15 Tips to Help Plus-Size Women Take Back Summer

happy plus size woman

When it comes to seasons, summer and I have a complicated relationship. On the one hand, the weather is lovely, my garden is blooming, and every day seems like a good day for an ice cream cone. On the other hand, let's keep it real -- sometimes summer can be challenging for plus-size ladies. There are so many unique struggles that people who aren't of a certain size just can't relate to. 

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As a plus-size woman, I will say that summer can mean dealing with under-boob sweat, swimsuit angst, and figuring out which summer clothes make me feel best about my curves. And don't even get me started on the chub rub! That can be beyond uncomfortable to deal with. 

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I talked to 15 curvy women who are rocking this summer, and I got their best tips for loving this season and the skin they're in. These ladies provide some empowering advice that is sure to help other plus-size babes take back the summer. Click on for some tips for living the best summer life possible! 

  • You Decide


    "Remember that you get to decide how you want to dress. I think there is this idea that if you are over a certain size then you shouldn't wear tank tops or short shorts. Wear whatever keeps you cool. You don't need to apologize for wearing a swimsuit or shorts or whatever." -- Leslie L., Oakland, California 

  • Shorten Up


    "Don't believe the lie that chubby women shouldn't wear a short haircut. I love to cut my hair short at the start of the summer. I feel cool and breezy and the humidity is my friend. Rock that short do, fellow curvy friends!" -- Mel H., Atlanta, Georgia 

  • Glide On


    "My summer survival tip is Body Glide! Chub rub is real! I use Body Glide on my inner thighs to prevent irritation. It also works for keeping away blisters when I'm breaking in new sandals or if my bra straps are rubbing. It's the best $7 you can spend in the summer." -- Yun C., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Market Time


    "Summer means farmers' market! I'm totally anti-diet but am very pro–feeding my body the tastiest stuff. Strawberries from a local farm? Heaven! Some fresh radishes? Yes, please!

    "I know some jack holes don't think fat chicks eat veggies, but this one does and it's prime season!" -- Claudia S., Des Moines, Iowa

    More from CafeMom: 17 Easy DIY Popsicles Everyone Will Love This Summer

  • No Fear!


    "Don't be afraid to rock a two-piece this summer! Your body has just as much right to swim and play as anyone else. Fit is key, so I am all about the suits that have bra cups sizing. Keeps my girls right where I want them when I'm at the beach." -- Marta E., Avon, North Carolina 

  • No Straps, No Problem


    "As a curvy girl, I always avoided strapless or thin-strapped dresses because I assumed there weren't good strapless bras in my size. I was a bridesmaid last summer and the strapless dress I had to wear sent me on a hunt for a good summer bra.

    "Turns out that if you are a little patient and if you can check out a specialty bra shop, there is probably a strapless bra for you! I'm a 42G and I found one! Super psyched to be able to rock any dress I want this summer!" -- Maddie K., Tucson, Arizona

  • Read Up


    "I highly recommend making sure your summer reading list has some books that feature kick-ass plus-sized heroines! Dietland by Sarai Walker or Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner are good starters but there are also A LOT more romance books than you might expect with plus-sized women getting lots of hot sex. Bring it on!" -- Aubrey D., Fresno, California 

  • Bra Buddy


    "Um, can I talk about the totally not sexy part of having big boobs? Okay, so almost every summer I get a rash under my boobs from the sweat and humidity. I finally saw my doctor about it and he said it was a form of a yeast infection. Lovely. 

    "While the problem is kind of gross, his solution for preventing it in the future was easy -- diaper rash cream! I rub some under my boobs in the morning and then put my bra over top when it is dry. It creates a layer that keeps the bacteria from forming. I also wash my bras a lot more in the summer." -- Mandy R., Washington, DC

    More from CafeMom: 12 Women Share the Incredible Perks of Having Large Breasts

  • No Worries


    "My best summer life tip? Stop worrying about being fat. Wear the swimsuit. Eat the ice cream cone. Hell, eat all the things you want. Wear shorts if you want to. I'm a size 24 and I am not about living embarrassed of myself. You want to enjoy summer, right? So stop worrying about what other people think. Be the fat girl on the beach. Hell, you can put your towel next to mine!" -- Heidi T., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Slip Shorts


    "I LOVE wearing dresses, especially to work. But I don't love having the inner thigh burn in the summer. Last summer I discovered slip shorts at the store and they are a game changer! Slip shorts are cut like bike shorts but made out of thin fabric so they don't add bulk under your dress. I literally got 12 pairs and wear them almost every day. So comfy." -- Brenna D., Grand Haven, Michigan

  • Take It Outside


    "I get gym phobia as a fat chick. All the mirrors make me self-conscious and I don't like feeling like people are watching me. So summer is great because I can work out outside. I hit my favorite park and just GO." -- Freya G., Newport, Rhode Island

  • Short Story


    "Last summer I rediscovered shorts. I'm a size 16 and I gave up shorts for like five years because they were all too short and rode up. Strong dislike of having to deal with chub rub and shorts crawling up my butt. No judgment for the big girls who rock the short shorts -- I think that's fierce. I just don't like it for myself. 

    "But I think it is getting easier to find decent plus-sized clothes options, especially online. So I looked around until I found more Bermuda short–length options and I love them. No more jeans or leggings when it is 100 degrees out!" -- Elizabeth A., Gilbert, Arizona

  • Let Her Rip!


    "This might sound dumb, but for the longest time, I was ashamed of my size and wouldn't get massages, pedicures, or leg waxing. I was worried the person doing it would be grossed out by me. 

    "But I've gotten more militant about not apologizing for myself and the truth is that I love not having to shave every other day, so I am back to getting waxed a few times in the summer. I also get my size 11 wide feet rubbed and my toes painted whenever I'm in the mood. I have just as much right to be pampered as a skinny girl!" -- Sarah F., Maplewood, Minnesota

  • Find Your Chill


    "Do yoga in the park! Do whatever makes you feel good, but try to do it outside. Your body craves the fresh air. No hiding this summer, okay?" -- Ricki T., Brooklyn, New York

  • The List

    iStock.com/Ryhor Bruyeu

    "Okay, fat friends, here is how you own summer. Make a list of everything you'd do, eat, or wear this summer if you woke up and were magically skinny.

    "Got it?

    "Okay, now that's your summer to-do list! Don't wait until you are skinny (because you might never be and that's OKAY) to have the life (and summer) you want to have!" -- Penny D., Wheaton, Illinois

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