Wearing a swimsuit as a mom can be hard. I do it. I do it without complaint, but there are those typical insecurities of “but I have stretch marks and cellulite now.” As if they’re something I should feel shame over—embarrassment. This year my ultimate goal was to do something that scares me every month.
When my friend, Shannon, asked if I’d be interested in modeling for Lime Ricki, a major modest swimwear company, I knew I should say “yes.”I talk this big game of loving both my body and myself, of confidence and tenacity—I said yes.
Day-of, I thought I might die when I woke up in the morning. I told myself that was no room for negative talk and that it was time to start telling myself all the things I love most about myself. I challenged myself to see myself in the mirror as I did my hair and makeup and to only notice what I loved. It was a hefty dose of kindness. I looked and didn’t judge or think “what if.” As I squelched every negative thought, I began to develop mental swagger and confidence.
I mean who doesn’t want to tell oneself, “Nice butt!” I kid only slightly.
After all, I want to be the woman who practices what she preaches. I want to be the woman who gets in the water with her kids after she preaches #GetInTheWater.
Modeling for Lime Ricki
As I walked into the studio Lime Ricki had rented out, I knew that the “water” was symbolic—it was stepping in front of the camera confidently, no matter what the other women looked like in their swimsuits. I wasn’t going to compare myself to strangers. And so I didn’t. No matter how beautiful the other women were, or how thin, or how many “followers” they had. I loved myself and only thought of that as I smiled and posed in front of the camera. It wasn’t easy.
There is something so deeply ingrained in us, saying that we need to look a certain way and if you don’t? Then you simply don’t belong.
I refuse to let that be the narrative for myself or for my family—ever.
It was empowering to wear a swimsuit in front of a camera, fully not caring what others thought of me.
It was truly a no-judgment zone.
A zone where there were real women, chasing dreams and finding joy. I heard only compliments and kindness. I felt only love and acceptance.
There have been moments where I have thought, “Oh gosh. What have I done?” Moments when an image shows up on my feed and I retract right back to that moment where I see everything wrong with my body, but then I stop.
I breathe, and I find the gratitude. I find gratitude for my downright beautiful and strong body.
I’m grateful that I have photos that document its accomplishments, and how I really, truly look in a swimsuit (Lime Ricki doesn’t edit their pictures and uses REAL women as their models).
It’s the same body that will teach my son to swim this summer. The same body that will carry my son on hikes when he grows too tired. The same body that will someday carry another baby, bound to be my son’s best friend.
There are far too many things to worry about in life than what people might (and probably) don’t think about my body in a swimsuit. Further, I’m abundantly grateful for companies like Lime Ricki that give women of all sizes and culture an opportunity to wear a swimsuit she loves.
So yes, I posed in swimwear for the internet (and all 30K+ of Lime Ricki followers to see), and I don’t regret it. Not even a little. Posterity, take note.