I keep looking in magazines and seeing the phrase 'Bikini-Ready'. It scares me just a little. In fact, it scares me quite a lot. I know I'm not alone as the word 'bikini' can strike fear into the hearts of many women. Women, who on a daily basis have to juggle full-time jobs, children, household tasks, pets and husbands/partners, feel petrified at the thought of having to be 'Bikini-Ready'. I blame those magazines. And Instagram. If we all just stopped comparing ourselves to girls half our age or Elle MacPherson then white, imperfect legs on the beach would be the norm. Is anyone really going to notice if I actually go out with my legs my natural shade of off-white?
Unfortunately I feel that the answer is yes. Everywhere you go the threat of a camera phone means we live in fear of being shamed on social media and, god forbid, our mum-tums going viral. It is utterly ridiculous for women to feel embarrassed about what they look like in swimwear. We should all stick together, embrace our natural beauty and go for it. We are amazing. Many of us have nurtured children in our wonderful bodies and this should be celebrated. We need to enjoy the freedom and fun that comes with spending time in the sunshine with our friends and families. It won't be long before our young children will stop asking us to come and play in the sea or throw a ball around with them. What a great example of self-confidence we could set them by just jumping off our sunloungers and shouting, 'yes'.
So this year I'm not going to care what anyone thinks of me and I'm going to wear my bikini with pride. I'm going to hold my head high, play frisbee on the beach with my family and leap into the waves of the Mediterranean (as long as it's not too cold you understand). If anyone dares stare I will assume they are just envious that I have had the guts to bare my not-so-flat stomach to all. And as for being 'Bikini-Ready', yes, I have a bikini and yes, I'm ready to wear it with confidence (or maybe a kaftan).
PHOTO: Kaftan - H&M; Bikini - Boden; Bag - Stella & Dot; Flipflops - Diane von Furstenberg; Hat - Accessorize