Growing up, I had a very love-hate relationship with my body. I loved that it was healthy and allowed me to play sports and ride my Razor Scooter (TBT), but I also often found myself hating my figure for aesthetic reasons. This went on for years, and to this day, I still occasionally have times where I don't feel my best (part of the nature of being female I suppose?) Ultimately, what I have found to be a large contributing factor to these feelings of self-doubt is the quintessential body ideal we are fed from childhood, from Barbies to Baywatch. The mainstream media has found a way to portray one size as beautiful--one that often reflects an unrealistic standard. Don't get me wrong, Victoria's Secret models are undoubtedly stunning, but so are 18472801 other types of figures and looks. The fact of the matter is that we can't all be Victoria's Secret models and that is OK. It doesn't make us any less, and in turn, representing other types of figures in the media, doesn't make them any less. There's room for everyone, folks. Over the past year, I have made a goal to support the body positivity movement and make a concerted effort to represent beauty in all forms.
This spring, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with two of my favorite bloggers, Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman of A Bikini A Day. These awesome women are some of the most confident people I have ever met and it's this confidence that sets them apart. They are bringing an equally incredible, new image of the bikini body to their millions of followers, beginning with their poise and self-assuredness. This year, I also met body positivity activist and model, Charli Howard, who has shifted her focus to spreading a positive message on body image through the All Woman Project, a group dedicated to spreading body confidence and inclusivity across social media. You can find Charli proudly sharing her message of body positivity through online posts featuring her uniquely beautiful and un-retouched figure (you all know how I feel about social media and Photoshop already). Needless to say, the body positivity movement is certainly having a moment right now and I wanted to get involved.
Over the past year, I have found I personally feel strongest and most beautiful when I'm active and healthy, so I try to stay active and healthy through balance. Oddly enough with my historically turbulent relationship with my own body, today I also find I feel most empowered in a bathing suit--something when I was 16 I dreaded. Haters may hate, but now my body represents the hard work I've put in to making myself healthy, both mentally and physically, and for that I am proud. This personal empowerment paired with my desire to bring a more eclectic range of body types to the mainstream has inspired me to seek out roles with swimwear companies that mirror my personal mission. Most recently, I accepted an offer to be a Brand Ambassador for Bikini.com, a company that highlights #realbikinibabes and I'm excited to use this platform to inspire the every-girl.
At the end of the day, I'm no Gigi Hadid--I'm Jordan Boswell, and I feel damn great rocking my bikini.