A Little Self-Love Never Hurt

Happy Wednesday! It's summer! That meaning it is now swimsuit season. Honestly, if you told me a few years ago I would be at the beach in my swimsuit than I would tell you you are crazy. If you told me I would be taking pictures in that swimsuit on the beach than I would not believe you even more and just laugh in your face. I've come a long way and I'm actually proud of that. I wasn't always this confident and would hide from the beach or if I had no choice than I would cover up hiding my body away from the world. So today's blog post I wanted to talk about body positivity and self-love and how I achieved this. I want to inspire my readers and just show how I learned self confidence. It's been a topic I wanted to discuss more of here on the blog as I do consider myself a plus size fashion blogger and it's been something I'm interested to talk about. I'm also going to be reviewing this swimsuit from Float Swim as well in case you'd like to know more. I just blogged about the outfit portion to this here which is the full look but this is the striped down version. I wanted to blog about the swimsuit alone and discuss this topic. So let's just get on with it and get deep shall we!


How I Became Body Confident

I wasn't always. I was the opposite of body confident not too long ago. I hated the stares, the whispers and the laughing. I've always been paranoid that it was about me when it was probably not but sometimes it was. I would never know. I hated that feeling. As I was growing up I wasn't that big. I was normal size doing normal things like taking dance class 5x a week or sometimes even more. I guess I started getting bigger when I was around 12 maybe and still I wouldn't call me obese yet but I noticed I wasn't as small as my classmates. I was always made fun of because of my curly hair or my nose being too big for my face and even worse my butt was far larger than the rest of me. I discussed my issue with my butt in this post if you want to hear more about it. I was far from confident because of the bullying. Then I grew up and still it didn't help until maybe a year or so ago. I started following a few girls who were so confident in their size and just radiated positivity for their bodies. I'm doing a separate post of my body confident role models so stayed tuned for that. Then I saw a post one of them posted and it stuck with me. I forgot the exact quote but it went something like this:

When you're 80 and in a retirement home looking at your glory days will you be happy? Will you regret wearing that bikini on the beach? Would you look back on it and smile at the silly thought you had debating whether or not you should wear it? Now if you wore that bikini would you be smiling? You would sit there and tell yourself that you should have worn it back then when you're body wasn't perfect but it was perfect enough especially now that you can't really wear one.

That stuck with me and I took a second to think about it. I know when I'm 80 I would like to smile that I wore that swimsuit. I want to look back and not regret my youth and take advantage of the body I have now no matter what state it's in as long as it is healthy and is functioning. Who cares about my thighs or my butt looking big? As long as I enjoyed and have that memory. By that quote I'm not saying an 80 year old can't rock a bikini because if she wants to than go but I know what the quote is trying to say. I tried search for it again but haven't found it so if you see it please leave a comment or link me to it please. I think the quote is trying to say is enjoy yourself now because you don't know what the future will hold and life is short so just do things that make you happy. That is one of the reasons I wore this swimsuit. That is one of the reasons I became body confident. That is one of the reasons I believed in myself.


I spent most of my summer this year at the pool or at the beach. It's my first year in a while being by the water so much and wearing swimsuits. I love the water and always have but as I got bigger I got a bit scared of the way people would think of my body as I wasn't in shape or had the supermodel thinness everyone looked for. During one of my pool visits with my family a few weeks back, I wore another swimsuit actually I was wearing this exact outfit here. I felt comfortable in it and it was a public pool so I wore this mini shorts over the swimsuit. I loved what I was wearing and strutted around having the best time playing with my nieces and nephews in the pool. Than one of my cousin comes around in a t-shirt 2x bigger than her and baggy pants that go past her knee. I offer to take her to the bathroom or the changing rooms but she denies and says she is dressed for the pool already. I asked if she was sure and she said yeah. I then brought it up to the rest of my female cousins sitting around us and asked if they felt like they had to wear baggy clothes. Then I noticed they were all in t-shirts and shorts covering their bodies. My whole family just like me before and maybe that's where I got it but I never noticed. I was the only one in a swimsuit minus my little girl cousin's and nieces. I mean I know I'm the one who is into fashion and dresses up in my family but I just never realized it for some reason. I asked why wouldn't they just do it and gave the whole speech I just wrote above about when will you ever wear a swimsuit. The cousin in the baggy clothes replied, "I wish I had your confidence." That struck me and inspired this blog post.


I mentioned that a few girls helped me and I want to save it for another blog post but I did want to touch on it here a little bit. My philosophy was if they could do it so could I! There were so many other girls who wore bikinis even so why couldn't I. I'm starting off with a one piece but you never know I might slowly transition to crop tops and who knows maybe a bikini in the next few summers.

My first beach shoot was pretty risky at my standards back in the beginning of 2015. I actually started being serious and switching to blogging about my outfits in 2014 though. I was still a bit shy and covered up but was okay to show some leg. I had a sheer beach top with a short sleeve semi-crop underneath that you could kind of see kind of not. If you want to see what I mean than you can see that outfit post. Then I went to a pool and wore a colorful top with my old swimsuit top that was supposed to be a tankini underneath with the same black short shorts which you can see the outfit post. I was actually all about the tankini before I grew self conscious as I wasn't comfortable in a bikini yet and they were very popular that time. Moving on, I became more self confident at a pool part when I wore the tankini top with no coverup on top. I'm not a big fan of my arms so I was really self conscious about them but I still took them and they were better than I expected. I wore a turquoise towel skirt with it but underneath I'm again wearing the black shorts. I loved those shorts and they still are my favorite today. You can find that outfit here. In 2016 I only wore one swimsuit/summer outfit but it was a bit more daring again with me in very short jean shorts for the first time. A new one piece hot pink swimsuit underneath and a pink see through lace crop top in a festival style pool party look. That outfit can be found here. It was one of my faves from that year I wore. Now this year is where it gets exciting and you can see how happy and self confident I am. What I love about fashion blogging and writing about my outfits is you can see my style change and see me evolve to be more confident through the years. I went from my first beach outing to this and that is so nice to compare and look back where I started.


