I Wore a Bikini for the First Time — Here’s What I Learned

I always thought “if only I was skinny enough to wear a bikini.” But a couple weeks ago I wore a bikini for the first time. And guess what? Even if you don’t have a six-pack or a thigh gap, you can still wear a bikini — and still look and feel good in it.

I’ve never worn a bikini in my life — that is, until a couple of weeks ago when I went on vacation in Miami Beach.

I probably wore a bikini when I was a baby or a child, but in my adult life, I haven’t quite been able to cross that border. I have a vivid memory of being on vacation with my family when I was maybe 12 or 13 and putting on a new bikini my mom had bought me for the trip — and crying. I couldn’t walk out of that hotel room wearing that bikini. Even at that young age, I was already aware of my curves, my extra pounds and the fact that I didn’t fit in with society’s definition of a “beach body.”

Since that day, it’s been one pieces and tankinis for me. And always with a flowy cover up dress to do exactly that — cover up.

I always thought if only I was skinny enough to wear a bikini.

Well, the truth is wearing a bikini isn’t really about being skinny. Sure, everyone wants to look good in a bikini, but if you don’t have a six-pack or a thigh gap, you can still wear a bikini — and still look and feel good in it.

The First Time I Wore a Bikini

Last year, the high waist bikini trend really took off, and I thought “here’s my chance.” I had lost about 30 pounds and though I didn’t feel ready for a “real” bikini, I thought I could pull off the high waist one. I’d be in a full bikini by next year, I thought.

But this year, I’m not much smaller than I was last year. And yet, I did it. I wore a “real” bikini.

So what changed? I’m still not what society would deem a “beach body,” and I’m still not at my goal weight. But the difference between this year and last year is my confidence.

When my husband and I were planning this trip, I told him I don’t care what size I’m at. I’m wearing a bikini. I worked hard over the months leading up to the trip and did drop some weight — enough to make me feel more confident in my body.

I still wasn’t sure I was ready for the bikini, but damn I was going to do it anyway. Because the truth is, who cares? I’m not wearing the bikini for anyone but myself. And probably no one will even bat an eye. And those who do judge me won’t say anything to my face, and I’ll never see them again after this trip.

What Happened When I Wore a Bikini

So I did it. I wore a bikini. On the beach. In front of people. And guess what? Nothing really happened. The bikini police didn’t show up to arrest me. Nobody gawked at my less than perfect body. I was just another beachgoer like everyone else.

And guess what else? I felt great! Even when I was curled up in my beach chair, my rolls running free. I had accomplished something I had waited years to lose weight to do. But I didn’t have to lose the weight to do it. I just needed to find the confidence.

Learning to Love my Body

Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and for every six-pack or thigh gap, there are about a thousand other bodies that don’t match up to society’s ideal. Even healthy bodies have a little bit of flab.

Next time you’re on the beach, squeezing your gut into an uncomfortable one-piece, covering every inch of your exposed skin with a flowy coverup, take a look at the other women on the beach. Most of them don’t have perfect bodies. But they might still be wearing a bikini. So why shouldn’t you?

It’s taken me a long time, but I’m slowly learning to love my body where it’s at. And that means letting myself do things and wear things I’d previously reserved for “when I lose the weight.” Life doesn’t wait for weight loss — and neither should you. If you want to wear that bikini, that tight skirt or brightly colored outfit, go for it. Don’t wait until you’re skinny. Do it now, while you can. And rock it with all the confidence you’ve got.

Copywriter. Blogger. Wife. Bibliophile. Romcom Lover. Tea Addict. Grammar Nerd. Email me: maria.elharaoui@gmail.com

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