- On June 28, 2019
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The days are glorious, and it’s time to get out the swimsuit. So many people I know – clients and friends alike and particularly women – have a really hard time with this. I get it. It is so easy to listen to the lies about what a bikini body is. It’s so easy to fall into the vortex of an internal shame cycle about your body not being what it “should be.” From adolescence until well into my 40s, I loathed wearing bathing suits, even though I adore swimming and being near any kind of water. So I do get it.
Putting it all out there
Let’s talk about what’s going on with my body these days. I’ve gained at least 10 pounds since my mother died in late December. Things are jiggly. Things were jiggly before, but now they are more so. I’m also 51, so there are interesting things going on with my skin. Where does the elasticity go?
I am aging. It’s what happens. It makes absolutely zero sense to me to fight it, try to change it, or deny it. I’m trying to do the opposite, although it’s definitely a work in progress. Those social messages are strong. Why are fat, and jiggles, and squishiness bad?
These are the things that moved me to revisit the last #bikinirebellion post I did in 2016. I could feel bad about the changes to my body, and some days I do. But when I start feeling bad, I kick that junk to the curb. Because that’s what it is – junk. And I do a #bikinirebellion.
My body is beautiful
My body is beautiful. My body is beautiful. My body is beautiful. I keep saying it so that all of you will say it too. Did your body hear you?
Danielle’s bikini rebellion
Beautiful Danielle. Does she need a #bikinirebellion?
This is what breaks my heart. Women are so inculturated to believe we are flawed, at such an early age, that we can’t see clearly. When I asked Danielle to join me in the #bikinirebellion, she paused. I was flabbergasted, to be honest. How can she not see her beauty? Why do we criticize and compare ourselves?
Here’s what Danielle has to say:
I don’t remember the first time I looked in the mirror and wished I could pull and twist and smooth and tweak myself into a better version of me. Don’t remember being told I needed to lose weight. Don’t remember the last time I didn’t care how I looked. I don’t even remember ever being told I was ugly.
In fact, my mom and many others told me I was beautiful. I heard it at home from family, friends at school, and from my boyfriend. I remember thinking they were just trying to make me feel better. After I finished growing I couldn’t step back from my own opinions to see myself objectively.
It wasn’t until college that I really learned I needed to embrace myself. I was surrounded by women who I saw as more beautiful, with better skin, and toned bodies. There were so many things I wanted to do in my life, but the daily struggle of comparison and my negative self-image was taking up my valuable brain space. This may seem silly, but being a practical woman, I decided I just didn’t have time to care about stepping into a covergirl ad or how many numbers I saw on the scale.
I’m still a work in progress. I still hear a voice in my head that points out things in these pictures, but may you all bear witness to the first time I’m showing this much stomach. It’s a day of celebration! #progress
When summer comes it’s time for women to take action about their image. But not quite the way we’re told…despite hearing voices in the media and society begging us to shape, tweak, and transfigure our bodies, we’re not going to conform ourselves to an unachievable standard.
This summer we’re choosing joy and contentment in the ways we already are. What flower trims its petals? What tree grows taller in the dark instead of stretching towards the sun? We’re not meant to be the same, so let’s embrace the stories our bodies tell and be proud!