I can’t believe it was only a week ago that I was on holiday in Fuerteventura with Dexter – the week has flown by.  We had such a great time pretty much … not doing a great deal really.  We swam, I read a book AND an obligatory crappy woman’s magazine (although I also read Red which I thought was surprisingly great), we ate churros for breakfast, I drank Cava for breakfast every day, and we watched Lord of the Rings and X-Men every night back in our room after dinner.

It was our kinda perfect.

But remember before I went I wrote this post … ‘Should Big Girls Wear Bikinis?‘  It was, of course, a rhetorical question following a discussion I’d had online with my Twitter followers and the general consensus was that out of the plus size women I spoke to, it was a 50/50 split with who would feel comfortable enough wearing a bikini and who hated the thought.  However, interestingly, it soon became apparent that size wasn’t the driver for whether a woman would wear a bikini or not … women of all sizes had something to say.  (Have a read of the post.)

I have always said I’m comfortable in my own skin and I think sometimes people find that hard to believe as I’m a bigger woman.  But confidence isn’t something everyone has and it breaks my heart to hear women (whatever size) feel like they can’t wear this or they shouldn’t wear that.  Of course, everyone should wear what they want to wear but I totally understand that feeling of not wanting to be judged because no matter how big my … bravado, I’ve been hurt in the past my people’s comments – it’s horrible.

Anyway, I said I would be wearing a bikini on holiday, and so I did!

 

Kate Sutton

 

I’m no model (clearly), I’ve given birth to two 9lbs+ babies … my body has gone through a lot, but I think I look great!  I’m my biggest fan, pardon the pun, because quite frankly, I believe you truly have to be – no other bugger will think you’re great if you don’t!  Yes, I’m overweight and far from toned but honestly, hand on heart, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT I LOOK LIKE!!  I wanted to wear a bikini so … I wore one!  It’s really that simple.  I didn’t give it much thought.  I didn’t think about what other people thought and although I didn’t notice any overt pointing or whispering, I doubt anyone even noticed or, for that matter, gave a shit.  I’m just another woman wearing a bikini.

Because it’s hot. Because I like the feeling of wearing one.  Because I can.

In fact, I wore several! This one (below) didn’t hold me in as much as the polka dot one but it wasn’t indecent and again, who cares?

I PROMISE YOU …. PEOPLE JUST DON’T CARE!!

They’re on holiday enjoying time with their family … the fact that me, or anyone else, is wearing a bikini is just so insignificant, trust me.

 

Kate Sutton

 

I get that we’re so indoctrinated with the idea that we should look a certain way, that we should feel embarrassed or ashamed if we don’t conform – I totally get that because I’m bombarded too.  I just choose to stick a metaphorical two fingers up to the fat-shaming brigade and do what I WANT TO DO.  If that involves wearing a bikini when I’m a size 18, so be it.

I just happen to believe that imperfections make us who we are and that life would be incredibly dull if we all looked the same.

I love the fact that by me talking about this subject it has encouraged women to buy a bikini for the first time in a long time … women who wouldn’t have dreamt about wearing one before, and I hope that by sharing photos of me in a bikini it might, just might, encourage them to wear one too.

Wearing a bikini on holiday is one thing … sharing my photos on my blog and social media, a completely different thing.  It’s a little scary because as much as my friends are supportive and lovely I do realise I’m opening myself up to THE INTERNET ….  but if it makes one woman, whatever her size, think ‘if Kate can wear one, then so can I’ then it’s worth it.

It may seem trivial … me talking about bikinis, it may seem like such a small thing but body confidence permeates how you live your life and if you can overcome a small thing like this, I honestly believe you’ll start to carry yourself differently and begin to feel good about yourself.

Wear a bikini.  Don’t wear one.  Do what YOU feel comfortable doing … but please PLEASE don’t let anyone make you feel shit about your choice.

 

kate sutton

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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65 Comments

  1. Go you! I know so many who could learn a thing or two from your attitude. I do think a lot of it is how you carry yourself – I remember going topless on the beach in France (I was a size 34D), and friends saying “how could you? I’d hate for people to stare” and you know what? If you carry yourself like it’s the most normal thing in the world, then people just let you get on with it. It’s all about the confidence. Sharing this now x

    1. Thanks Sophie! You’re totally right … it’s all about confidence. But that’s the problem … by the time women get to put a bikini on, they have such little self confidence they almost apologise for wearing one! It’s tough because we will always be bombarded by those ‘perfect woman’ images but hopefully, by us talking about it, we can redress the balance a little. x

  2. You rocked it! Although you rock everything,basically you rock!

    I wear a bikini top and a sarong skirt in the garden if I want to relax and possibly do some gardening (the gardening never happens I sort of drift about looking busy whilst doing nothing, it’s an art form), but I honestly do not have the confidence to get my lily white tummy out in public lol

    You’re an inspiration and I love you for it <3

      1. Orrr it might go bright red and make me look like a half cooked lobster rofl . Oh wait, that happens even with factor 500000 lotion on *sigh* I am not meant to tan. Ever!

