Last month a hashtag was doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter set up by the blogging beauty that is Vicki from Honest Mum.
Now, I had always considered her type of honest and mine to be poles apart, her children are immaculate, her hair is frankly immense (in the best possible way) and her writing, blogging and film making experience are the stuff my dreams are made of.
In short, if this were school she would definitely have rolled with the cool kids. I felt- through absolutely no fault of hers, that she was out of my league- a genuine successful grown up whilst I, approaching 35, am still struggling to figure most of this stuff out.
One evening, home alone, I was scanning my twitter feed and came across Vicki’s original #proudinmybikini post.
She was literally laying herself bare (short of a gorgeous red bikini) and saying this is me, I’m a mum of 2 and I’m proud to be me in my bikini.
Look at that hair!!!
In the post (which as now been seen by over 70,000) Vicki was asking for other mums to share their bikini pics.
Wow- didn’t that redress the balance.
Isn’t it ridiculous that it should even be a big deal…but it was and it is because it seems that we women are always so keen to imagine that other people are doing so much better than we are…
Better mums- because they’re working or not working or combining the two.
Better wives- because they don’t burn water or whatever
Better species because…We imagine…that beneath their jeans they don’t have the bit of belly that gets tucked into their knickers (which no doubt match with their bra- which they no doubt peel off each night before a mammoth session with the husband!)
It is a fantasy fed by stupid magazines and also by social media.
Women are too fat or too thin, too vain or too unkempt.
We’ve lost our sense of perspective and also of giving ourselves and others a break.
This week The Sun posted what I’ll loosely refer to as ‘an article’ on their social media entitled “17 people that look worse in a bikini than you do.”
How cruel- who made them or indeed any of us judge and jury?
I love #proudinmybikini. It is an amazing look behind the curtain into the fact that we are all normal people.
No one is perfect and no one is without their own hang ups and flaws and, by sharing them we become a little bit more real and help everyone else breathe a little easier.
Prior to this campaign the last time I’d properly worn a bikini was over years ago on our fabulous baby moon in Marrakesh.
I absolutely love the picture- check out how happy I am- over the moon to be carrying our precious daughter (didn’t know that she was a she at the time) and loving the relaxing sunny break with my husband.
Since then I’ve had 2 beautiful baby girls and the boobs and bump have headed somewhat south.
I’d like to say that the change in my body didn’t affect me but, in the spirit of being honest I’ve got to say that after a particularly nasty labour and a tricky recovery my confidence was well knocked, the stomach stretched and sagged and my fitness and body confidence plummeted. It has taken quite a lot for me not to well up when I saw myself undressed. Incredibly self indulgent I know- but there it is.
Lots of little things have helped me get my mojo back but one of the most significant has definitely been this campaign.
Following on from the tweets UKSwimwear sent me a couple of the mums who took part in the campaign some bikinis to review and I was lucky enough to be one of them. They are absolutely gorgeous- I LOVE THEM.
I can not wait to wear them in the paddling pool, at the swimming pool and finally, on our holiday in Tuscany.
They are my way of sending a messsage to my girls that say:
We are more than the way we look
Be kind to your body- it is the only place you have to live.
Your spirit and kindness are visible whatever you are wearing and whatever your size
Don’t judge other people (at least not on appearances)
Don’t waste your energy on people that are judging you and…importantly
Nautical is always, always on trend!
I’ve written plenty of times about promoting a positive body image for my daughters but actions speak louder than words so here goes…
Channelling the 1950’s vibe.
Maryan Mehlhorn Nautical Bikini
To me, bring Proud in your Bikini this summer is more than the act of wearing a bikini it is the decision to like yourself a bit more whatever you are wearing and to embrace the idea of kindness and support for yourself and others.
I hope that this post makes you breath a little easier.
Happy Summer Everyone!
Loads of love,
I am linking up with Honest Mums #BrilliantBlogPosts you can click the link to see what other bloggers have been up to this week!