Another reason that lead to me gaining self confidence and self love for myself was acceptance. Who else was going to accept yourself but you. There is this quote that my aunts tell me in Filipino and I always laugh at it. It's pretty much just saying "Don't lift your own boat let someone else do it for you." So meaning don't be too boastful of yourself or don't compliment yourself let others do it. My response back is that my boat is heavy so no one will lift it but me. I guess I'm a little right. If no one is going to compliment you then you should compliment yourself. There is a limit so don't go overboard with it but no one but you is there to build yourself up. I always think about that and it does really help.

In the moment while taking these pictures I felt so happy and free. There were people around but they just went on their way and didn't care. Sometimes it was all in my head. It is very empowering and an act of self love for myself to do this shoot. I could have left the outfit with the skirt on and that was it but I challenged myself and took the skirt off. This is my body. I'm happy with it and I know there is room for improvements but I accept it. My boat is my boat and it is a happy boat in this gorgeous swimsuit. I feel so weird comparing myself to a boat but let's just blame the Filipino saying for it. 


One more thing you might be wondering is in my pictures I might not seem my size. Over the years I've learned how to angle myself and make myself seem smaller than what I actually am. That doesn't mean I am faking it or ashamed of my true figure but I don't think anyone who is smaller or bigger will pick poses where they seem unflattering. This shot above is an in-between one for me. I was half tempted to add it and half deciding if I should keep it out. As I wanted to talk about angles and editing than this shot was a perfect example. I'm usually one to kind of suck my stomach in a bit and angle myself a bit more but I didn't and this is what came from that. It's not as bad and I'm not cringing at it but it is a bit of a shot I would have cropped. In some cases I am so tempted to just Photoshop myself and be happy but than I wouldn't feel genuine and let my readers down when I swore I would never do any sort of body modification editing on my pictures. I never do and at times it seems like the only option to tone my stomach and make my thighs and arms look smaller but I promise I never have. So many publications do it and I even took a class with a fashion photographer who showed us how exactly to manipulate it and add shadows and practically do the whole big bang of it all where it would be the final cover image. I was shocked and honestly really fascinated by it but seeing it firsthand makes it so much more real and unpleasant. The teacher was against heavy editing like that but to feed himself and have a home over his head he said he just listens to the bosses. I get that and it sells but I'm glad that it is more recognized nowadays that it is edited and models don't genuinely look like that. Maybe one day it will stop.


 Swimsuit Review

You cannot believe how happy I was to get this for my summer holiday. I saw this swimsuit brand on twitter and loved the designs featured. So I clicked and I was brought to Float Swimwear where they had such pretty swimsuits that were in trend too. I was so tempted but honestly I thought I would be disappointed to find their sizes only go up to large. To my surprise I go to the sizing and all of a sudden hallelujah they go all the way to 3x. I fell even more in love and literally screeched with excitement. A pretty bathing suit that could fit? Yes I'll take three! I didn't but I did have another style in mind. I added it to my wish list for now and waited to get other stuff first for my holiday. I checked back maybe a month later which was a few weeks before I left and I saw they had new styles in and is it possible to fall more in love? I saw this wine colored off the shoulder swimsuit and I was ready to buy and the sad part is it was out of stock. They had another style in the blush color and one left in my size so I just bit the bullet and bought it as I loved the style and I wanted it for that despite the color. Then I got it in the mail and it was presented so beautifully and done. The packaging was so pretty and they present their items so quick. It had very quick shipping as well so it came in town before I left for the trip. The color on the website was pretty pale and I was worried it would be see through when it got wet. However in person it was a pretty blush pink which is my favorite color and holding it up with the flowy sleeve details made me love my decision even more to get that color. I went swimming a few times in it in the sea and in the pool and it is not see through and the color hasn't faded.  It is a bit on the pricey side since I've never paid so much on a swimsuit before but it was totally worth the investment and I am getting such use out of it and I didn't think I would. You can always go and check out their swimsuits which have an amazing style and size range here. I talked about the hat I am wearing in the outfit post here.


That was my really deep blog post. I enjoyed writing this and hope to do more post like it. Please let me know if you want to see more or request a topic in this category. While writing this it did make me miss summer as it is currently raining and so gloomy and I want summer back and to be on the beach again. I'm so glad I got to open up and write a post like this. It is scary as it is my first time posing in a swimsuit but at the same time inspiring. So if you are kind of intimidated this summer to wear one I hope this gives you a little push to wear it and flaunt it. I want to lead by example. I hope you gained a bit of confidence from this and got to learn a bit about me and my self love journey. I guess that is it but please let me know if you want to see more of this kind of post and have a lovely Wednesday!

          
What are your thoughts on self love and have you practiced it?