For the better part of a year (since I went to Mexico), I have thought about taking swimsuit photos for the blog. But then I'd quickly flip-flop: who in their right mind actually wants to take photos in swimsuits? I spent my childhood and teen years watching my mom try to cover up her cellulite, arms, and stomach on family vacays to Hilton Head. Everywhere you turn, you see messages of how to get that perfect beach body – insinuating that the body you have isn't suitable to be wrapped in Lycra-Poly-Spandex amazingness.
With a growing number of plus size swimwear options available, it seems more women are embracing their beach bodies – by simply putting their body on a beach. Even still, we have a long way to go to having a more broad acceptance of body diversity in our culture. The photos of the plus size swimsuit models don't look like me. I am oval instead of hourglass, have a lot of jiggle, and carry more junk in my lower stomach than in my trunk (my butt.) I'm a size 24/26 instead of a 12/14. So with those things in mind and a hope of showing more “beach bodies” like mine, I armed myself with several swimsuits from Simply Be and hit the pool.
Simply Be has a wide range of swimsuits from sizes 8-28. If you're not super familiar with this UK-based brand, perhaps you'll recognize them for their amazing range of wide calf boots that I rave about every year.
Just chillin' with my wine sippy cup.
For as confident as I thought I was the day leading up to the shoot, my mood plummeted as soon as the camera started snapping. It was hot. It was humid. I was sweating. The swimsuits I had tried on hours earlier suddenly felt tight. I didn't want to show my lower stomach (a part of my body I've hated since I started swimming competitively at age 8.) I thought surely I was making a big mistake. I worked myself into a legit tizzy. But I was already committed…
Simply Be Bespoke Fit Swimsuit – Very Voluptuous (some of their suits have different cup size options!) – no longer available, see others here
It wasn't that my body had changed in a couple of hours – it was the fear of being seen that created such a surge of anxiety. But as soon as I got in the water, I felt better. I freaking love the water! It's one of my favorite places to be. So why let one of my favorite things be ruined by the anxiety of my body not looking a certain way?
You know what also makes you feel better? Ruffles on your swimsuit.
In an odd twist of events, I had a hard time figuring out which photos to put in this post — not because I didn't like them, but because I liked too many! Instead of seeing my lumpy bits when I scrolled through the photos, I saw joy. I was in the water on a warm summer day, playing with emoji beach balls + an oversized swan, and wearing cute swimsuits that wouldn't have been available in my size even 5 years ago.
I hope these photos will encourage someone to not only get in a damn swimsuit, but to also not hide from the camera if your friends try to document the fun. And if nothing else, it will encourage me to turn down those mean voices in my head saying that my body isn't good enough to be seen. xoxo
Thank you to SimplyBe for sponsoring this post. As always, all statements and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
Photos by Emily Moseley
Special thanks to Whitney Fay for arranging the use of this beautiful pool. Whitney is the co-author (along with Collin Parker) of “Good Riddance,” a fun and witty novel about friendships (or enemies) planning a high school reunion. If you want to escape in a good book and appreciate 90's pop culture, you'll love this one! Find it on Amazon.