Why Owning My First Swimsuit Was A Defining Moment In My Life

I finally got my hands on my first-ever wholly-owned swimsuit.

 

I know what you’re thinking. BIG DEAL. Well, you know what? It was a really big deal for me. I have never had my own swimsuit ever, in all my years of living. It’s a rather odd thing, considering that I was born and bred in Borneo and spent my growing up years surrounded by beaches and all.

 

What’s even more odd is that there are several reasons as to why it took me this long. First of all, I cannot swim. Again, odd because of the whole Borneo thing. I can float pretty well, although I don’t think that guarantee my safety if ever I float to where the crashing waves are enough to overturn a large boat. Anyway, let’s not talk about nightmares right now.

 

The other reason, of course, which you might have guessed is body issues. I spent my growing up years dealing with people who tell me that I ought to go down to size X, and weigh at the very most X kg. What’s wonderful is that once I decided to set up this website, a lot of inputs have come in about this topic such as:

 

 

And despite the influencer movement (one that is steadily losing its grasp on audiences), which may be a hit or a miss with people, I have one thing to thank them for: it’s for showing that all kinds of bodies, skin colours and all, can rock anything they feel like wearing — makeup, lipstick colour, dress colour, dress type and ESPECIALLY swimwear.

 

I think that has somehow helped normalise the diverse types of bodies around the world, and it trickled down to changing my own mindset about how it is actually OK for me to also own my own swimsuit, and rock it despite my different body shape.

 

I browsed through Instagram for years, following ‘body positive’ campaigners, models of all different shapes and sizes, those who showcase their flaws and those who call out people who shame them. It was stashed away in my ‘Saved’ folder for a while, as a ‘just in case’ measure if ever I encounter a shitty day.

 

But a couple of weeks ago, while I was strategising what kind of stories to do for work (as in, my official journalist work), I decided to do a story that would try to capture this same body positive movement as well. The idea was to do a how-to, a guide on how to pick the best swimwear for your body type. Beach holidays will always be a thing, and for girls like me who enjoy the idea of being at the seaside, would probably find it hard to rock a swimwear without having to feel like people are judging the rolls, or the cellulite. But then again, something had to change.

 

How long was I going to be in this state for? I can’t constantly advise and encourage people to feel good doing whatever they want, looking however they want if I myself don’t follow the same rule.

 

So the brand that I collaborated with to do this story (a lovely, local brand) spoke to each other and we decided to go with it … so those of you who are keen on reading that Swimwear 101 story, I’ll link it here when it does go up. Another fun fact is that the founders are actually from the same part of Borneo as I am! Small world!

 

One of the happiest things to happen in my life thus far is probably receiving a package at work. I saw the brand name and logo and I was so hyped. I was a tad nervous. I had never owned a swimwear before, and I was wondering how I’d feel if I were to put it on.

 

But after a looooong, long long long, long long long long day at work, I came home and decided, ‘F it’. I tried it on, feeling the rush of adrenaline and excitement as I slipped it on. Turned around and saw myself in the mirror.

 

I felt fantastic, I felt great. I felt the sexiest I had ever felt. I was … how do they say it? Feelin’ myself. And boy did the swimwear look good as well. For your sake, I’m not going to put up photos of me in it, but I’ll put up photos of the pieces here. Yes, it was taken at my office; I was that excited.

 

Swimwear courtesy of La Bumba!

 

Anyway, back to the feeling good part. I suddenly realised that it had taken me so long, and so much effort just to muster up the courage to get my hands on one. At one point during my reverie, I berated myself for not doing it sooner. Why the hell did I wait so long? Validation? For the time when I was finally at X kg? Why? Who is it for?

 

Girl, just buy the damned swimsuit. Wear it for you. Nobody else. Well, maybe for your boyfriend or whatever, and to show off to your girlfriends because they’re your hype-baes. But all I’m saying is, just do it. If you’re waiting for a certain thing to happen, this dream of owning that perfect swimwear might not materialise. So my advise? Just go up on that website, get it, and wait for your order. You get the joy of receiving something unexpectedly (because PosLaju is unpredictable), and that something is an item that you truly deserve.

 

Do it! I did it, and I felt on top of the world. Honestly can’t wait to hit the beach right now.

 

Do you have your own story about how you came to terms with your own body image? Write in! Would love to hear from you.

 

*Email to askanythinglah@gmail.com

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About kat.f.c

Kathlyn is the founder, and managing editor of Anything Lah! President of #IceCreamFriday club. Will respond to KFC, nuggets and luncheon meat. She is bad at completing biodata and