Anyone else self conscious abour wearing a bathing suit?

(56 Posts)
moita Wed 21-Jul-21 20:47:07

Took my kids to a water park today and embarrassingly I was one of the few mums in tshirt and shorts. Purely because I'm ashamed of my body.

I'm not the thinnest and do need to lose weight but I remember being a size 6 (many years ago!!) and still felt ashamed of my body.

I need to get over this and at the age of 35 I want to wear a swimsuit not just for comfort but I'm worried my kids will notice mum's not wearing what other mummies are.

Anyone else feel like this or has words of wisdom?

OP’s posts: |
Miseryisabutterfly Wed 21-Jul-21 20:53:14

I hate myself in a bathing suit. We went to the beach on Monday though and I took the plunge (pun not intended). I had a brilliant time. I wore a sheer kaftan/kimono type thing over the top (even in the water) just to make me feel a little bit less anxious.

Miseryisabutterfly Wed 21-Jul-21 20:54:21

I really can’t emphasize enough what a good time I had actually. Do it. You’ll feel so free. And there will be people of all shapes and sizes around you, no one is going to give a toss.

66babe Thu 22-Jul-21 07:59:46

It may seem that you stand out more in shorts and tee shirt
Drawing more attention to yourself , where in your swimsuit you are just the same as all the other varying sizes that we all are ..

NonShallot Thu 22-Jul-21 08:05:44

I'm still about two stone overweight after having DD two years ago and have a terrible mum tum after a c section. The last couple of days I've been down the beach in a swimming costume. Loads of people around, no one gave me a second glance whatsoever. And if they did look at me and think, gosh she's a bit fat, well who cares? Their thoughts can't hurt me and I'd rather be comfortable in the hot weather than hiding under a t-shirt.

LucyLocketsPocket Thu 22-Jul-21 08:09:33

I also think you would have stood out more in shorts and t shirt.
No one else will care what you look like in a swimsuit.

Upaverytalltower Thu 22-Jul-21 08:09:55

There's actually freedom in being a mum body-wise because no one expects mums to be in shape. You will look no different to anyone else. No one knows you. I feel the same, so self conscious but I push myself to do it because
- I don't want my kids to have body issues
- I don't want to be on my death bed thinking about what I missed
- fuck the patriarchy


Dragonn Thu 22-Jul-21 08:12:31

Men wear shorts to swim in. I've been looking for some surf shorts for the beach. I don't particularly want to wear a swim suit regardless of whether I have a good body or not.

Mumdiva99 Thu 22-Jul-21 08:13:41

I'm very overweight at the moment - about 3 stone....and up short so it notices. But....I love the water more. So I just do it. No one else knows how we think we should look. No one who matters cares. Just do it.

HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Thu 22-Jul-21 08:16:21

I like being on holiday as nobody you know will see you so just carry on in swim wear.

I teach at a high school and often get the fear that students will be Snapchatting photos of me when at our local beach with my DC, but I just try and keep in mind that time with the DC is more important. We tend to use paddle boards so I wear a pair of surf leggings (any sport non-seethrough material will do) and a rash vest as it allows me to stay in the water longer. It sticks to you though and I'm sure doesn't look great on my size 18 body but Dd and I have fun and that's what counts.

Upaverytalltower Thu 22-Jul-21 08:17:08

There are plenty of swim suit options with shorts and more covered tops, or mini wet suit type styles if that's what you prefer - but be comfy. Men wear shorts because they're comfy not because they're ashamed of their bodies

Jessa2020 Thu 22-Jul-21 08:18:30

Yes..since having my first I didn’t really get my pre baby body back and now I’m pregnant again. I’ve just started taking my little one swimming but felt very self conscious! One thing I did though as went to a proper lingerie shop to get bra measured so It fit properly and was flattering, I also got a one piece rather than bikini as think those days are over haha...I found that I was self conscious walking around but in the water it’s fine as your body is mostly covered.

As others have said I’d imagine you stand out more wearing shorts and tshirt so maybe try a flattering one piece with a kaftan to throw over the top when you’re out of the water? It’s rubbish but I’m just glad we’re not men who have to go topless and then there’s no covering that belly!

AvantGardening Thu 22-Jul-21 08:25:39

It’s one of those cycles. You hate yourself in swimwear so you spend as little time and money on it as possible.

You need to do a huge online order. Lots of stuff. Stuff you definitely wouldn’t wear. Stuff you like the colour or print on. Stuff you think is too expensive for ‘just’ a swimsuit or bikini. And try it all on in the comfort of your own home.

If you really want extra cover think about a kaftan or kimono. I quite often wear swim shorts with a bikini top when I’m doing kids water stuff. Less fuss, pockets, and I feel less exposed then I might in a swimsuit given I’m not really in the water. I know people who like rash vests for the same reason. So maybe try a few of both alongside the bikinis and costumes.

