Wearing my bikini in public

Wearing my Bikini in Public

 

Nikki from Styling You published a series of posts for Resort Week recently.  She shared her fabulous post entitled How to feel good in a swimsuit, suggesting we all build a bridge and get over ourselves, along with some excellent tips.  We don’t wear our swimwear in public because we are worried about being judged.  As Nikki sagely observed, it is mostly us doing the judging.  Of ourselves.  Very harshly.

As part of Resort Week on Styling You, Nikki shared my post entitled Can you wear a bikini in public?  I backed Nikki up 100% with her body confidence message, sharing my experience of wearing my bikini in public for the first time in my 30s.

Lo and behold, Nikki realised she probably should go and “put her money where her body-loving mouth was” – and wear swimsuits in public.  Well, more than in public.  On the internet.  Click here to read the fabulous Styling You swimsuit edition where Nikki woman-ed up and looked amazeballs in a selection of glamorous swimwear.

I’ve been having the same thoughts for a while – I should woman up too and share my swimsuit escapades.  I’m OK with wearing my bikini in public, but am I ok with sharing images of me wearing my bikini in public?

I’m 40 years old.  I had a caesarean section and a 10 pound baby.  I’ve got chronic oedema (terrible water retention).  I have PCOS.  I have an autoimmune disorder that saw me with a disabled parking pass for years as my mobility was so restricted.  Some days, I couldn’t get out of bed without a huge deal of effort.  Exercise was above and beyond.  I had to put my child into daycare for one day a week just so I could rest enough to look after him for the rest of the week.  That didn’t do my muscle tone any favours.  I’ve got cellulite and stretch marks and spider veins and scars.  I’ve got wibbly wobbly bits and lady lumps.

I’ve also got a huge dose of “Who Cares?”.  I’ve got confidence.  I am smart enough to realise that a bikini with a supportive bra-like top and some high waisted bikini pants is actually quite flattering – and a hell of a lot easier to go to the loo in than a one piece suck ’em in suit with unflattering boardies over the top.  I missed out on so much life – most of my 30s – when I suffered a debilitating chronic illness.  I’m not missing out on any more just because my body isn’t “perfect”.

Deep breath … here we go.

 

wearing my bikini in public, wearing my bikini in public

 

I’m in the sunshine at my favourite Sydney beach.  I’m smiling at the gorgeous man I love.  I’m being silly and having fun.  I felt like a 50s babe!

I’m wearing a gorgeous limited edition Beyond The Sea Swimwear bikini. The Underwire Bikini Top with the Skirt Pant.  Click here to read my Beyond the Sea Swimwear review.

It was a beautiful day for a family trip to Balmoral Beach.  I am not a beach fan – far too much sand and moving water for my liking – but the charming Balmoral Beach gets me every time.  Quality real estate pervery, excellent coffee, fabulous scenery and a gentle slope to the beach with relatively calm water.  The Blokefolk tell me there is also excellent fish viewing, but that involves putting your head under the water and that’s a step too far for me!

A little story to illustrate how other people’s opinions can affect you – or not.  It’s up to you.  Do you really care what other people you will never see again in your life have to say?

As I was leaving the water to fetch coffee and a hot chocolate for Boyo, I overheard a group of chaps setting up their kayaks.  They nodded towards me (discreetly, they thought) and said that one of their guys wasn’t likely to leave the beach now.  I chose to take it as a compliment, smiled inwardly and continued on my way.  Just quietly, I was quite chuffed!

A short time later, having had fun on the beach with my Blokefolk, engaged in some people watching and ogled some very expensive yachts, I overheard a comment made by a passing woman to her friend.  Pointing me out, one of them muttered to the other a comment about my body being the reason tankinis were invented.

I could have been crushed.  I could have wrapped my Turkish towel from neck to knee and scuttled shamefacedly back to the car.

Instead, I stood up straighter, smiled at them and tied my Turkish towel around my waist.  I didn’t hide my (apparently offending) tummy nor cover up my boobs.  I chose to ignore it.  What did I care what two Mean Girls had to say?  I have to admit I was shocked and a bit taken aback.  Rudeness of the highest order.  That’s their problem, not mine.

This experience actually made me more determined to wear my bikini.  In public.  Again.  My body isn’t perfect.  Far from it.  It’s let me down a hell of a lot over the years.  I’ve always said if I was a horse, I’d be a glue stick by now.  But it is still here.  It is still keeping me going.  I’m still loving, living, laughing and having fun.

At the end of the day, isn’t that the most important thing?

