A note from Rosie on “bikini bodies”
The other day, while waiting for the plane to Heathrow to take off, I was doing what most of us do in that situation: scrolling through Instagram. There were lots of summery shots at the pool and the beach, and I noticed #bikinibody on a few photos. As the flight attendant asked passengers to turn off electronics, I put my phone into airplane mode. But I couldn’t get that phrase, “bikini body,” out of my mind. What, exactly, does that mean?
For everyone who has been working hard to reach a personal fitness goal, I applaud you. Genuinely—it’s something to be proud of. But when it comes to a “bikini body,” the notion that continues to ring clear and true within myself, my colleagues, and everyone I’ve met in the beauty industry, is that the confidence to flaunt anything comes from within.
The confidence to flaunt anything comes from within.
I know what you might be thinking: Easy for her to say. I fully acknowledge that discussing this subject might seem a bit rich, coming as it does from someone whose job involves modeling swimsuits. Fair enough. Admittedly, I’m not one to shy away from posting a bikini picture or a lingerie shot to Instagram—because if I’m really feeling myself in those photos, it’s just that simple, and I think every woman should be able to share when she feels great about herself.
Still, those photos only tell part of the story. My whole life has been a learning curve when it comes to understanding my relationship with my body. Confidence is a constant work in progress. I don’t think it ever gets all figured out, wrapped up, and filed away in a drawer never to be thought of again because the task is complete. It’s something I have to work at. Something that is evolving, just the way my body is.
If you’re like me (and I’ve chatted with enough women to know that in this aspect, you likely are) you are constantly bombarded with a societal ideal of perfection. I feel the pressure as well—even more so after having a baby and witnessing my body change. Strangers scrutinize and comment on it, too. If I’m photographed walking to my car after hitting the gym, for instance, the accompanying headline is often about me “showing off my body.”
From my perspective, bodies should be appreciated—not compared, dissected, and ranked. That starts with the internal conversations we have with ourselves. If you dive deep into the #bikinibody hashtag, it’s easy to believe that “everyone” has hairless, poreless skin and a cellulite-free, gravity-defying bum. I’d never shout from my soapbox that those ideals aren’t pretty to look at, but I am here to discredit the smoke and mirrors. We all love to feel beautiful. I’m simply urging us to do that by being the best version of ourselves. You know, the version at home, having a laugh with friends without lighting and filters. Or the version you might get on vacation, when you ask a stranger who doesn’t know your angles to take your photo.
The journey of self-discovery begins with loving yourself.
The journey of self-discovery begins with loving yourself. I feel my best when I am taking care of myself. When I’m eating well. Discovering amazing new products. Feeling myself become stronger with workouts that I enjoy, not suffer through. Doing the best I can to care for my skin, but not stressing about doll-like perfection.
Early on in my career, I received countless tips on terribly unhealthy ways to lose weight to fit a certain cookie-cutter body type. Today, on this bright and sunny day, I’m merely reminding you that being easy on yourself, loving yourself, and doing your best is your ideal summer prep.
My advice for getting a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. Let’s go.
Collages by @labyrinthofcollages.