66babe Thu 22-Jul-21 08:37:40

@AvantGardening such a good idea .. unfortunately when I do this and never send anything back lol
I think oh that might fit my daughter / oh I might lose weight/ oh I might get even fatter / oh that might come back in fashion

And then I've spent a fortune and my drawers are full of stuff I can't wear 🤣

burnoutbabe Thu 22-Jul-21 08:43:07

Bikinis always felt too revealing /sexual for me so I have now got a shorts and long tankini top combos. Top doesn't rise up like a normal tankini top and no need to worry about bikini line. Just a practical outfit (and I was going on water slides in water parks so I wanted practical stuff that didn't expose me on slides)

Bbq1 Thu 22-Jul-21 08:57:35

You can get nice costumes with a little skirt/sarong attached. I have a couple as I'm self conscious about the tops of my thighs.

SummaLuvin Thu 22-Jul-21 09:05:56

Honestly OP no-one is going to give you a second look, strangers are not interested in other peoples bodies at waterparks/swimming pools/beaches. I don't remember ever noting the way someone looked, other than when I think someones swimsuit is particularly nice and wonder where they got it.

OnTheBenchOfDoom Thu 22-Jul-21 09:09:41

I wear surf shorts and a bikini top. Surf shorts are Charm Leaks off Amazon as they have baggy legs and are not made of swim suit material more like men's swim shorts but designed to fit women.

I also wear a swimsuit that has shorts for the bottom half, usually in a pool if I am doing lengths.

Best thing I ever did one day was to actually pay attention to the hugely varying sizes and shapes of women's bodies in all their different beachwear and realised that very few fit the beauty standard that is projected and marketed at us.

Find something you feel comfortable in which will massively help. If it is t shirt and shorts then find the most flattering for you.

ExConstance Thu 22-Jul-21 10:20:40

When I was quite overweight I used to wear a Speedo costume, quite patterened with a nice neckline but it could not be viewed as being purchased for anything other than serious swimming. I felt t;his conveyed that I was not wearing it because i l thought I looked good wearing very little but because I wanted to swim. Actually I don't like swimming much and a few metres doggy paddle is about it for me. I did however feel very confident wearing the costume.

thinkfast Thu 22-Jul-21 10:26:29

Honestly OP no one is giving a mum in a swimsuit a second look. I think the only time I notice what other mums are swimming in is if they are in a swim dress or swim shorts, as it makes me feel sad that they feel such a need to cover up.

I'm very overweight but won't let it stop me taking my kids swimming or to the beach.

Once you're in the water no one can really see you and when your put you can wrap up in a towel if you need.

I second trying a few different swimsuits to see what makes you feel comfortable. A one piece or a tankini might make you feel more comfortable.

WineGetsMeThroughIt Thu 22-Jul-21 10:57:12

I love the summer time but hate the pressure to be in a swimsuit. I gained a lot of weight while pregnant with my first and ballooned during and after to a size 18. Now I'm back down to a size 8/10 and have been for a few years now. But the stretch marks, loose skin and c-section pouch are all still there. On the outside in clothes everyone always tells me how amazing I look and how fit I am. But on a recent holiday with friends where I was the slimmest of them all, I still refused to wear a swimsuit into the pool with our kids and instead was the only mum sat on the sidelines while I had to send my kid off with his friends and their mums. It's soul destroying constantly beating myself up and seeing the skin around my thighs wobble wobble as I walk. So I decided this year that I will no longer put pressure on myself to feel confident in a swimsuit. Instead I've mentally prepared myself and chosen never to wear one again. I have put my foot down on swimming and longing by the pool and just say no to it. If I have a hard rule for myself of no, it's easier than trying to stress out about whether or not I go in. Because no swimsuit is going to make me look decent no matter the cut or pattern.

Maybe this isn't what other people wanted to hear, it's not body confident blah blah blah. But it's my reality and it's what has taken the anxiety of it all away from me. I do feel bad that I won't be able to take my kids swimming if they want to go. But I just make my husband take them.

Howshouldibehave Thu 22-Jul-21 11:02:19

I think people stand out much more swimming in shorts/T-shirt, kimono, wrap etc than in just a swimming costume!

AmberIsACertainty Thu 22-Jul-21 11:11:27

Swimsuits pretty much look Ike underwear. I'm not ashamed of my body but I'm uncomfortable in a swimsuit. I've got one from Joe Browns it's a vest top and a mini skirt with integrated knickers. Much happier.

JaninaDuszejko Thu 22-Jul-21 11:28:13

When I was quite overweight I used to wear a Speedo costume, quite patterened with a nice neckline but it could not be viewed as being purchased for anything other than serious swimming.

This is good advice although I'd say avoid Speedo and go for a better brand. Zoggs are pretty much indestructible or one of the surfer brands because they are really well made. I am a keen swimmer and get swimsuits from proswimwear, they have a massive choice and all prices but I always look in the sales section so I can get a better swimsuit for my money. While you are probably less concerned with the impact of chlorine than me the brands making swimsuits for regular swimmers are less likely to ride up etc. And there are brands like Maru using Econylon that is made from recycled plastic.

Bbq1 Thu 22-Jul-21 11:30:21


Swimsuits pretty much look Ike underwear. I'm not ashamed of my body but I'm uncomfortable in a swimsuit. I've got one from Joe Browns it's a vest top and a mini skirt with integrated knickers. Much happier.

@AmberisaCertainty, that sounds really nice. Do you have a link or even a photo please as I'd love one. Feel slightly uncomfortable that a pp said she only notices other women if they're wearing a swim dress as that's what I currently wear. I feel way more comfortable in it than a swimsuit.

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