 

Why am I sharing a photo of me wearing my bikini in public?

I’m still not quite sure why myself!  I think the main reason is that I wanted to back up my own words by “putting my money where my body-loving mouth was”, to borrow a phrase from Nikki.

I don’t usually get to see women who look like me in fashion magazines.  I can see very tall, very thin models, and I can see plus size models – who are frequently very tall and beautifully proportioned – but I don’t see too many average size, average height women.  I think it is important for the everyday woman to see everyday images.  My image of me wearing my bikini in public might make you think, hey, if she can do it, so can I.  It might make you think yuk – but that’s your issue, not mine.

There are so many restrictions on us in our daily lives – including the ones we put on ourselves.  I’m proud to stand up and say I’m not perfect but I’m proud to be me.  I’m loved by some very special people, and am honoured to have some amazing women in my life that I call my Gorgeous Girls.

I’d like to thank Nikki for the opportunity to write for Styling You – I still pinch myself every time – and for the fabulous body confidence, body loving message she stands firm on.

Rachel from Redcliffe Style shared her swimsuit feelings (and a stunning photo) here and inspired me to actually hit that publish button.

If the only thing putting you off wearing your bikini in public (or your togs, swimmers, bathers, cossie et al) is worry about what others will think about you, ask yourself this one question.  Why do you care?  You are way too fabulous to worry about Mean Girls!

 

Kimba Likes Image Credits

  • Images by Kim-Marie Williams

Kimba Likes Keeping it Real Policy

  • Click here to read the Kimba Likes Keeping it Real Policy
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  • I received Beyond the Sea swimwear as a gift
  • I was not remunerated for this post.
  • You can trust Kimba Likes to keep it real.  Just how I roll, baby.

 

  • […] long ago, I sucked it up (literally!), put my money where my body lovin’ mouth was and shared my bikini style.  I just don’t think the world needs to see me in my lingerie […]ReplyCancel

  • Lizzy Duggan - 5 February 2014 - 5.44 pm

    Gorgeous photo! Love the bikini! Xxxx Lizzy Duggan ReplyCancel

  • The One With Me. In a Swimsuit. - 24 January 2014 - 7.19 am

    […] blame chain* starts with Nikki from Styling You. Then there was Rachel from Redcliffe Style. And finally Kim-Marie from Kimba […]ReplyCancel

  • […] from Kimbalikes also rocked her fabulous fifties style bikini on Balmoral beach – she also looked […]ReplyCancel

  • Lana (Sharpest Pencil) - 6 January 2014 - 11.00 am

    Wow Kimba you look stunning, happy, radiant and just rocking the beach. Your attitude is even more beautifulReplyCancel

  • Beyond the Sea Swimwear | Kimba Likes - 4 January 2014 - 6.47 am

    […] in case you want to see what an everyday sized woman looks like in Beyond the Sea Swimwear, click here to see, um, me wearing my bikini in […]ReplyCancel

  • Janet from Redland City Living - 31 December 2013 - 11.14 am

    I’ll bet those two mean girls didn’t have model perfect bodies either … so who are they to throw stones? You look happy and fun and relaxed which is how you should look at the beach! Thank you for keeping it real!ReplyCancel

  • Ingrid @ IngStyle - 31 December 2013 - 9.11 am

    Well done Kimba! You look amazing. I love seeing people of different shapes and sizes at the beach because we are all beautiful and our bodies are doing incredible things. The retro bikini suits you to a tee too xxxReplyCancel

  • katerina - 30 December 2013 - 10.47 pm

    wow…..wow….wow…… you are stunning…… and you are channeling that retro 50’s vibe amazingly……just beautiful …..yes you are…..xxx wow again….ReplyCancel

  • Nikki | Styling You - 30 December 2013 - 10.46 am

    Go girlfriend! You rock that swimsuit and own the beach. xReplyCancel

  • Steph Allen - 30 December 2013 - 10.11 am

    Gorgeous and brave, that is all 🙂ReplyCancel

  • mamastylista - 30 December 2013 - 9.30 am

    You look amazing my darling. Wish I was at the beach with you to give it to those mean girls on your behalf just quietly! You’re right it’s their problem not yours. You are beyond fabulous. xxReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 30 December 2013 - 7.10 pm

      Thank you Deauvanne. Those mean girls weren’t worthy of any further attention xReplyCancel

      • mamastylista - 30 December 2013 - 7.32 pm

        Indeed. xReplyCancel

  • shoppegirls - 30 December 2013 - 7.52 am

    Well done beautiful lady. Wow it takes a lot of confidence and finesse to wear a bikini whether you have a fab body or not. You look fabulous and go you for taking that step. We all need to stop hiding our bodies away and do what we feel we would like to. If you want to wear a bikini then do it at the end of the day who cares what others think or say that is their opinion and all women need to support each other and lift each others spirit and confidence high.

