When summer comes, many women dread the influx of swimwear ads showing off “perfect” bodies — defined abs, toned arms, and shapely legs. Rarely do they show women with curves, stretch marks, and cellulite.

Thankfully, things are slowly changing, with small businesses including realistic body types in their ads. This helps women gain confidence and higher self-esteem. But still, it’s hard to be confident in a swimsuit when all your life, you’ve been made to believe that it’s not for you.

Well, the truth is that every body is a beach bod. Slender women don’t have more fun in the water than curvy ones. The beach doesn’t repel those with imperfections, so ignore what the media makes you believe. It’s not that your body isn’t ready for the beach; instead, the beach isn’t prepared for you.

Without further ado, here are the steps to gaining confidence in swimwear:

1. Don’t Go on a Diet if You Don’t Need It

Sometimes, no matter how healthy your diet is, you won’t develop six-pack abs or get rid of your cellulite. And that’s okay; an imperfect body is normal.

If going on a diet will make you feel better, ensure that you won’t deprive your body of essential nutrients. Losing weight doesn’t necessarily require eating less. Often, it just requires you to replace unhealthy food with vegetables, fruits, or whole foods. And of course, drinking lots of water is a must.

If you don’t want to go on a diet, that’s also fine. What’s more important is that you feel healthy and strong. Watch out for your mental health, too. Obsessing over what to eat or what not to eat can be emotionally taxing. Just listen to your body and do what makes you feel good.

2. Pick the Best Swimsuit for Your Body Type

To look your best, choose a swimsuit that complements your body type. Though you can wear anything you want, choosing one can feel impossible for someone who hasn’t worn a swimsuit yet. If you’re precisely that type of person, here’s a short guide on swimsuit types for you:

  • High-waist bikini: best for pear-shaped bodies
  • High-cut one-piece: best for pear-shaped bodies
  • Classic one-piece: best for pear-shaped, hourglass, big-busted, and athletic bodies
  • Classic silhouette: best for small-busted bodies
  • Push-up bikini tops: best for small-busted bodies
  • Deep, V-neck one-piece: best for small-busted bodies
  • Wide-strap scoop bikini top: best for big-busted bodies
  • Wrap one-piece: best for curvy bodies

3. Start Your Hair Removal and Whitening Procedures

Going to a hair removal salon may help level up your swimwear confidence further. Waxing, sugaring, or IPL treatments smooth out the skin where hair used to be, making you more excited to wear your swimsuit. Plus, for many women, having their unwanted hair removed is an important milestone. Their first experience is one they’d never forget.

After your hair removal procedure, start with whitening the areas your swimsuit may show. The most important place to treat is your bikini line. Thankfully, you don’t have to visit a salon to have that addressed. Effective whitening products for the bikini line are available in grocery stores and online. You can use the same product to whiten your underarms as well.

4. “Practice” in Your Swimwear

To avoid feeling too exposed when you wear your swimsuit for the first time, wear it at home first. Yes, do your daily routine in your swimwear. This will help you get used to the feeling of swimwear on your body. Do it for a couple of days until you stop minding about your exposed body. By the time you hit the beach, you’d wear your swimsuit like it’s your everyday outfit.

5. Don’t Force Yourself to Wear It If You Don’t Want To

This might be the most important step of all. If you don’t fare well in any kind of swimwear, don’t force yourself to wear it. At the end of the day, that’s your body, so do what makes it comfortable. If a swimsuit isn’t serving you well, it’s okay to choose another outfit. What’s more important is having as much fun as your desire.

Your friends may make you feel bad about forgoing the swimwear, telling you that you’d miss out on feeling more liberated. But liberty and empowerment can also be found in comfort. It takes courage to resist peer pressure and admit that you don’t like to do something your friends like.

Just remember that no matter what you choose to swim in, your body is beautiful. No type of clothing should define what makes it good or not.

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