Sit tight — it’s about to get real.
Do you think you have a bikini body?
Not tomorrow. Not 2 months from now. Not 5 months from now. But NOW?
Have you looked in the mirror lately and said “YASSSS! I can’t wait to put on this two-piece!?” If not, sis, it may be time for a talk. Now a little disclaimer: No one HAS to wear a bikini. If you don’t want to, cool. If you’ve never had any desire to wear one — you do you boo! However, if you’ve always wanted to wear one, but never quite felt, “ready,” THIS IS FOR YOU.
When I was younger, all I wanted to wear was a bikini (a red string bikini to be exact, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). Disregarding the fact that bikinis weren’t always seen as “modest” enough, especially when the Lord decided to bless you abundantly up top, I never really felt I could wear a bikini.
Now the desire to wear one wasn’t just because young girls my age or grown women who I admired wore them; it was simply because I wanted to! For some reason or another, bikinis represented a certain level of freedom I never quite seemed to be able to attain. I loved the idea of not having a one-piece stick to my body, and I loved the sensation of feeling the water or the sun freshly hit my skin.
But alas, I was overweight.
No, not just in my head. According to all the doctors visits, the numbers on the scale, the visuals in the media and members of my family, I was overweight. And at least from what I can recall, I rarely ever saw anyone who looked like me wearing bikini freely — without ridicule or judgement.
Especially not a red string bikini.
As I got older, I’d slowly see the number of curvier women living their best life in a two-piece rise. Though they often had the “perfect” coke bottle shaped figure, it made me happy to at least see progress. A few years ago, I finally found the courage to buy a multicolored high waisted bikini from ASOS (which is still heavily in my rotation today).
I was terrified. And reluctant. And FREE. Before sheepishly throwing my mesh cover-up back on, I felt momentary freedom.
Yes, I know this sounds dramatic. (No, I don’t care.)
Fast forward to a month or so ago, I was filled with joy when I saw that one of my favorite models, Denise Mercedes, was collaborating with Rebdolls (a size-inclusive brand that I truly adore) on a collection that included a red string bikini — which was also quite reasonably priced I might add. Although funny enough most others at the launch party tried to convince me to buy the “mimosa” bikini, I knew deep down I was not leaving that store without the red one.
So yesterday, June 19, 2018, I finally wore that red string bikini. And let me tell you — it was terrifying.
I’m not kidding when I say I was 2 seconds from having a panic attack several times throughout the day.
I worried about how I’d look. I worried about all of my cellulite. I worried about all of the jiggle. I worried about what others would think (let the record show: nobody cared). I definitely worried about how I’d look on camera. I could probably list another 20 things I worried about — but you get the point.
But guess what? I survived.
I put a red string bikini on and the world kept turning. Life went on. (Go figure, right?) And through my utter discomfort, I discovered a new level of freedom: The freedom to exist as you are and enjoy life in the present.
Yes, I could have waited for my belly to get flatter, my rolls to disappear and my body to become more toned. But here’s the thing: I could have also died tomorrow.
As drastic as that may sound, tomorrow is literally not promised. We have no idea what the future holds! So why waste any second of it worrying? Why not just do things that help us taste freedom? Why not just LIVE the life we desire NOW, rather than wait until we’re “ready?” Why not just wear the bikini?
Honestly, “ready” is overrated anyway. And it’s more like a mirage than reality in my opinion. Sometimes we need a push, a “JUST DO IT!” from your tribe, or simply a deep yearning down in your soul to live life more abundantly.
In the past year or so, I’ve made it my mission to consistently do the things that scare me — and life has never been more fulfilling! I urge you this week to do the same. Even if it’s a “small” thing. Because those small things turn into bigger things, and before you know it, freedom becomes more than just a habit — it becomes a lifestyle. And maybe, just maybe, wearing bikinis will become a part of your lifestyle.
Even when you’re bloated. Even when you’re self- conscious. Even when you’re jiggly. Even when you’ve just eaten Popeyes.
Always, simply because you feel like it.
I hope that sharing a small snippet of my life helps you or someone else today. I hope it serves as some encouragement for a young girl or a well-seasoned woman to own their own unique bikini body. I hope it reminds someone that you can simultaneously work on your own particular body goals (mine is strength!) as well as love it through the changes. Oh, and I hope it also serves as a PSA that me and my curves, dark skin and afro out are now, have always been, and will always be beautiful.
Light & love,