*original publication Summer 2017*

Four Ways Wearing Bikinis Has Boosted My Confidence

by Amy Pence-Brown

It began four summers ago. I was tired of hiding underneath bathing suit dresses of heavy cumbersome fabric as I spent my summers at the city pool with my young children. I was then several years into my own body-positive journey and was getting braver with my self-love and bolder with my fashion choices… slowly exposing more skin and rolls… slowly showing up in my already-ready “bikini body”. In time, and not so surprisingly, it’s given me so much more courage to enjoy my life and be comfortable and brave while doing it. Here are four ways my fabulous bikini has boosted my confidence:

  1. Plus-sized bikinis are cute. They just are! My first one was a darling retro-inspired black-and-white striped number from Walmart, one of the first and affordable retailers in the US to make them widely available. Since then, many designers have jumped on board with amazing styles, shapes, and colors, coming a long way from the dark swim dresses I felt forced into in the past.
  2. Bikinis equal boldness! They sure help me feel bold. At first, I was self-conscious and felt like everyone was staring at me. Turns out, they were! They were looking at me because they thought my suit was so cute and I looked great (and cute!) in it too. I get so many genuine compliments every time I wear bikinis in public.
  3. Bikinis make the water more enjoyable. They really kinda do. They allow me the flexibility of jumping in lakes, floating on tubes, and careening down waterslides with my children that I just didn’t have before. As an added bonus, they make going to the bathroom while wet (and often clutching the hand of a slippery toddler at the same time) so much easier. You know what I’m talking about!
  4. Bikinis let you breathe! Exposing my skin is simply cathartic. I’d been hiding it for so long that letting it out was freeing. I love flaunting my curves in the sun. Get this: everyone (including myself) knows that I’m fat anyhow and so covering up my body with more fabric really isn’t fooling anyone! I enjoy the feeling of sand sticking to my cellulite and sweat dripping down my cleavage. Many others do too! It happens to everyone and it’s what summer, and life, is all about.


Website: www.amypencebrown.com
Facebook: Amy Pence-Brown – Writer, Artist, Body Image Activist
Instagram: @idaho_amy
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