Fitness

Why I Don’t Wear a Bikini

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If I want to have a good time, I don’t wear a bikini.

For starters, they have a long history of malfunctioning when I least need an ordeal. Tubing on the lake? They exited stage left when I went right. Diving contest off the dock. They took a trip to say hi to my feet. Beach volleyball competition – the tops aren’t as secure as they look in the Olympics.

Albeit funny memories, they still scarred me and made me more self-conscious.

Secondly and the biggest reason, when I wear one I immediately begin to obsess over how I look. It’s as though I become enslaved to the idea that I need to look Instagram ready whenever a friend whips out a phone. I am constantly thinking about how my stomach looks. To majority of the world I have a flat stomach and a trim body, but that doesn’t mean I feel confident. As the old saying goes, “Looks can be deceiving,” and it may look like I’m secure in my body image, but self-confidence is an everyday fight.

Now I realize this is an absolute psychological battle for me, but walking into public wearing a skin tight suit regardless of its coverage is a tough battle. We are bombarded with images of the “perfect body” more than any generation before, and I love that there is a movement to be honest about yourself both off and online.

Rather than forcing myself to wear an outfit that makes me want to hide, I throw on what makes me comfortable and focus on moments, memories, and friends. I don’t sweat the fact that I haven’t shaved the back of my legs in two weeks #lifewillgoon. I don’t focus on the “pooch” my stomach makes when I sit down, and I don’t obsess over how large my inner thighs are after 25 years of riding #what’sathighgap?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – just because that girl wears a size 2 and you’re a size 10 doesn’t mean she isn’t dealing with demons; they just come in a different form.

Keep one thing in mind: there will always be pressure to change, but know the difference between what could change and what should change.

Lydia Mindling

Sweet Briar College grad with a soft spot for sassy mares. Though her primary job is aviation, she considers soaring over jumps much cooler than soaring through the skies.

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