Confidence Wearing a Bikini Guest post by Vikki Coupland

How I Found My Confidence Wearing a Bikini As A Plus Size Traveller

Body confidence and acceptance has always been a trouble for me. I am a UK size 18, which is a plus size, and having always been the biggest one in my family and friendship groups, being a plus size woman has always been a part of my identity. I have always received this in a negative way – until 2019.

In the media, there is much more of an inclusive voice now, fighting against racism, age, size and gender discrimination. Power to that – at last! At the beginning of 2019 I vowed to travel more and the destinations I would mostly like to visit are warm, beach destinations. There was only one niggle in my mind and that was “what am I going to look like in swimwear?”. So I turned to Instagram for some images of women a similar size to me rocking bikinis and swimwear for inspiration.

Looking at photographs of beautiful women of all sizes, shapes and ethnicity rocking their bikini’s proudly on Instagram gave me hope. So, I ordered a bikini for my first beach holiday of 2019 to Tenerife.

I won’t lie to you, I was really self-conscious at first. I chose to wear a bikini for two reasons: firstly, I like to tan. The more of my body that is tanned, for me, the better. Including my tummy. Secondly, I had seen soooo many pretty bikini’s and not too many nice one pieces, so I felt like by wearing a two piece I would have more choice. On the first day sunbathing by the pool, I remained covered up, sweltering in the 28 degree heat. My husband was the one to encourage me to strip off. He gave me a little pep talk and told me that no one else would care what I looked like as much as I did. He loved me for me, fat or skinny. Tanned or no tan.

So that was the start of my bikini wearing travels. I stripped off and embraced it. I totally faked my confidence on that holiday. As the saying goes “fake it until you make it”, and in this case that is so true. On my next beach holiday, I totally rocked my bikini body. Once I had learnt to think positively about my body in a bikini, my confidence oozed and I went from faking it, to actually being confident.

There are a few things that help me feel confident in a bikini and I would like to share these with you.

  1. Choose a bikini to flatter your shape. I have fairly large breasts, therefore I always make sure I buy a lined bikini top with underwire / bones / some form of support. Same for the bottoms. I have an apron tummy so high waisted bottoms make me feel supported below too.
  2. Accessories are your best friend. Dress up a little. Buy the sunglasses you really want and wear the headband to match your bikini. Make it an occasion to feel good about yourself.
  3. Other people don’t care as much as you think they do. Once you learn this, you will learn to put your own feelings first. Own your bikini body and strut your stuff, girl!
  4. Treat yourself kindly. If you look after your skin and health, your overall wellbeing will improve. This will reflect in your appearance from the inside outwards and you will be glowing!

The moral to this post is for me to encourage woman of all sizes to embrace yourselves. Even if that means you don’t want to wear a bikini – that’s fine, not everyone likes them. This post is more than just wearing a bikini. It is about you feeling confident in yourself and putting your own self-esteem and acceptance of who you are before anything else. A little shift in your mind set can do you the world of good. Try it – you might just like it!

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