I have just come back from a holiday in Greece. It was everything we could have hoped for: Stunning weather, beautiful scenery and delicious food. And I wore my bikini every day. I am a size 12 on a good day, on a not so good day, a 14. My stomach and hips are riddled with stretch marks from two very much wanted pregnancies. My stomach is far from flat and the thighs wobble a fair bit too.
So, I am not a super model, and I doubt there is going to be any model agencies calling me soon, but do you know what? I LOVE wearing my bikini, and I wear it with pride. I've never stopped wearing one since having the kids, even though at times I didn't always like how I looked. But aged 39, heading towards the big 4 0, I am very proud in my bikini (thank you Vicky at Honest Mum for that phrase!).
I've read about people calling their stretch marks 'tiger stripes': You've earned them, Mum, by growing and pushing those babies out! But, I don't see it like that. Your body is a constant evolving shape. Yes, I admit, when in my final month of pregnancy, the marks appeared I was a little bitter. But long term, I'm now rather fond of them. They even look quite nice - my silvery dashes of skin. I run a fair bit, swim in the lido and do yoga when I find time. I'm healthy and fit - but not an athlete.
I haven't written this for you to all comment on how super I look, and how fabulous I am (but I will be sincerely grateful and flattered if you do), nor is it an exercise to question my body shape and suitability of me wearing a bikini, it is merely a post to say that I am body confident. I love its curves, contours and dimples. I also love my Sea Folly bikinis. They haven't paid me or gifted me anything, but I love their bikinis, particularly on me. Putting them on and having a play in the sea or pool makes me feel good about myself and that is a feeling I like.
So my final thought on wearing a bikini? If it makes you happy and confident: Do it! And really, this isn't about wearing a bikini, it is all about that I feel happy in my skin and I feel good about myself. I can accept the compliments, shake off the mean comments, and listen to erstwhile advice. So, my dear readers, go wear that bright lippy, or slightly-shorter than usual skirt or even take pole dancing classes. Whatever it is that makes you feel body confident and happy, it's worth doing.
I'd love your comments on body confidence - please do share your happy, confident thoughts!
The original post can be found at the blog Truly Madly Kids.