. What’s a body got to do with it?
Find friends who bring out the most confident version of you
Friends are the best resources on this planet. You feed off their energy and develop self-confidence from their confidence in you. I would not trade any of my amazing friends for the world. I credit two of my friends with bringing out my body confidence. One taught me that I am a smart, sensual, strong, and beautiful plus-size woman. The other taught me that I can do anything her, and her thin friends can do.
Friends help you come out of your shell, and can help you conquer any confidence issues you can have in your body. Great friends can help you turn into the best, and most confident version of yourself. If you surround yourself with them, you will become your best self.
Finding your own personal style
I try not to be vapid, and it may sound completely trite but finding my personal style really was the gateway to loving my body. If you are comfortable with how you dress and style yourself, you will be a lot more comfortable overall, and you’ll be able to loosen up and enjoy your vacation.
My own style tends to be edgy. I wear a lot of black, have piercings, and hair that is shaved on one side. If you would have told twelve year old me this I would have been shocked. Twelve year old me loved to wear baggy t-shirts, and jeans so that no one could notice she was bigger than other girls. If that is the style of dress you are most comfortable in, then dress that way. I, however, never liked the clothes I wore. I like a good t-shirt, but I never felt like I looked nice.
When I started living on my own, I started to experiment. I chopped my hair off, I got lots of piercings, and I shopped until my entire wardrobe fit what I thought I looked good in. I found this personal style by scouring different websites until I saw a style that I could not get out of my head. I remember that I was so shocked that a bigger girl could look good in punk clothes with piercings. Now when I go on vacations, I feel a lot more comfortable because I am in a nice black two piece that goes with me style. I ran with it, and you should too. If you want to dress like a manic pixie dream girl, do it. If you want to dress sportier, do it. The only person you should dress for is you. So if you try a style of clothing, and love it: Go for it. If you are like me, you will be much happier in the long-run.
Learning how to dress for your body, within your comfort level
Dressing for your comfort level is key to any vacation. If you have found a style that is comfortable for you, all you have to do is figure out is how to dress for your comfort level. If you are comfortable wearing bikinis on the beach you should wear them, but if you aren’t there are plenty different options from bikinis to suits with covers. Before last year, I had always been a beach cover-up kind of girl. I would wear a one-piece with shorts over them, and a cover on top. I wasn’t comfortable with anything less.
I am here to tell you that if you are more comfortable covering up, then you should go for it. I am all for friends who tell you that you look great, and that you shouldn’t wear a cover. I think that everyone should wear whatever they are comfortable in. There is no reason to be uncomfortable on vacation because you went to the beach without your cover on after a well-meaning family member told you to leave it at the hotel. The same goes for if you want to wear a bikini, and someone tells you that you shouldn’t. It is your life, and you can be as fabulous as you want.
Learning to own everything about your body
I won’t lie, people can be cruel. I have, on multiple occasions had mean things about me said while in a bathing suit. I used to wallow in it. I wallowed in it until I figured out that these people saying hurtful things were just getting a kick out of my sadness. The vacation I took after that year in school ended, was one of the best vacations I had before this point in my life. I had begun to own everything about my body. If a guy said that I had a “fat ass”, I would not skip a beat in saying something like, “just because your d*ck wouldn’t be long enough for this ass doesn’t mean you have to be rude”. The look on his face was priceless, and has driven me to own my imperfections.
I am perfectly aware that I am plus-size, but it is no one else’s business. There will be people who point at you because they’re insulting you, and there will be people who point at you because they love your curves. Who cares?
These four tips may not be for everyone, but they have worked well for me. I have become a much more confident woman by following these tips and I have been able to enjoy my beach-front vacations. I am no longer afraid of people looking at me at the pool, I am no longer afraid to eat in my swimsuit, and I no longer feel an extreme desire to cover myself. If you find great friends, and own everything about your body, you can become a better, more confident version of yourself too.
Do you know anyone who needs to let loose and love their body while on vacation? Be sure to share this article with them!