  3. Yay! I love this post. I’ve spent most of my life having zero body confidence. Even when I was super skinny mini you wouldn’t have seen me in a bikini because I wasn’t confident about having a body FULL STOP, let alone whether it was good enough for the beach police. Only in the few years or so as, paradoxically, I’ve gained weight and lost tone, have I started to realise that it’s my body and that’s no one’s else’s business and in fact, no one else cares what I look like. The only thing stopping me wearing whatever the hell I liked was me! So, the other bloggers heading to Turkey with us in Sept better watch out, cos I’m wearing a damn bikini!

    1. YAY! That’ll be at least 2 of wearing bikinis then and I’ll try and recruit the rest! I think it’s also an age thing … as we get older we have more of an appreciation of what’s important. And what’s not. So you will rock that bikini because you are awesome. End of. x

  4. Love this post Kate – I think you look fab and you’re right, it’s much more a confidence thing than a physical thing. I also have it on good authority that men often genuinely don’t register stretch marks and lunmps and bumps because their brain focuses in on two bumps in particular and then gets stuck in a loop, while women who have more of an up and down figure can end up feeling a little inadequate in comparison, so worrying about the opinions / thoughts of others is often a complete waste of time. I think it’s very easy to look at ourselves and feel negative, while what we forget is that we really don’t see ourselves (any aspect of ourselves, not just physical) the way other people do.
    I hope you had an amazing holiday!
    Take care
    Lucas

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment! And you’re totally right .. I think men’s attention is somewhat ‘focused’ – I often hear stories that it’s actually women who are the worse critics of other women, which is terribly sad. I often say a mantra to myself to cancel out the negative voices I have in my head. I appreciate that makes me sound a little odd but it works 🙂

      1. Thank you for your lovely comment x

        I look forward to the day that people accept that there is no ‘perfect’ or even ‘normal’, that human beings come in all shapes and sizes, and that we are all beautiful.

  5. Bravo Kate *applauds* I remember that original post. You look fantastic in your pics!

    I decided to bear your post in mind and pop a bikini on during our holiday over the last fortnight. I am at the lower end of the weight scale (as per my comment on your post) but that doesn’t give me any more confidence in the naked body department than anyone else. However, I put it on, telling myself it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. You know what? I actually felt great in it! First time ever.

    Thank you for blogging about bikini bodies in the first place. x

    1. Thanks Julie and that’s amazing!! Well done you! It really is a mind over matter(body) thing really and the more we give ourself positive affirmations (at the risk of sounding like some Voodoo/New Age weirdo) the more our negative ‘voice’ will diminish. Aaah, you’ve made my day and it’s only 9am! 🙂

  6. I am also a size 18 and wear a bikini on holiday. I’m away I don’t know anyone and am unlikely to see them again anyway. It show’s my kids that body image is yours to own. Keep on wearing that itsy bitsy teeny weeny polka dot bikini!

  7. Hello Kate,

    Just came across your blog and I love it!! And what a glorious post. I keep thinking that I’ve got there (just getting on with enjoying being who I am in the skin and body that I’m in) and then, I have a little lapse.

    You’re so right though, most people don’t even notice the little (or large) things that we see as major imperfections.

    What an uplifting blog.

    Thank you
    Susie

  8. Totally with you on this one Kate, I’m so pleased you have opened up this discussion. It’s so true what you say, age really helps with this one – definitely with me – I used to be scared of the old bikini but hell! nobody even noticed when I took the plunge (geddit, there’s a pun in there somewhere) and decided to wear one. Who cares about my wobbly bits? I even wore shorts today – OK so I’m only talking in my own home but I’ve finally got bored battling with my own boring leg pre-occupation and I’m going to show them to everyone else in the world! Much easier than to spend years fretting over the fatty bits! Love this post and I think we all ought to do one! XX

  9. Congratulations on having the confidence to do this. The more I talk to other people about their weight and how they see themselves (people who as a group are smaller than me) the more I become convinced I’m happier because I’m confident enough to not worry about how people see me. You look great.

  10. You look fantastic!
    It’s about so much more than a waist size – the twinkle in your eye also makes you radiate happiness.
    Very hard to achieve though, when mass media is screaming at every woman over a size 10 to lose the fat. We can’t seem to shut out the noise…
    My biggest fear is my daughter, now only little and how she’ll be affected by this madness, some day.
    And that is why, in spite of the fact that I’m nowhere near as good as you at putting my size 14 body out there (though I do still insist on a bikini every summer), I am trying to change – for my daughter’s sake, as much as for mine.
    This quote by Gloria Steinem (a feminist organise and writer) sums it up far better than I could:
    “If you and I, every time we pass a mirror, downgrade on how we look or complain about our looks, if we remember that a girl is watching us and that’s what she’s learning”.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting – I hope you don’t mind me stealing that quote for today’s post?! And thank you for being so kind … the eye twinkle is often mentioned lol.

      1. Please quote away! It’s a good one. Thanks again for showing us that inspirational people are still out there and are often the normal people who surround us, rather than celebrities!