    I have only just started sharing pictures of myself on my blog and feel so self conscious all the time. But with the positivity that comes through with the lovely comments just boosts my self esteem and I feel more confident.

    Thank you so much for sharing. Vicki xxReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 30 December 2013 - 7.11 pm

      We are all about confidence and loving what we have here at Kimba Likes. Glad you’re increasing your confidence too xReplyCancel

  • mumabulous - 30 December 2013 - 7.47 am

    You are a gorgeous hour glass. Wear the heck outta that bikini this summer!
    BTW: An admiring nod from a man trumps a bitchy comment from a woman any day!ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 30 December 2013 - 7.08 pm

      Thanks Mumabulous! I’ve packed another bikini for our NYE mini holiday. I totes agree, by the way. The Welshman made the same observation.ReplyCancel

  • bbeingcool - 30 December 2013 - 7.28 am

    Go YOU! You look fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • Diana - 30 December 2013 - 12.41 am

    You look fab!!! I think this obsession with everyone having to be a size ten to wear a bikini is so australian. I have just been on holiday to Thailand where women of all shapes and sizes and age were in bikinis and honesty looked fabulous and confident! I say you also do! I think women need to support each other (like you ad Nikki) and encourage it so girls feel comfortable enough to enjoy this beautiful beach country we live in! Big love to you Kimba! ReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 30 December 2013 - 7.12 pm

      Right back at you Diana! I was so inspired by a lovely elderly lady I met in San Diego who was rocking her bikini in her 70s.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Random Acts Of Zen - 30 December 2013 - 12.12 am

    Just fabulous, lovely! You look gorgeous, and your post is inspiring. Just today I though “what the heck” and put a photo of me in swimmers on IG.
    Yay for us real women xxReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 30 December 2013 - 7.13 pm

      YAY for you Lisa! I’m going to go and hunt that baby down. I think every woman is real – just some of us are a little more real than others 😉ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - 29 December 2013 - 11.51 pm

    Àmazing! I love your brilliant words and your fabulous photo. I am in awe of you. ReplyCancel

  • Bev | Iris May Style - 29 December 2013 - 11.46 pm

    Wow – what a honey! You look fab-u-lous. Be proud of yourself because you are real and you are loved – two of the most important things in the world 🙂 xReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 30 December 2013 - 7.14 pm

      Definitely real and definitely loved and that is awesome. Thanks for the compliment! xReplyCancel

  • Rachel from Redcliffe Style - 29 December 2013 - 10.45 pm

    You look amazing!! I love your work. Rachel xxReplyCancel

  • Sonia from Sonia Styling - 29 December 2013 - 9.58 pm

    I adore you more than I can explain. You’ve instilled me with more body-loving-confidence in a few short months than I’ve ever been able to acquire in my 29 years of life. You’re gorgeous! Your husband loves you, your son loves you and a whole lot of us womenfolk love you. Cheers to you, darling! xReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 30 December 2013 - 7.15 pm

      Oh, thank you my love. Did I tell you I’m officially adopting you as my younger sister? Have always wanted one xxxReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - 29 December 2013 - 9.48 pm

    I love this post Kimba. I love your honesty, your clever wit, your poise and your wisdom.
    And that fabulous body of yours that has lived, loved life and given you your Boyo. xxxReplyCancel

  • Yvonne Duke - 29 December 2013 - 9.27 pm

    You look fab !!! Sad to say a lot of us care too much about what other people think, and we shouldn’t !! And why would those Mean Girls be so rude about you ?!!! ReplyCancel

  • Norlin Mustapha - 29 December 2013 - 9.08 pm

    Fab post and you remind me of those 1950’s pin up girls. Classy bikini btw and you know that it does flatter your body.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Mckenzie - 29 December 2013 - 8.53 pm

    Great post Kim-Marie I find nothing offensive with your body ,you are a real woman with real curves and how dare mean girls say that how cruel,I see few women in a cossie in their 40s and 50s but the ones I have seen look amazing ,thank you for being brave,50s bombshell xxReplyCancel

  • Emily @ The Beetle Shack - 29 December 2013 - 8.49 pm

    WHAT. A. BABE.

    Seriously Kimba, I love everything about you.

    xReplyCancel

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