15 Women Reveal Why They Refuse to Freak Out About Swimsuit Season

15 Women Reveal Why They Refuse to Freak Out About Swimsuit Season
Image: iStock.com/Steve Debenport

happy woman on beach
iStock.com/Steve Debenport

By the standards of many women's magazines, I should be freaking out right now. I should be looking at my big, pale thighs and desperately thinking about how to get my "best beach body" ready for the summer. But you know what? Screw that. It's way too stressful and unnecessary to have to think about how I can alter my body in a short amount just because society thinks I should. Especially when I like my body just fine how it is. 

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I plan to spend most of the season at the pool or the lake, and I plan to spend zero percent of that time worrying about how I look in my swimsuit. My kids are still at ages where all they want to do is have fun with me in the water, and I am going to soak up every minute of that no matter what people think. 

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I know it can be hard to escape all the messages out there that tell people that their bodies are a problem to be solved. Well have the remedy: Read on for wise words from 15 women who've found peace with their bodies and are psyched to rock a swimsuit this summer. Because EVERY body is a "summer body." 

  • I want my girls to see their mom putting on her damn swimsuit.

    mother and daughter snorkeling

    "The big thing for me was having daughters. I got super-militant about it when they got older, because I wanted them to see their mom putting on her damn swimsuit. I wanted to not pretend to love my body as a gift, because it is. It moves me, holds my spirit. It allows me to do so much. What it looks like is of no consequence. That is just pandering to what marketers are trying to sell. And it makes me angry. The idea that my daughters would spend even one minute not loving their beautiful selves makes me so sad." -- Sarah T., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • I don't want my boys to see girls' bodies as flawed.

    young boys playing in water

    "I am at a great point and age (35) where I feel comfortable and confident in my body even though I am the heaviest I've ever been. For me, it's about strength and health and self-care and not looking 'hot' for anyone. Self-acceptance is a beautiful thing. 

    "And I don't want my boys to grow up to look at girls' bodies as something that is 'flawed' by my pointing it out all the time. It's really important to me that they are respectful and not the guy who tells girls they are fat, or [believe] that somehow they get to have an opinion about someone else's body. No Brosephs on my damn watch." -- Lindsay D., Natchez, Mississippi

  • Because I don't GAF -- I'm going to focus on being healthy and strong!

    mom in pool with her baby boy

    "I've been wearing my bikini to swim lessons all winter, because I don't give a f*ck.  I've decided I'm going to focus on being healthy and strong, because that's what I want to model for my kids. My mom was constantly saying negative things about the way she looked, and it was confusing and hurtful because to me she was perfect. I'm not doing that to my kids." -- Taylor A., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

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  • Being super-pregnant helps me not care.

    pregnant woman in bikini

    "Being super-pregnant helps me not care. I'm gonna be huge this summer and I am rocking my bikini, stretch marks and all. I just don't care if my body isn't some weird shame-inducing ideal. I'm over it. I'm growing a person. I'm damn amazing." -- Courtney H., San Diego, California

  • I wear a swimsuit all year round now, and I wear it to be fast.

    woman competitive swimming

    "I used to swim in high school and college but then quit. In the 10 years since college, I've had three kids and gained about 80 pounds. But I recently started swimming on a masters team, and it has made me feel confident and strong. The whole 'perfect summer bathing suit body' bullsh*t just doesn't even touch me. I wear a swimsuit all year round now, and I wear it to be fast, not to look perfect. I'm comfortable in my own skin now." -- Amy A., Tucson, Arizona

  • Strong Momma


    "I'm 42 and don't care. I try to run to stay in shape and clear my head, but more nowadays, I'm really trying to be careful about body image around my kids. I was carrying my 2-yr old son somewhere the other day noticing how his legs were straddling my muffin top. He didn't say anything about that particular roll, which was coincidentally his doing, but he did say, 'Momma, you're strong!' Trying to focus on that." -- Anna M., Saint Paul, Minnesota