        1. You know what? That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said. Seriously. I’m just unbelievably normal but feel very passionately about this so to hear you say that is kinda awesome x

  11. You look great and whats more I bet you felt great.

    Your posts have made me stop and think about why I make the swimwear choices (and other clothes) choices I do and have encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone a little to see that no one actually cares.

    I have my bikinis and shorts all ready for an August holiday and as the trip gets closer I am actually getting excited to wear them instead of worrying about it.

    Thank you for your positive encouragement.

  12. A considerably older gentleman thinks you look gorgeous, a real woman with a character and spirit a lot greater than any man’s vision, prurient or otherwise. And you can write… what more could one dream of…

  13. Pingback: Let it all hang out | lizziwallace
  14. From one Kate to another, I just wanted to say…I BLOODY love this post! 😉

    You look amazing in your pics, and more importantly, you look happy! Gosh, it’s a sad world isn’t it when we women don’t feel we can wear a certain item of clothing because of how we feel about our figures, weight, stretchmarks, age etc?

    I love, admire and respect your confidence and can only hope that more women read this and think, to hell what everybody else thinks, I’m going to wear whatever the hell I like!

    Well done Kate, it’s brave to share like this, but you’ve done it brilliantly. Give that gorgeous figure of yours a good ol’ pat on the back. 😉

    With love (and pouts) x

    1. Awwww thanks Kate! That’s lovely of you to say! The backlash I received was in the minority and the majority of women were inspired by what I was trying to say … some even posting photos of themselves in bikinis and writing about it! How awesome is that?! 🙂 x

  15. Excellent post. I bought a bikini the other day for my holiday in September and wasn’t sure whether i would wear it or not. You are totally right though who cares what anyone else thinks! This has defiantly gave me that extra bit of confidence i needed to say i will definitely be wearing that bikini on holiday! x

  16. You are fabulous! You look amazing in that bikini!
    I wish I had the confidence you have, I’ve always seen myself as a ‘big girl’ even when I was a size 12, although nowadays that is seen as plus size (but that’s another topic), now I’m actually a plus size, about a 20, I’m really struggling to find any body confidence at all.
    I really hope reading this and other blogs I follow who write about plus size body confidence will slowly help me to feel better about myself.
    Once again, you look fab!

    1. Surround yourself with positivity and I promise you it’ll rub off .. might take a while, but it will. Just remember, we’re all beautiful and if anyone stares, it’s because they’re jealous (my late Mum always said that to me lol) x

  17. Great post! And well done – you look incredible 🙂 That first bikini is really flattering (great that swimwear manufacturers know what they’re doing in this area) – and I’m sure the second one is too, I just couldn’t see it as well in the pic!

    I read something a couple of years ago which I found really encouraging. It was about looking good after childbirth. It warned of trying to get your figure back too quickly, and obsessing about weight/baby tummy or whatever. But equally, it said, don’t just hide your figure in sweatpants for the rest of your life. Your body has done what it was supposed to do – and all the weight, stretch marks, scars or whatever tell a story, an amazing story of the children you’re proud to have brought into this world. A lovely way of putting it, I think! x

  18. Love this – it should be normal to wear what you want , I was told how do you get a bikini ready body for the beach ?? Umm put a bikini in your body ! – this is something I say to all my Minnie friends who fret over their tummies – some are a size 6,8, 10, 12,14,16,18 it effects all of us x

    1. Thanks Sally! It’s actually not a specific size issue is it?! Women of ALL sizes worry about being judged and you know what? There MAY be people who WILL judge but my stance remains … you really have to do what you want to do regardless – it’s how I try and live my life! 🙂

  19. Now I know this post was kinda aimed more at the ladies, but us guys have similar issues too. As a man who eats a little too much, and exercises a little too infrequently, I have issues mainly with my “moobs” and keep them hidden when I can. Having just read this post, I’ve realised, that I’m NOT as fat as I think I am, and people don’t really care either. I don’t remember anyone looking, pointing or whispering on my last holiday. To be fair, I only took off my shirt around the pool or at the beach and not on the main road or the local shops…. (That’s another matter altogether tho’)
    Cheers for writing such honest candid blogs…. When I’ve plucked up the courage, I think I may like to try a blog / vlog thingy too….

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment Grant … men are ALWAYS welcome! It’s also great to hear a man’s POV on what was originally a ‘woman’s issue’ … good to know we’re not alone in our feelings! And as for the vlogging, just go for it! I promise you, it might feel a little awkward at first but you’ll soon get the hang of it. You could join in with our #VlogChallenge!

  20. Ok so I’m really late to the commenting party on this one but…this is why you are amazing, and an inspiration. I want to one day be at that stage where I can wear a bikini, or if not, at least wear a swimming costume with confidence and not spend the whole time making sure I have a child in front of me to hide my thighs, and to slouch over to cover anything I don’t really like.
    Thank you for being so open and honest. And FYI, I think you look amazing xx

  21. Glad to read this post. I promise faithfully I was not copying. I have always loved you in your clothes, a stunningly beautiful woman and now I know I love you in a bikini too. Such an empowering post. Thanks for writing it

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