It's about that time of year again when we start getting bombarded with articles like, "How To Get Your Body Ready For Beach Season" or "How To Get A Bikini Bod," adding to the message that there is only one way a body should look.
However, women like Gabi Gregg (a.k.a. GabiFresh) — who started the "fatkini" revolution — are proving that you can rock any swimsuit (yes, even a bikini), regardless of your shape or size. Gabi has been so influential in the movement, in fact, that she even became a swimsuit designer for sizes 12 through 24.
I have been so inspired by Gabi and all of the other women who are not afraid to show off their bikini bods. So for the first time, I decided to go bikini shopping and was blown away by the experience. All my years of wearing swimsuits have been a delicate balance of finding one that I liked and that had enough coverage. Skirted bottoms, tankinis, shorts and T-shirt covers have all been part of my previous beachwear collections. The thought of wearing a bikini never once crossed my mind.
If someone would have told me that I would not only be wearing a bikini, but also sharing a photo of myself wearing it on social media, I never would have believed it! However, when I did, something incredible happened. I felt beautiful, powerful and encouraged by an amazing body positive community. The photo has gotten more likes and comments than any of my other posts to date, and all of the comments were positive messages from people of all sizes who were inspired and moved to hopefully reclaim their bodies and feel confident wearing whatever they chose to.
Here are some of the most inspiring women sharing their beautiful bikini bods:
Crystal | Blogger, Sometimes Glam
Crystal celebrated a whole "Swim Week" dedicated to incredible bathing suits.
Simone writes: "My body will never stop me from wearing a swimsuit AND looking good in it too."
Alyssa | Founder, Ready To Stare, Body Positive Apparel
Alyssa shares her favourite bikini from her vacation.
Priscilla | Model
Priscilla, who is a self-proclaimed "accidental" model, hit a milestone when she shared her bikini pic.
Stacey | Blogger, Hantise de l’oubli
Stacey channelling all of our #mermaidgoals in this bikini from Chubby Cartwheels.
Sarah | Blogger, Curvily
Sarah wore this adorable watermelon bikini and shared her thoughts: "I stopped being so critical of my body, and I started loving it, and thus taking better care of it."
Liz | Blogger, P.S. It's Fashion
Liz spoke up to let a retailer know that she was, "tired of oversized floral, unsupportive, sad swimdresses," and Swimsuitsforall, a swimwear company, clearly listened!
Nicole | Blogger, Curves On A Budget
Nicole shared her beautiful green two-piece.
Essie Golden | Blogger, Golden Kaleidoscope
Essie is killing it in this fringed bikini.
Cynthia | Blogger, Flight Of The Fat Girl
Cynthia shares her beautiful bikini and "didn't let the body shaming win!"
Corissa | Blogger, Fat Girl Flow
Corissa asks: "Do you know how many years I spent thinking I wasn't allowed to wear cute bikinis?! I'm never going back there."
Amina | Founder, Studio Mucci, Luxury Handmade Items
Amina and her love for all things pastel is looking pretty in this pink bikini.
Autumn | Body Positivity Activist
Autumn says: "I know [people] mean well when they tell me, 'I wish I could be that confident,' but really it's just reaffirming the societal notion that fat bodied are not supposed to [be] visible or shown off."
Anna | Blogger, Glitter + Lazers
Anna rocks this beautiful blue pineapple print two-piece.
Gavyn | YouTuber, The Curvy Cutie
Gavyn is killing it in the "little black dress" of bikinis.
Jewelz | Founder, #BigandBlunt
Jewelz floats in her bikini while on vacation in Florida.
Dana | Blogger, Who's That Girl | Editor, Skorch Magazine
Dana shares her "summertime confidence."
Danielle | Stand-Up Comedian, Thigh Gap Comedy
Danielle shares her swimwear story: "I'm not really concerned about what other people think… I'm there to enjoy the company of my friends."
Jules | Plus Model
Jules captioned this picture with this perfect body positive message: "Unedited 220 lb Beach Babe."
Kristine | Blogger, Trendy Curvy
Kristine shares her favourite bikinis while in Dominican Republic.
Jolene | Blogger, Boardroom Blonde
Jolene shares a message to "be true to yourself."
Brianna | Blogger, The B Word
Brianna shares this beautiful rainbow print bikini.
Faith | Blogger, Faith Plus Fashion
Faith lays it out clearly that, "This body is made for living fearlessly."
Ella | Blogger, Curvella
Ella shows off her poolside look.
Every woman, with no exceptions, deserves to feel comfortable in her own body, and to believe that the world is made just as much for her as the next person. That's why with "My Curves Have No Bounds," we're going to get real and talk about our bodies, what we put on them, and how we feel about everything in between. We want to break down the barriers and outdated notions that plus-size women encounter everyday. So check back every other week for more from "My Curves Have No Bounds," by Amanda Montgomery of Latest Wrinkle.