Raise your hand if you agree that shopping for a bathing suit is a total nightmare. It feels like dressing room lighting was designed to be as unflattering as possible, and wriggling in and out of tiny spandex items in two square feet of space is never a comfortable experience. And if you don’t happen to wear street-size clothing? Welp, you’re super out of luck.
The experience of swimsuit shopping as a plus-size woman is something British model Sonny Turner addressed in an Instagram post that’s now gone viral, with over 11,000 likes and more than 500 comments. She shared three pictures of herself trying on a bikini that doesn’t support her breasts or cover her butt, explaining that the uncomfortable suit is one of the very few options in her size.
“NO ONE GETS IT,” she writes about how hard it is to find a properly-fitting suit. So Sonny offered some handy tips for swimsuit designers looking to make items for plus-size women. Among her demands: More underwire options, cup sizes that correlate to bra sizes (and go larger than a DD cup), tops that cover more than just her nipple, and straps that are not uncomfortably tight. As for bathing suit bottoms, she says more coverage options are definitely needed—as well as more choice. “Believe it or not, some of us actually want a thong bikini,” she writes.
“It’s not fair that we can’t wear cute swimwear just because we are built differently,” she wrote. “We deserve to walk into a store and pay £10 for a nice bikini without breaking the bank and our body confidence.”
THE REALITY OF SHOPPING AS A THICK/PLUS SIZE WOMAN. ‼️ changing rooms can be scary places. I am wearing the largest size from one of the most popular high street stores sells in bikinis which is 12-14. High street store bikinis do not cater for women of my body type. Majority of online stores don't either. NO ONE GETS IT so for any upcoming designers I got come tips for u BIG BREASTS NEED UNDERWIRE FOR SUPPORT FOR A YOUTHFUL LIFT WE NEED CUP SIZES THAT CORRELATE TO BRA SIZES AND THEY NEED TO GO PAST DD WE NEED CUPS THAT ACTUALLY COVER MORE THAN OUR NIPPLE WE NEED CUPS THAT BRING OUR BOOBS TOGETHER SO THERES NOT A MASSIVE GAP IN-BETWEEN THEM WE NEED STRAPS THAT AREN'T SO TIGHT ITS AS THOUGH OUR NECK IS ABOUT TO SNAP OFF WE NEED BIKINI BOTTOMS THAT DONT GIVE IS WEDGIES WHEN WE WALK WE NEED STRING BIKINIS THAT DONT EXPOSE OUR VAGINA LIPS WE NEED SWIMSUITS THAT FIT OVER OUR HIPS WITHOUT DRAGGING THE NECK OF THE COSTUME DOWN CAUSING NECK ACHE WE DESERVE MORE CHOICE IN THE SELECTION FOR OUR BODY TYPE THAT ISN'T JUST THE GENERIC BLACK SWIMSUIT WITH A KIMONO YES BELIEVE IT OR NOT , SOME OF US ACTUALLY WANT A THONG BIKINI , THE WHOLE SELECTION DOESN'T HAVE TO BE HIGHWAISTED WE'RE GONNA NEED YOU TO STOP USING MODELS WITH FAKE BOOBS THAT AREN'T A REAL DEPICTION OF WHAT THE BRA WOULD LOOK LIKE ON OUR REAL DROOPY ONES ITS NOT FAIR THAT WE CANT WALK WEAR CUTE SWIMWEAR JUST BC WE ARE BUILT DIFFERENTLY. WE DESERVE TO WALK INTO A STORE AND PAY £10 FOR A NICE BIKINI WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK AND OUR BODY CONFIDENCE. #everyBODYisbeautiful bottom line is: MAKE CLOTHES FOR ALL SIZE & BODIES.
Commenters praised Sonny for her post. “THIS. THIS. THIS,” wrote sashaalthealindsay. “Been saying for years that real big boobs are neglected when it comes to swimwear. I paid £145 for a string bikini with underwire.” Mmmistletoe added, “HELL YES PREACH.”
People of all shapes and sizes can feel self-conscious in a bathing suit, but plus-size women are unfairly subjected to criticism and ridicule for—*gasp*—daring to show some skin. Wellness blogger Sarah Sapora recently rocked a bikini for the first time in 25 years, and has posted some amazing photographs on her social media accounts.
“I was held back by my OWN limiting belief that I was not worthy or comfortable wearing [a bikini],” Sarah said. “When we look to others to tell us that we are ‘acceptable’ then it is literally a prescription to feel unworthy in our own life. Only WE get to decide how we feel about ourselves! If other people are uncomfortable with my body in a bathing suit, that is not a reflection of my worth but of their perception of the value of my body.”
Here’s to loving your own body and not caring what others think—and we sure hope plus-size swimsuit designers get the memo about what women want, stat.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health
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