When I was asked to take part in the Raw Beauty Talks #MyBeachBody campaign with my daughters, I did not hesitate. In fact, a bathing suit blog post is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while.
When the opportunity came up, I was excited and eager to take part in it. I wanted to inspire not only my girls, but girls and women everywhere that their bodies are perfect just the way they are.
Studies show that media creates an immense amount of pressure on girls and women to obtain the ‘perfect’ beach body. This pressure creates an inner dialogue filled with negative self- talk, and feelings of ‘not enough’.
In the past if I was asked to take part in a bathing suit photo shoot, I would have been bombarded with negative self-talk. ‘Your stomachs not flat enough’ ‘Your thighs are to big’ and thoughts like, ‘ You need a tan’ would fill up my brain, and leave me feeling ashamed of my body. The truth is, when negative self-talk gets the best of anyone, the list of ‘not enough’ feelings go on and on.
After I had my first daughter, I would use photos of bikini models for inspiration to get my beach body back. And this always left me with feelings of frustration. In other words, I was trying to look like someone else, and these photos I was using for inspiration were most likely air brushed and photoshopped! I no longer look at a photo of other women’s bodies for inspiration, because it always left me feeling inadequate.
Having daughters has taught me so many things about self-love, self-acceptance and confidence that I never would have learned on my own. They are the reason I didn’t have concerns or fears about being photographed in a swimsuit.
Photos: Britney Gill Photography
You see, I can choose to sit on the sidelines in a cover-up feeling ashamed of my body, and tell myself I’m not bikini ready or I can strip off the bathing suit cover- up, and do cartwheels. And… I choose cartwheels!
I can’t tell my girls to be comfortable and confident in their skin, ultimately I have to show them. I have to ‘walk the talk’ exuding self -love, self-acceptance and most importantly, confidence.
I would never tell my daughters they aren’t ‘bikini ready’. And, once I changed the inner dialogue in my head to the way I would talk to younger girls who look up to me, it became easy to cut the negative self-talk, and embrace the skin I’m in.
Thanks for the yummy juice The Juice Truck
Swimsuits for the everyday woman: Nettle’s Tale
After the shoot, I told my girls how proud I was of them for being comfortable, and confident in their ‘perfect’ beach bodies and for helping girls and women everywhere who might be ashamed of theirs.
A huge thank you to my beautiful friend Erin Treloar, founder of Raw Beauty Talks for asking us to get involved in the campaign. You can check out all the other brave women that took part in the campaign here. Also, be sure to check out Erin Treloar’s article “You already have the perfect beach body” written for Huffington Post.
The truth is, confidence takes work. Sometimes, you just have to ‘fake it, till you make it’ In other words, acts of courage, like rocking your swimsuit even if you don’t feel ready, increase confidence.
And if the dialogue in your head starts to tell you that you aren’t ‘bikini ready’ remind yourself that you are a role model to a little girl. Speak to yourself in an encouraging, uplifting way.
Now get out there and rock your perfect beach body!!! Bravely take an unfiltered photo in your swimsuit this Summer and tag Raw Beauty talks on social media with the hashtag: #MyBeachBody.
You are beautiful and perfect just as you are.