An Instagrammer I follow recently did a “real women” shoot for a swimsuit brand. I was so inspired by the images. All the women looked so powerful, so confident around each other and with their bodies.
After having Harper, I am two sizes bigger than I was pre-pregnancy. I go between adoring my body for carrying and birthing such a precious entity, to yearning for a “bikini ready” body that we are often bombarded with in the media. I never had stretch marks, and was always athletic so pre-baby was relatively toned. Despite this, I cannot ever remember a time when I liked my body – what a sad reality that is.
I remember once seeing a meme that said;
“Steps to get bikini ready
Step 1. Get bikini
Step 2. Put bikini on
Step 3. You are now bikini ready!”
Or something of that effect. It’s true. We so often see stretch-mark free size 6s who curve in all the right places and have not a blemish on them. We are saturated with diet programmes and excerise regimes, often marketed by fabulous women that look like they belong on the video for Call on Me. I am in no way dissing these women, they look incredible I know they work hard. However, what I am dissing is the medias overuse of this ‘one size fits all’ approach. A size 12 considered a ‘plus size’. And how often do you see stretch marks in a clothing campaign?
When I first spoke to Antonia I was blown away. Antonia feels so strongly about changing this message of beauty. She wants all women to recognise their beauty, to feel courageous, and to be true to themselves. This is her vision behind Mermaid in England, a fabulous swimwear range that is proudly designed and made in Britain. Her company prides itself on keeping things local to reduce their carbon footprint, and her passion for marine life means she is also taking steps to become as environmentally conscious as possible. She uses real women in her advertising campaigns; women of all shapes and sizes, embracing beauty in all its angles.
Antonia really kindly sent me two gorgeous bikinis. They fit so nicely, and don’t give me love handles like many do! For the first time in a very long time I actually felt confident in a bikini. And they change colour when they are wet! They immediately became my favourite swimwear I have ever owned, not only for being beautiful and flattering but also because of the message behind them – you are beautiful in your own skin.
One of their tag lines is;
You’re not just Buying Swimwear
You are Part of a Force for Positive Change
And this really resonated with me.
I really urge you to go and take a look at their growing range which can be found here. Mermaid in England have very kindly given me a discount code for you guys to get 10% off – BEABEAR10 – it expires June 13th! If you are heading on holiday and need new swimwear, support small and ethical ❤️