I posted a photo of me in a bikini on Instagram the other day with a caption about what a bikini body is. I also shared parts from that day on snapchat. Though i recieved countless compliments both on Instagram and snapchat, there were way too many comments about people saying they weren't confident enough to do the same.
Every single one of us probably had a moment in our life where we wish we were as confident as Beyonce (or your equivalent of a super confident, amazing, beautiful, power house of a woman!).
I know it's a long, hard journey to feel completely comfortable and confident in your own body, especially when other people are trying to tell you why you shouldn't be allowed to love your body as it is. I do know how it feels to doubt yourself, to feel ugly, to feel like you're not allowed to do certain things because of the way you look. I didn't wake up and change, it took a lot of time and a lot of effort.
I don't have a magic potion that will make all your feelings of doubt disappear, but I can share some steps that I did, which hopefully will make it easier and in time, make you more confident!
1. Compliment Yourself
Everyone finds it so easy to point out their flaws. But how many times do we list what we love about our bodies? Everyday I would look at myself and pick out at least one thing I loved about myself. It didn't matter if I could pick out 15 things one cause and just 2 the next, as long as I had one quality i love that day, it was enough. Eventually that becomes normal and you'll look for the positive more than you would the negatives and it changes the way you feel about yourself.
2. Be Naked (or in your underwear)
The first time I heard this I thought it was stupid because why would anyone look at themselves naked?
But seriously, why shouldn't you look at yourself naked? It's your body, it's beautiful, and you should look at and love every bit of it. As long as you're alone (or with someone you can be naked around) be naked (or in your undies). You'll get used, you will love it!
3. Make small changes
Everyone's taken different steps to get over what makes them scared, nervous, exposed etc
I couldn't bring myself to wear a bikini until i was 18 because i was convinced i was too fat. I bought my first proper bikini when I was 17 and though that was massive to me, I took little steps each time to go from completely covering myself in shorts and a T-shirt with the bikini underneath to eventually wearing it all by itself on a beach.
You don't have to dive in the deep end, sit in the shallow end until you're ready to swim!
4. Wear Underwear You Love
Any woman would know the power of good, matching underwear. No one needs to see it, but when you know it's there, you feel pretty damn good, don't you?
Buy whatever underwear you always wanted to put on, who cares if it's lacey or neon or or has flowers on it or if it's made of less or more material that you're used to. Buy a whole bunch, wear it and dance around in your room.
5. Take Photos Of Yourself
Any photos you like. If you're used to taking lots of selfies or photos of yourself - then good! Keep doing you!
When i started Instagram - snapchat too - i was taking more selfies and photos of myself than I ever did in my life. I started feeling way more confident with myself. Even if I had an unsightly pimple or bags under my eyes, stomach rolls or my bum looked weird in a pose, I never felt as bad as I used to. This was probably the best piece of advice i've ever recieved. And it might be the best for you too.
6. Model Your Bikini - For You
No one ever actually told me to do this, but i think it's so similar to the looking at yourself or wearing the underwear you like point.
when I started buying more bikinis, or when i had a new piece of clothing I loved but was too scared to wear, i'd put it on like 10 times at home, just for me to see, before i would wear it out.
I would look at myself from every angle, check what everything felt like and what could go wrong if I did wear it out. And after a while, I didn't feel scared. I was comfortable.
I still do this sometimes, i'll wear a new bikini in front of the mirror like 5 times before I wear it out, as long as it makes me feel comfortable, I'm going to keep doing it.
7. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF
We all have bad habits, but this is definitely the worst one (that's why the it's in red and a larger font)
Everyone's done it, hell i did it all the time. But we need to learn to stop. We see perfectly posed for photos - some edited - of girls with lean bodies and tanned skin and bleached blonde hair and we want to compare their bodies to ours, then come to the conclusion that we can't wear a bikini because of it?
That's a disgusting way to think. And anyone who tells you that you aren't good enough is not someone you need in your life (ESPECIALLY if it's your family or friends). We need to realise that one photo in a magazine can come from a role of 1000 others that are all prepped and posed, photoshopped and airbrushed to be made "perfect"
Even us regular folk can do the same thing. You'll only see the social media worthy shots, not all the blooper photos.
Just for you guys, i'm showing you how the other photos turned out that day. See how it's not all "perfect" or posed for. Sometimes i've got rolls or I get bloated or my face looks silly or the angle is unflattering. And that's what happens to every single person out there. So don't compare yourself to a photo that was selected out of a butch, possibly edited and put online to the way you look in the mirror.
Bikini featured: "CARA" BANDEAU REVERSIBLE BIKINI [LONG ISLAND LEMON / LYON LILAC] from AUQUA SWIMWEAR
I would hope that any one who is struggling with body image or confidence issues finds something to do that helps you get over the hurdle.
Don't pull yourself down or believe that you're not good enough - every single one of you is beautiful in your own way and you are definitely good enough!
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