Cape Gazette

Beach Beat

Go ahead...rock that bikini

By Billie Criswell | Jul 31, 2014

I had a baby in May, and everyone said that having a baby in spring was best. One thing is for sure - it makes getting to the beach a little difficult. Aside from just being plain hard to get on the sand, another thing that plagued my thoughts before she was born was what to do about my post-baby body and my swimsuit collection. Would my body be beachworthy, or would I have to stay indoors, loathing my figure?

All my exercise during pregnancy seems to have paid off. I was lucky in that I was back down to my pre-baby weight in a few weeks, although now it is distributed a little differently. As the temperature rose, was I ready to throw on my bikini and hit the water? I found the answer was a resounding YES.

I saw a local writer friend of mine (who also recently had a baby) blogging about how her fear of wearing a bathing suit in public had kept her from taking her children to the beach. She resolved to end her insecurities, get into that suit and make memories with her kids. That, along with some recent articles from self-proclaimed “fat girls” who were wearing two-piece suits, got me thinking about my own body.

The fact of the matter is that wearing a bikini (or any swimwear) isn’t something you earn like a lower interest rate on your mortgage. The beautiful people of the world who meet society’s trumped-up standards of beauty don’t have a premium on the summer season. Might some women look better than others in two-piece suits? I guess; but that’s pretty subjective. The real deal with swimwear is how you feel in your own body.

Now that I have a daughter, I want her to know that you should feel great about your body no matter what your size. If I want her to feel that way, I’ve got to demonstrate that and it starts now, at the very beginning of her life. So with pride and a little extra belly fat, I’m gonna rock my bikini on every possible occasion this summer.

No woman should feel badly about getting to the beach on a hot summer day to enjoy the sun and the ocean. It’s just that simple.  I’m willing to bet that most of us fear more judgment than we’ll ever get. Let’s break down the conscious and unconscious messages that society sends us about what we should be and just enjoy ourselves no matter what we look like.

Because happiness should never be dictated by the scale.


Beach Paper ColumnistBillie Criswell is a local writer specializing in lifestyle and public relations. Read her blog at or contact her at



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