I hate the words “bikini body.” Usually those articles only tout the best exercises to produce a six-pack before your next vacation or how to spray tan your way to a sexier bikini body. For most of us, nothing is going to change the reality that you’re gonna be rolling out there, in the equivalent of a bra and panties, for the whole world to see. We all have our body issues; there will always be that part of you that you’ve been self-conscious about since you were sixteen. So to me, getting “bikini ready” means getting yourself ready to feel confident and gorgeous on that beach. Here are three things to consider:
You might be thinking either, “thanks, Captain Obvious” or “way to shamelessly plug your own products." But seriously, I’ve come across so many women who are wearing the wrong size or style of bikini and don’t realize it. You’ve seen her, and at one point have probably also been her: constantly pulling and tugging at her swimsuit because it is too big and she’s trying to stop it from falling down, or its too small and she’s trying to keep her boobs from oozing out or bottoms from digging into her crotch. You should not be spending your day readjusting your swimsuit because something doesn’t feel right (and guess what, when you’re constantly focused on that one bit, you’re inadvertently drawing everyone else’s attention to it too). When trying on your swimsuit, watch out for any elastic bands or underwire that might be digging into your body uncomfortably – trust me, it’s not going to “get better after your break it in”. The top should sit flush against your chest without gaping or squeezing. Look for suits that have as many adjustable elements as possible so if your weight fluctuates a little you have a bit of give. And don’t cheap out and compromise quality for price, as these are the suits that often don’t have elastic reinforcements or proper support for the gals (think of that $10 suit you bought on the beach in Phuket that happens to expand every time you get in the water). Once you have a swimsuit that you can forget you’re wearing, you can just focus on having fun.
You know that moment – when you plonk down your towel and get ready to take off your cover-up and lie down. Everyone’s watching; all those people with toner legs, perkier boobs and flatter tummies are secretly eyeing you from behind their shades, judging you because of your pale, flabby body. Well guess what? Those people are too busy sucking in their own guts and readjusting their own suits to be worried about you. The ones who are watching? They’re probably wishing their butts look as good as yours does. Everyone has body issues and we’re all narcissistic at heart, so no one is actually thinking about you because they’re too worried about themselves to have even noticed you in the first place.
I’ll never forget my first trip to the South of France as a recently graduated backpacker. I was enjoying a nice lie on the beach, watching the sea break and roll in front of me. I fell asleep, and when I sat up again, I found that a local lady had set up right in front of me, and really there wasn’t so much space between me and the water in the first place. She was at least 70, totally bronzed and completely topless (which one did in France back then, when people weren’t so worried about the skin cancer and all that.) She smiled at me and continued her basking, completely not caring that one boob was pointing North and one was pointing East. What I learned? Whatever you’ve got, flaunt it. Confidence looks sexy on everyone, so don’t give a flying fig about what anyone else thinks.
And lastly, bikini ready also means getting your skin ready for any exposure to the sun. Grab a waterproof SPF of at least 30 and apply liberally. A nice tan today is not worth wrinkles and (eek) melanoma tomorrow.
What do you think? Are you ready to take it all off?
Throwing a party? Don’t just whip something up with no thought.
Good parties, even casual pool-side ones, start with careful thought and attention to detail. And food. Lots of food.