The time has come, ladies: bikini season. For some women, it can be a daunting period where the expectations to flaunt our bodies in tiny bikinis is realer than ever.
This summer, though, instead of worrying about about how our bodies look, let’s take steps towards empowering ourselves and others. Follow these five tips and love the skin you’re in this summer.
1. Realize no body is perfect
In today’s society, we are constantly bombarded with photos of so-called “perfect” women. Although social media, airbrushed advertisements and magazines would like us to believe otherwise, no one body-type is perfect. Everyone has imperfections, insecurities and things they wish they could change or improve. Even Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Christy Tegan isn’t immune to stretch marks, yet she embraces them with class and humor.
2. Embrace your “flaws”
No matter who you are, we all have “flaws” or imperfections—acne, stretch marks, cellulite, scars. It’s only human. You cannot love your body in parts; in order to really love yourself you need to love, or at least accept, every part of you. By embracing and accepting our flaws, we will truly be able to love our bodies and, ultimately, ourselves.
Blogger Rachel Hollis recently made headlines when she posted a bikini pic of herself baring her stomach and stretch marks from her pregnancy. She embraced her marks and wore them proudly as a badge of honor and love. Reclaim your insecurities and flaws knowing that they make you who you are—unique and beautiful.
I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini. I have a belly that's permanently flabby from carrying three giant babies and I wear a bikini. My belly button is saggy… (which is something I didn't even know was possible before!!) and I wear a bikini. I wear a bikini because I'm proud of this body and every mark on it. Those marks prove that I was blessed enough to carry my babies and that flabby tummy means I worked hard to lose what weight I could. I wear a bikini because the only man who's opinion matters knows what I went through to look this way. That same man says he's never seen anything sexier than my body, marks and all. They aren't scars ladies, they're stripes and you've earned them. Flaunt that body with pride! #RealAndChic #HollisHoliday
3. Enjoy your body
We don’t usually give it much thought, but the body and all its capabilities are truly amazing. Take notice of what your body allows you to do and all the joy that it brings to your life. Use your body in every way possible—run, jump, dance, stretch, climb, walk. The more you start to love and appreciate your body for more than its looks, is when you will you truly begin to love your body for the right reasons. Make an activity list and aim to check off one item each week this summer. Go hike, swim, sing and laugh. Enjoy all the amazing things your body can do, see and feel.
4. Speak kindly to yourself
Why is it that we feel okay to say all of the negative, hurtful, hateful things to ourselves, yet we would never say them to a friend? Your inner monologue and thoughts have a heavy influence on your confidence and self-esteem. Stop telling yourself that you are too fat, too skinny, too flabby… and the list goes on. Start speaking to yourself like you would speak to your best friend. Fill your head with positive thoughts and treat yourself kindly. Changing how you think on the inside will change how you see yourself on the outside. Make a vow to cut negative thoughts from your mind. Stay accountable and form new habits by writing down one loving and positive thing about your body for every negative thought you think.
5. Nourish your body and soul
You are what you eat. Treat your body with respect and begin loving it from the inside out. Fuel your body with healthy, nourishing foods. Vitamins and nutrients from whole foods will keep you energized and radiant, and you will feel the difference. Being mindful of what you put in your body will help you start to treat your body with the respect and love it deserves.
I was beautiful then, and I'm beautiful now. 2014 I decided to focus on bettering myself by making changes in my life with health, balance, endurance and consistency. You don't have to wait till the beginning of a new year to make resolutions for yourself. It's all about loving and taking care of the only body you will ever have… Cherish it, love it, embrace it.. Because when you do.. It begins to show. 😊 Goodbye 2014.. Who's excited for what we can accomplish in 2015?!! Let's do this!!!! 💪💪💪🎉🎊🎉