How My First Time Wearing a Two-Piece Plus Size Swimsuit Increased My Confidence

Can I tell you about how wearing a two-piece plus size swimsuit changed my life? I’m willing to bet, if I surveyed 100 plus size women, asking them to describe their first bikini experience, many would report that it started in dread. Fear of putting on a bikini creates much anxiety for plus size women because society has taught us that only slim, hour glass shapes are “perfect” for two-piece swimwear.

Judgement, self-doubt, internalized fat-phobia coupled with a lack of options that provide structure and support are all reasons I’ve heard from women who have shied away from bikinis.

Image via @IamJuicyJohnson

With all these factors playing against us, would you believe me if I told you that my first time wearing a two-piece plus size swimsuit was a total confidence booster?

The First Time I Put On that two-piece plus size swimsuit

I remember quite vividly the day I got my first two piece in the mail. It was a hot pink number, made to be seen! My bikini was part of GabiFresh’s first collection with Swimsuits for All. I had seen her collection on social media and TCF and was in awe of how good everyone looked in it. I was excited, but also nervous.

What if everyone thinks I look stupid? What if I’m destined for a life sentence of only one piece swimwear with an oversized t-shirt on top??

I recall standing in front of the mirror with my eyes closed as a tried on each piece. When I was finished securing the tie around the neck of the top, I took a deep breath in…. and opened my eyes!

Once I opened my eyes, my mouth fell open! Not from looking atrocious, but from the exact opposite. I was in love. The swimsuit was high waisted, allowing the smallest part of my waist to been display. The material was strong and stretchy, holding my stomach in.

Image via @IamJuicyJohnson

Feeling Like Retro Barbie as I was Wearing a Two-Piece Plus Size Swimsuit

Standing in the mirror, I felt like Retro Barbie. I was ready for the beach. Fast forward about 2 weeks, and I was on the beach with friends. While surveying a spot to claim, anxiety set in once again.

Being alone in the mirror is different than baring all for the public beach. Once we got found a small section and I sat down with my oversized tee and bikini underneath, magic happened. 

As I looked around the beach, I wasn’t the only curvy woman with a two piece on. There were several, all stunning. None of these women had coverups on. And it made me feel so silly to have a t-shirt on. I took if off, and smiled. I never imagined something as simple as pushing past my fear of bikinis, would elevate my confidence the way it did. 

Wearing a two-piece plus size swimsuit allowed me to focus on what I love on my body, rather than going to war with myself. I found a new appreciation for my body that walks with me to this day.

Some people may stare. Some may approach you and compliment how great they think you look. You can’t control the opinions of others.

The only way to combat negative input is to value your opinion most. I have learned through the years that confidence is mostly tuning the world out and believing in yourself. It felt so empowering to be a part of a movement of full-figured women who created a space where there was none.

You never know who you’re inspiring by just being yourself.

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