It is that first walk of the holiday season, down to the sea, in your swimwear which can feel so exposed and “naked”.
Even if it is a well tried and tested costume and you believe it suits you, it can still make you feel vulnerable or unsure.
Having just come back from a beach holiday in Portugal with my sister, I was interested to observe how our seaside conversation tends to be a lot about bodies! I was very aware, in a non-judgemental way, of the variety of bodies and attitudes towards semi-nakedness.
We all have insecurities about our bodies, particularly if they are not the ones we used to have. The natural ageing process changes the body of course, and childbirth leaves it’s mark, literally: stretch-marks, scarring, looser skin.
However, counterbalancing that, I was interested and charmed to see what might be called “Pregnancy Pride”! There was a woman standing out on the beach in the full-flush of pregnancy. She had adopted what might be termed a “power pose”, standing with hands on her hips, tummy thrusting forward, surveying the beach and totally comfortable with whoever may be surveying her.
This is a special time, and the only time, when women may feel their weight is totally validated. This is not weight from over-indulging, this is weight from making a baby. This is something which is regarded as a beautiful and “acceptable” expansion. It is feminising and beautiful. Women may even feel more relaxed about being judged by a partner – this is something you are creating together and gives you full license to be “rounded”! Not all women feel so at ease with pregnancy weight and all the discomforts which accompany it of course, but at least there is an excuse for ones shape, if that’s what one needs.
It is a bizarre concept, publicly parading in ones underwear. Every bend-over is conscious: over the sun-bed to apply sun-cream on our loved-ones, collecting our flip-flops from underneath, arranging our towel on the sand! We are probably never more conscious of our backside and its size than with that first walk down to the beach with an “audience” behind us. You feel like your backside is expanding as you tiptoe as daintily as you can down to the sea.
How do you make yourself more comfortable and secure on the beach? There are ways of minimising these mental insecurities and “problem areas”. For those who subscribe to my monthly newsletter I will be giving some tips and ideas in the July issue. (contact Sarah@sarahgillmorestylist.com to subscribe, simply put “Subscribe” in the Subject line).
Don’t think that an all-in-one black swimsuit is the answer either! I only noticed one lady on the beach wearing one. It was interesting to see how it looked there – it seemed inappropriate somehow. There is obviously a way to do them, which I will discuss in my newsletter. But this seemed out of harmony with the environment and holiday-mood. It was a demure style and seemed to project a feeling of insecurity and desire to disappear. The irony was that it made her stand out, against a bright backdrop of blue sea and pale sand.
For most of us, it is not just a simple matter of throwing on the swimming costume or bikini and skipping down to the sea. A number of confidence-boosters have to be put in place (which my Newsletter will explore), and then we can relax more and have the holiday-fun we deserve!