When Women Empower Each Other in Plus Size Swimwear

Monday, May 22, 2017

"There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish." —Michelle Obama

I recently visited the West Coast and it was a trip that was life-changing.

My first stop was Los Angeles, where I met up with my friend Alysse of the blog Ready to Stare. We had been planning this for a bit because we both love to travel and think it is an empowering thing to see two plus size women traveling together and having an amazing time. And that we did!

For me personally, this trip held a lot of firsts for me; one of those being wearing a two piece swimsuit on the beach IN PUBLIC and also having a photographer shoot me in that moment.

I was terrified because not only have I NOT worn a two-piece in public since I was 12 but I also have a fear of being too close to the ocean. I don't swim and after my Superstorm Sandy experience a few years ago, I love the ocean from afar. 

But Alysse was with me and seeing her so comfortable in her two-piece, walking in the sand towards the ocean made me think, hey, I can do it! So I pushed forward as the anxiety within me grew. Once we were at the ocean line, I wanted to cry but I kept telling myself that I can do this. Seeing Alysse having fun in the ocean helped me so much in pushing forward.

The ocean kept rolling in and I kept thinking, oh gosh, please don't let me fall in. And it was then in that moment, Alysse showed up at my side. As we took pics together, I started to feel better, even laughing!

She didn't make me feel silly for being scared and she even let me hold onto her arm for balance when the ocean rolled in. She kept asking me if I was okay, which meant the world to me. That's what friends do. They are by your side always.

Photographer Rob Eves and his wife, stylist Kat Eves of Style Ethic were also amazing. Supportive and kind, they both directed me in a way that made me feel safe, confident and strong. 

If you're in the LA area and looking to work with a photographer/stylist duo (or one or the other), you should definitely contact them. They both are body positive and believe in beauty in all sizes.

It also helped that I was wearing a swimsuit that fit me well. I needed a top that provided the girls with nice support and a bottom that had a skirt where I didn't show off too much. For me, modesty is a factor as I am careful with how much skin I show publicly because of my nieces and my mom. 

This Longline Bikini Top from Lane Bryant has a built-in balconette bra and when I put it on, not only was I in love with the pretty marble print, but the support was amazing. It was so amazing in fact, that I ended up wearing it as a bra later that night on my flight to San Francisco, under my top. For reference, I am wearing a 46DD.

The matching drawstring skirt bottom is wonderful too! But it did not provide as much coverage as I would have liked so I used my cover up in a few different ways to help with that. I also wore shorts for part of my shoot as well. I started out with the shorts and Kat asked me how I would feel about removing the shorts and just wearing the cover up? I decided to take that baby step out of my comfort zone and off my shorts went! I'm wearing a 26.

I wanted to mix prints and this Knit Open-Front Cover Up even matched my hair so I had to wear it. I love the tie front and would even wear this over a tank and jeans. I'm wearing a size 26/28.

I think what I was most proud of myself during that shoot on the beach was that I didn't let anything stop me from finishing it up and doing so with a smile on my face. There were so many things going on around us that could have stopped me from standing there in my swimsuit on the beach. There was a thin model shooting on the beach near us in a two-piece. An audience grew on the pier as we continued shooting with people staring at us. People on the beach looked and stared.

Surprisingly, it didn't bother me because I didn't let it. And I was surprised at myself because this was new to me... that feeling of not caring what people were doing or thinking. Sure, I am confident but this was me in a two-piece swimsuit! It felt like I had come full circle in how I choose to let what others think of me, affect how I feel about myself.

When I asked Alysse to tell me how she felt that day in a quote for this post, she said:

"I knew going into this shoot with Marcy that swimwear was new to her and I was excited and honored to have the opportunity to share this moment with her. There's a lot of emotions that get tied to plus size swimwear. As fat women, society makes it quite clear that our bodies aren't 'bikini bodies'. Overcoming these past messages about my body and finally just putting on a bikini was a huge step in my own self love journey. It's a big middle finger to everyone who tries to police plus bodies. As Marcy and I stood on that beach, onlookers stared down on us from the pier. There was a straight size model shooting a bikini in the same exact spot. All of that could have scared Marcy away. It could have made her say, maybe next time but she didn't. On that beach, she embodied her blog name and she was truly fearless. I was in awe."

WOW! I'm telling you, when women empower and support each other, magical things can happen. And this day was indeed magical.

For some plus size women, it's easy for them to put on a bikini and go. And I applaud them for that. But for those who have a harder time, I see you and just know that it's okay to feel that way, as long as you don't let that stop you from living your best life. That day, I decided to live my best life and I hope that inspires you to do the same. 

#ThisBody is made to live fully! 

Special thanks to Rob and Kat Eves for documenting our magical moments on the beach on film and making us feel safe and supported throughout the process. Click here to see more of Rob's work and to contact him directly.

And special thanks to Alysse for being a great friend who supports me 100%. As plus size bloggers, it is so important for us to support one another and empower each other to be the best we can be in this industry and community.

You can shop my look below:

Longline Bikini Top with Built-In Balconette Bra, Sizes 36 - 46, cups C - G

Drawstring Swim Skirt, Sizes 16 - 28

Knit Open-Front Cover Up, Sizes 14/16 - 26/28

You can shop Alysse's look below:

Eyelet Stripe Off-the-Shoulder Bikini Top, Sizes 36 - 46, cups C - G

Eyelet Strip Mid-Waist Swim Brief, Sizes 14 - 28

Cover Up with Fringe Hem, Sizes 14/20 and 22/28

Stay tuned to our blogs for more of our California adventures! And don't forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see even more photos. @readytostare  @fearlesslyjustme

Click here to read about Alysse's beach experience and see what she wore from Lane Bryant.

*This post is in collaboration with Lane Bryant but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains some affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them.  This is one of the ways I can continue to bring you inspiring content. Thank you!

1 comment

  1. Lovely Plus size swimwear!! I am absolutely in love with that plus size swimsuits. It is difficult to find a bigger size easily, but you provide a wide variety of stylish swimwear in plus size. Plus size requires extra support with style.So, you have a lovely collection of swimwears and these all look great.Recently I have bought three swimsuits from Cosabella brand and I would love to recommend this to everyone.