30.3.15

Why I Wear One-Piece Swimsuits

5 Tips for a Hot Bikini-Bod! // Get in shape for bikini season! // Find your perfect bikini today! 

These headlines, and the hundreds of others we see on websites and magazines before spring break, have begun to really frustrate me. Not because of any body-image issues that arise from the media- but because I don't wear bikinis. 

I never have, and maybe I never will. Let me tell you a little story:

When I was just about to turn 13, my mom and I drove by a swimsuit store in my town. I looked at the bikini-clad mannequins and turned to my mom.

'Do you think that once I turn 13, I can finally be able to wear a two-piece swimsuit like all of my friends?'

'Absolutely not,' she said. And, as most conversations that garner that kind of response from mom go, that was that.

For as long as I can remember, I've been wearing one-piece swimsuits. But it wasn't  until recently that I've been absolutely rocking my beachwear of (what is now my) choice. Sure, I can pull off a bikini- I mean, I'm proud of my body and of the work I've put into it. But there are a few reasons why I've decided to solely wear one-pieces (at least, for the time being).


On my phone while at a villa in a remote part of Italy- too typical. 

When I first started attending pool parties and beach events in middle and high school, I always feared what others would think of me for wearing a one-piece. Would they think I was fat underneath that panel of fabric covering my belly? Would they think I was a prude or, worse yet, not cool enough?

But then, at a pool party in high school, as I donned a strapless, fuchsia one-piece, while everyone else wore bikinis, one of my friends said something that really turned my perspective around:

You know what, Leda? You really look like a Barbie doll in that bathing suit! 

Me? A petite, busty, totally out-of-proportion brunette looked like one of the most iconically beautiful yet wildly unrealistic figures in the world? And all because of my uncool one-piece swimsuit?

From that moment on, I began seeing this style of clothing that I resented my mother for 'forcing' me to wear as something unique, flattering, and, in some ways, meaningful. Once I accepted how great I looked in a one-piece, I began to think about why my mom might have wanted me to wear something that covered up my body more than a bikini would.

One thing I've realized about wearing a bikini, that didn't occur to me when I was 13, is that it is essentially the same thing as wearing a bra and underwear. In public. In front of your family members, girlfriends- and guys.


Anyone else remember Amanda Seyfried's killer one-piece in 'Mamma Mia'?

In terms of family, it makes perfect sense to me why my mom would want me to wear a once-piece. I have three older brothers and a womanly figure. I would be incredibly uncomfortable allowing my brothers and dad to see me in my underwear- wearing a bikini isn't any different.

And when I started getting to the age where I started thinking about becoming involved with boys in a more-than-friends way, I thought to myself- wow, it's pretty special when a guy you like sees you for the first time. But, if you're wearing a bikini in front of your guy friends, don't they get to see nearly all of your body without reaching any level of intimacy with you?

Now, I'm not trying to shame anyone who does wear a bikini by saying that they're showing off too much skin. Personally, I'm not particularly conservative in the way I dress- I like to emphasize my best features just as much as the next girl. I simply think that these ideas about how much skin we show while wearing bikinis haven't been thought about much. I also find it perplexing how one style of swimsuit has become a social norm, while the other has become a sign of 'body image issues.'


I mean, if Taylor Swift's doing it, then it must be cool.

More than anything, I love wearing one-pieces because they're flattering. Whenever I put one on, I feel like a modern-day Marilyn Monroe. And now, I actually enjoy being the odd duck wearing the one-piece when I'm with my friends. I feel uniquely fashionable, empowered, and (dare I say it?) downright sexy.

There's no question that girls can't feel the same way wearing a bikini- they absolutely can! But there's nothing wrong with wearing a one-piece either- no matter what your reasons. I'm not an ultra-conservative slut-shamer or someone who's insecure about her body simply because I wear a one-piece swimsuit; I'm just a girl who thinks she looks fabulous in one.

P.S. 

If you're thinking about taking the plunge and buying a one-piece, here are a few of my faves! 




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