Retro inspired swimwear, especially the high-waisted 2-piece suit is making a big splash and women everywhere of all sizes are celebrating! Put it together with cat-eye sunglasses and a floppy hat and your poolside aura will sparkle. String bikinis are old news unless you are twelve or live on the Riviera.
Aren’t you jumping for joy? Well, maybe not yet, but I promise you by the end of this article you will feel MUCH BETTER about being ocean or pool-side on your family vacation! With swimsuit waists rising like they did for jeans in the last few years, it isn’t as horrifying to shop for swimwear as it used to be.
Some of you – like me – have witnessed the denim revolution from sturdy and stiff 501 jeans to paper-thin jeggings. Remember when you had to jump, huff, puff, and wriggle into your classic 100% cotton jeans? Thanks to stretch fabric technology, you can now happily slip them on whether you have tomboy or curvy hips.
As a petite, I hated shopping for jeans with next-to-nothing available for my proportions. Trying to wriggle in to regular sizes was so disappointing I stopped wearing them. Now, I’m a total fan of Anthropologie petite jeans and happily own several pair!
Denim choices and profits have exploded over the last ten years with a broad range of cuts, waist placements and fabric weights, and the swimwear industry is following “suit” (sorry, couldn’t help it ?).
According to Business Wire’s 2016 article on the Technavio report, the global swimwear market is expected to exceed USD 20 billion by 2019. Water sports participation in the US went up from 12.5% in 2012 to 13.9% in 2014. Vendors of swimwear are investing heavily to develop comfortable and stylish products.
According to Brijesh Kumar Choubey, lead analyst for apparel and textile research at Technavio, “Swimwear is witnessing better acceptance among emerging countries, especially those in APAC. With vendors offering a range of products, including modest swimwear, this demand is likely to see significant increase in the next five years. More vendors are realizing the potential of plus-size apparel and swimwear and have been making successful in-roads into this segment in the last three years.”
What does all this mean?
We know the swimwear industry will profit from this expansion, but this is also really, really good news for women. Today, there is such a wide range of beach and swimwear choices, you can be as covered up as you want to be (or not!).
Here is a ”splash” list of swimwear options:
♥ Full coverage SPF 30 swim shirt
♥ One-piece shorty
♥ High waisted bottoms
♥ Convertible sheath one-piece
♥ Swim dress
♥ Boy shortini
♥ Cargo shortini
♥ Sarong skirtini
♥ Zip front vest and swimming capris
♥ Long bike-short swim set
♥ Flared, flowy or side-tie tankini
This fantastic variety of swimwear gives you everything from sun screened turtlenecks to anti-chafing tops to boardie shorts. It lets you sit pool-side with your favorite book or take a dip in the ocean fully covered. Swim skirts, shorts and dresses let you do a variety of water activities in style. Some of my favorites sites for style and size variety with real-womanly models are:
FEEL A LITTLE BETTER NOW?
My guess is you probably still dread the idea of shopping for and wearing swimwear! Right?
I think I may know why…and if I’m right…it reveals just how deeply women are influenced by cultural ideals.
I believe most women dread shopping for and wearing bathing suits in public because we believe our bodies are flawed. We are forced to expose all our flaws including, but not limited to, our arms, legs, tummies and butts. We think if our flaws are exposed, we will lose the admiration and respect of others and feel vulnerable to ridicule and rejection. Nothing triggers body shame faster than the thought of wearing a swimsuit.
I know what you’re thinking…heck, Linda, women have been embarrassed about their bodies since Adam and Eve!
Stay with me here…
This body flaw mentality is just exactly that. It’s in our heads. We compare our bodies to the media’s unachievable ideal of a svelte figure looking smooth and firm in her bikini with no bulges or rolls sticking out and conclude that our bodies just aren’t good enough.
But, the thing is…
There will always be an ever-changing cultural “ideal” in society whether it is the body of Twiggy or Jessica Rabbit, or whether it is airbrushed or not. The retail platform for the fashion and beauty industries is based on the idea that things sell better when seen on the “perfect” ideal, and they thrive on the getting you to want something you don’t have. This is the nature of the retail beast.
But this platform isn’t as acceptable as it used to be. Women want to see advertisements of real women wearing clothes in their size in pictures that aren’t retouched. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this swimwear website: www.Nettlestale.com.
While I think we can find inspiration in society’s “ideal” female body, it doesn’t mean the rest of us are flawed.
Are you going to let society’s favorite pet keep you from enjoying your body, especially when you want to have fun on the beach?
Let’s put the angst you feel when you compare yourself to society’s perfect female body in perspective. You can turn your comparison into something positive and useful.
Imagine you are a supporting actress in a movie that stars a wildly popular lead actress. As the lead, she gets all the glory. Her name, picture, and body are featured on all the publicity. She has the most lines, the juiciest role, and the biggest dressing room. She is wined, dined, interviewed, and admired for her talent.
Your job in the movie is to be fully convincing in your role AND support the lead. That is why you are called the SUPPORTING actress. You don’t have to work as hard as her, you aren’t constantly in the limelight like her, nor do you have the burden of responsibility she does. If your lead fails in her role, the movie will fail. That’s a lot of responsibility!
Plus, even though you have a minor role, as a supporting actress you can steal the show! Just ask Judy Dench…she grabbed an Oscar for an eight-minute performance as Queen Elizabeth in the movie Shakespeare in Love.
And here is the truth…
A lead actress is just another actress who is given the limelight for one movie. She might have a minor role in her next movie. The same is true for society’s desired body type. She gets splashed on the pages for some time until popular culture changes the ideal.
Our job as women is to treat each other with respect and offer support to our sisters of all different shapes and sizes, even the “perfect” ones.
You don’t have to have the “ideal” body to be fabulously happy or feel wonderful in a swimsuit. In fact, the more you embrace your uniqueness like an award-winning supporting actress who fully embodies her role, the more you’ll get noticed and maybe even steal the show!
And when you are on the beach, think about what your body can do and why you are there in the first place. Do you want to have fun with your kids, watch the sunset, listen to the waves, or just plain relax? Do it with the full intention to enjoy yourself. Thank your body for giving you the ability to do the things you love to do.
Please click here to schedule a 30-minute consultation to talk to me in person and find out how you can “Friend Your Body to Look Divine.”