Updated: Aug 26
Today was a big day for me. I'm going on an amazing trip to Thailand, Bali and Singapore in a couple weeks..and I love the ocean. I am practically a mermaid; But one of my biggest self confidence issues is swim suits. I mean, I feel like that's something a lot of us struggle with. The "beach body" concept. The whole idea of your body must look like X Y Z to wear this or that.. That, depending on your body shape, color, size, there are things you "can" and "can't" wear. Then comes our own personal bias of ourselves.. "oh I love that swim suit! But I could never wear that." "I couldn't ever pull that off." "it looks way better on them than it would on me."
Well to hell with that! You know what's annoying? One piece swim suits that feel like tents. Like I'm draped in a wet towel. It seriously takes so long for them to dry, when my friends two piece suits dry so fast. Not to mention I bet it's so freeing to feel the water gliding against the soft skin on your sides, and tummy. But I couldn't do it. I was terrified. I didn't want people to laugh at me, say things, point like I'm some sort of beached whale. I just wanted to feel happy, and beautiful, like the girls in the photos. You know? The ones laughing with all their friends, not having a care in the world.
Then I realized.. They hear the same voices in their head too. I bet they get nervous, those girls in the photos, laughing like they don't have a care in the world. But that's the point.. In order to have fun, love yourself, and be comfortable, I have to step out of my comfort zone. So I finally did.
I saw this incredible woman on instagram, Chantel (@voyaging_vagabond) hanging out on the beach, in this brightly stripped colorful bikini. That's when I knew, "dammit Alexis, you need to do this! you CAN do this. You CAN be the girl in the photos, laughing, having fun." And after all of the weeks I've been obsessing over finding the "perfect" swim suit I'd look good in, I found one I LOVED, But wouldn't normally be "brave" enough to wear. I bought the damn thing.
It arrived today.. I've been so anxious about getting the package. Hoping for success, but prepared for failure.. To be okay with not being okay with wearing it; But I knew I would have to push myself.
I got home, Turned on Lizzo's song "Good As Hell" to get pumped up, ripped it out of the package, and I swear my eyes bulged out of my head practically. "It's a real bikini top! oh my goodness! It ties in the back, and the neck! How will it even hold my boobs!?" Were the first hysterical words out of my lips. I'm just standing there holding this thing, so alien to me, in my hands. A bikini..and it's mine? Wow, this is different.
I'm new to the bikini game, so my amazing friend helped me tie it in the back. I took a deep breath and looked in the mirror. Of course the first thing I begin to focus on is all the flaws, "ugh my side rolls stick out from the strap." I immediately just say "nope, no, I don't like it." Starting to shut down.
But then I remembered, no.. I need to try harder, to look harder, to see my beauty. So I tried again, I looked harder this time. Smiling at the fun tropical print with parrots, actually impressed by how awesome my chest looked in a bikini (yowza!) and how the high waisted bottoms hugged my hips. I felt good..Vulnerable, but good.
"You look beautiful. You're so brave.. You inspire me." are the words my friend said to me today. That's when I knew I had to be brave again, and turned to her, grabbed the robe, put on my boots and headed outside! It was time for an impromptu bikini photoshoot on her iPhone in the woods.
Why? Because, I want being Brave for loving yourself to be a thing of the past, I want loving yourself, wearing a bikini, wearing that crop top, to be the norm.
I'm not going to lie.. I cried after taking these pictures, And I seriously can't believe I'm posting these on the internet right now..My chest is a little heavy with anxiety. But this is for more than me.. This is for us. For everyone. For every single person that has ever been told, or felt like they couldn't do something, or wear something, because they didn't fit some sort of "standard." Be it a standard society has put on us, or one we have burdened ourself with.
All bodies are beautiful, all bodies are worthy, we are all powerful.
Most of all.. We are all unique. So thank you, for being you.