Aaaaah yeah! Summer is here! Over the holiday weekend, I was invited to a few pool parties. I was so excited until I realized that although I love swimsuits, I don’t feel like my body is itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bikini ready. Every year, it seems like I have the same problem. I promise myself that I’ll exercise and workout in anticipation of bikini season, and every year I fail to live up to my expectations.
You would think that a tall slender model wouldn’t have that many hangups about her body. Yeah right! I’m human just like everyone else. When I see magazines with other slim models in bikinis, I sometimes get jealous. My agent has been asking for new Polaroids for months, but I keep putting it off because I still don’t feel like I’m in perfect shape. I cut back on the fried foods, which is hard because I’m a Southern girl. I started hiking a few months ago, but I got lazy again. I’ve got to get it together. The thought of letting everyone see my cellulite and stretch marks in a swimsuit has me scared stiff.
One day I’m sitting on my couch when I see a Special K commercial. This beautiful woman is walking on the beach when her coverup flies off. At first she’s nervous, but then she’s cool with it because she’s taken the Special K Challenge. This seems like it’s the answer to all my problems. I go online and start filling out info so I can get this plan started. However, when I clicked the “enter” button to submit my information, I got an error. So I tried it again and the same thing happened. I came to the conclusion that the system doesn’t understand why with my height and weight I’d be interested in this program. I couldn’t even click the “maintain your weight” option. Hmmm…What is the universe trying to tell me?
A light-bulb finally goes off when I see these photos from fellow natural and fashionista Gabi of GabiFresh. She’s gorgeous and curvy in her uber fly chevron stripe bikini. She’s not a size 2 and her body isn’t perfect and when she puts on her bikini, it’s like “What?!” She really works it! The world is constantly telling women who are not basically a size zero or shaped like Gabi that we are not enough and I find that deplorable. All the while, she is knocking back the insults and doing her and quite fabulously at that. What’s not to be admired about such beautiful self confidence? So I asked myself, why am I not ready to sport a bikini of my own?
At the end of the day, I know that taking an “online challenge” to eat cereal is not going to fix anything. The way I am is just the way I am… stretch marks, cellulite, and all. These things are just part of the reality of the female anatomy. Cellulite happens. And these stretch marks, I’ve had since I was 12. So why should I give in to someone else’s idea of what my body should look like in a bikini? Because I know that it’s not about looking skinny in swimwear; it’s about feeling confident in your own skin. It’s about being your own [insert your name here] “Fresh.” Now, I just have to keep repeating these truths to myself so that I don’t feel hesitation when the next friend says, “Let’s go swimming!” because deep down I know that what I’ve got is perfectly imperfect and bikini ready just the way is it right now at this very moment.