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  • As long as I'm confident my boobs will stay put, I'm good!

    woman under water

    "To be honest, as long as [the bathing suit is] not digging in my sides, and I'm confident my boobs will stay put, I'm good! It also MUST be a bikini/tankini, because there's no way I'm going to fiddle with trying to pee with a wet one-piece. So, yeah. It's a combination of no f*cks given and realizing people aren't really noticing me." -- Adriana L., Fresno, California

  • I'm more confident and proud of my body after having kids.

    moms and kids legs under water

    "I'm more confident and proud of my body after having kids. I don't have time or energy to put thought into what I look like to other people. And I want my kids to focus on fun rather than looks and be proud of their bodies and know all shapes and sizes are beautiful." -- Ashlee T., Saint Paul, Minnesota

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  • I'm fat and a feminist and I REFUSE to let anyone make me feel bad.

    five people embracing from behind
    iStock.com/Rawpixel Ltd

    "I'm fat and a feminist and I REFUSE to let anyone make me feel bad about the body I have. This is especially true of all the companies that try to body shame women to make a buck, like the diet companies and women's magazines. 

    "I can't be a good ally to other women if I don't love myself first. So, yeah, I've got a great beach body. It is the one I have right now." -- Marijke N., Rochester, New York

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  • I made a New Year's resolution.

    woman in ocean

    "I made a New Year's resolution this year to do one thing every day that would annoy Donald Trump. I feel like rocking my plus-sized bikini accomplishes that mission quite nicely. Suck it, Mr. President." -- Regan D., Clearwater, Florida

  • I love the ocean way too much to give a sh*t.

    woman floating in large pool

    "Over it! I decided to be grateful my body is healthy and strong and had two children. I love the ocean way too much to give a sh*t about what I look like swimming in it. And being in the Caribbean always boosts my body confidence -- other places just don't care as much about being a skinny bitch like Americans! Embrace the booty!" -- Jennifer D., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • I try to focus on different numbers than the scale.

    woman lifting barbell

    "I can't stand the tagline 'Get bikini ready!' or 'Fit into your bikini in time for summer!'

    "Every time I see a gym or magazine or whatever advertising with this, I run the other way. How the hell are we ever supposed to love our bodies enough to treat them well, if we are constantly chasing after this 'my body is never going to be good enough' idea?

    "However, I DO feel the pressure, still, even after three babies, to somehow look the same I looked before kids. I try to focus on different numbers than the scale -- I haven't owned one since college -- like, how much can I deadlift now? How many children can I carry down the block, kicking and screaming to not leave the park? Those are numbers that matter more, right?" -- Meghan B., Toronto, Ontario

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  • My best summer body is the one that has the most fun.

    twin ice cream cones

    "My life, and my approach to the whole 'summer body' thing, changed dramatically when a friend shared that her goal weight was 'whatever weight allows me to do what I want and still eat things that make me happy.' I thought a lot about it and I realized that my happy place is where I am able to run around after my kids but can still also enjoy a great ice cream cone or glass of wine -- or two -- afterwards. 

    "I don't weigh myself anymore, and I wear my swimsuit every day in the summer, because you know what? My best summer body is the one that has the most fun." -- Allison R., Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

  • I give zero f*cks.

    woman carrying daughter on her back

    "I give zero f*cks about what I look like in a swimsuit. I also rarely wear makeup, do my hair, pluck my brows, or shave, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask." -- Leslie B., Boulder, Colorado

  • I stopped talking about my body.

    little girl in mirror

    "I'm over the body pressure and summer body thing. With a daughter who is listening to every single thing I say and do and even [watching] how I look at myself in the bathroom mirror, I just stopped talking about my body -- and other people's bodies -- and got rid of our full-length mirror last year." -- Virginia R., Saint Paul, Minnesota

body image body positivity self esteem

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