Taking in all the sea vibes by the beach, on my first day in Sri Lanka.
Photos by me at Mount Lavinia Hotel, Colombo
I bought my first bikini when I was ten. Correction, my mom bought it for me. I have a very clear memory of the whole thing. I had just won a school-wide spelling bee competition, & my proud mother took me to Shopper’s Stop to treat me. We went to the kid’s apparel section & there was a new line of Barbie swimwear (growing up, my love for Barbie was very strong). Of course I wanted the maroon string two piece. I loved that one & wore it for years.
The last time I wore a bikini before this, was maybe four years ago. After college came a bit of weight gain (which I was mostly ok with, at least this would stop the aunties from asking me if my mom didn’t feed me) but I suddenly started becoming more aware of every perceived flaw on my body. Some of them, like stretch marks, were obviously new. Some others, like the lower back hair, darker underarms & thighs, I wasn’t sure if they just happened or I just noticed them. The one thing I knew was, I’m not going to wear a bikini anymore.
And I still called myself body positive somehow. The main narrative in my head was – I’ll get in shape, then I’ll go to the beach / pool. I’ll get my tummy flat again, then I’ll be comfortable. 2016 was a year of so many personal revelations, with one of them being – I’m a hypocritical idiot. How could I use my platform to spread the message of body positivity if I myself didn’t truly believe in it?
I took these photos on my first day of a short but wonderful trip to Colombo with Fashion Market LK. I was in the most beautiful hotel room seeing nothing but ocean for miles. Putting on two piece swimwear is nothing revolutionary & that’s why I actually procrastinated on this post for a while. Should I just put up the pictures & not write anything? Why am I politicising putting a swimsuit on my own body? But I finally decided I wanted to write this because the personal milestone I conquered that day is more important to me than these pictures. 🙂 And the only reason I’m sharing this, is because if I can get here, you can. No matter what size you are. No matter what shape. No matter what your personal issues with your body are. Don’t let that stop you from wearing whatever the fuck you want to wear. It’s not going to be easy to feel confident right away if you have body image issues. It’s something you work at continually.
These are snapshots of what I looked like in October 2016. I was 24 (I still am) I had red hair, I was on my second solo trip. It was my first day in Sri Lanka. I was killing it, & I was happy. Sure my body isn’t perfect. But this is what my body looks like. Uneven skin tone, belly fat & all (also makeup swatches on my arm, lol).
And this was the day I discovered how to look bomb in a swimsuit. Find a swimsuit you like (it’s pretty important because I’ve bought many I still wouldn’t feel comfortable going out in, ugh). Go to the beach / pool & just enjoy yourself. Oh & it’s ok if you suck your tummy in for photos, ain’t nothing wrong with that! x