Being plus size for most of my life, I can only speak from my own experiences. I don’t know if straight size women have memories ruined because all they could think about was how terrible they looked or that they were being looked at the whole time. But I know there has been many an occasion where amazing memories have been blighted because of those thoughts in my mind. But something happened last year that I’ve been meaning to share and finally I’m getting around to it. The power of good fitting clothing. I’m serious. That, with a splash of self love thrown into the mix. It’s a recipe for memory success. Let me explain…
Last year my son Cameo was born. One of the things I’d wanted to do throughout my whole pregnancy was take him swimming. It seemed like an amazing thing to do while he was still a baby. A great way of bonding, learning and a bit of exercise thrown in. I’ve always loved the water and I knew if there was one thing I did with my son in those early days it was going to be swimming. Then it dawned on me. I’d have to wear a swimming costume. To be honest, I’m over bikinis now. I wore them during my holidays a couple of years ago and I still stand by the fact that ALL bodies are bikinis bodies. But I’m going to be honest. I feel more comfortable in an all in one swimsuit and you know what? That’s OK.
At first I was fine. But then, as with most post partum women. I was learning to love my body again. I had a new shape, a c-section scar that was still a bit delicate and to be honest, my self-esteem was a bit delicate too. On my first swimming class I was a bit flustered. (You have to take SO much with you) and I realised, as with most ‘mummy’ groups, EVERYONE was looking at everyone. It wasn’t in a mean way. It was in a kind of ‘omg are you feeling how I’m feeling’ kind of way. I couldn’t work out if they were judging how advanced Cameo was compared to their child or looking at me. But you know what made a huge difference to me on that challenging day? My swimming costume.
I wore an Elomi swimming costume, made for the curvier figure. It was an all in one with a super bright floral panel down the front, which was where the eyes focused. I know we shouldn’t care about flattering, but on this day, I wanted something that was flattering and made me feel as good in my skin as possible. This costume did just that. It has an under band elastic so it’s super easy to get on and move around it. It wasn’t tight or restrictive at all! It has light foam moulded cups for a little support and shape which makes a huge different in a costume. Plus it was super stretchy and I didn’t feel like I was wearing a boring old lady costume. I felt good in it. REALLY good! So good that I didn’t bother going into a changing room. I just took my dress off (I had my costume on underneath obviously!) and popped it in my bag.
If you’ve ever taken your baby to swimming classes you’ll know there is zero elegant way of getting in and out of the pool. There’s no sneaking in the shallow end or slowly heading down the ladder. Nope! It’s laying your baby on the side and jumping in ASAP, they bringing them in with you. This means bending over in full view of the entire pool and not caring if you have a wedgie or not. Well thumbs up Elomi. This is one of the few costumes and bikinis that haven’t down that whole wedgie thing when I’m getting in or out of the pool.
At the end of the day it does come down to confidence. But wearing a great fitting costume that looked good too made a huge difference to me. It meant I forgot about my body and focused on the amazing thing I was doing with my son. It meant I have these fantastic memories of swimming under water, him laughing when I jump in the pool and him waving at the instructor instead of me thinking everyone is laughing or looking at me. I felt confident and it means my memories are positive ones. It’s quite emotional really. If you’ve struggled with your body image for so long and had that feeling that you’re being judged for so long. It’s nice to get a reprieve from that. So, thanks Elomi for making costumes for plus size women that aren’t ugly or frumpy. Thank you for giving me memories that aren’t tainted and for helping me be the best mum I can. The power of good fitting clothes is magical and I stand by that.