Beach Beauty, Yes You Are

7 May 2013

We are approaching the time of year that every woman braces herself for mentally, physically and emotionally: bikini season.

Let me take a step back. Last week I succumbed to a video gone viral courtesy of Dove and I’m so very thankful that I did.  They look at the perceptions we have of our body, our beauty and really – just how hard we are on ourselves.  The result is nothing short of heartbreaking, but the message rang true for me particularly as we approach one of the most trying times of year.  You can watch the short social experiment here.

Last summer, as I shopped for my seasonal swimsuit, I toyed with the idea of the trendy high-waisted bikini bottoms, a nod to the 1950s and 60s. Think old Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly glamor. As I hiked up the bottoms clear across my belly button, I noticed the cut on the leg was sky-high, and began negotiating with myself.  “I’m showing less skin, but it’s an area typically covered up, so it should be fine.” However, the negative thoughts were just too overwhelming and it was just a lot more leg than I was comfortable with.  I settled for the same, boring, safe style I go with every year, just in a different color. Zzzz…

Cut to Summer of 2013 and here we are again –  Marc Jacobs, Gottex and Mara Hoffman are throwing the high-rise swimsuit and sex’d up one pieces all up in my face, tempting me to give the look a real go.  So, thanks to a few self-confidence boosting affirmations in the fitting room and reminders of the lessons learned from the Dove video, I am going to channel my inner starlet and rock one of these suits this summer.

See you on the beach ladies and gentleman, and remember:

You are more beautiful than you think.

Here’s a bit of past + present inspiration.  My advice: wear the bottoms high on your hips and make sure it hits just above the belly button. Pair with an eensy, weensie bikini top to keep it modern while creating some contrast. Most importantly, wear with confidence, grace + an ounce of attitude.

We’ll begin with the hourglass of all hourglass figures, Marilyn Monroe:

Marilyn Monroe + bathing suit + green

Just frolic on a diving board in one of these:

marilyn inspired trio oceanviolet

Grace Kelly – just effortless.


retro swim

grace grace

Fine, I admit – I’m Grace obsessed.


Vintage knitted bikini + a 1995 shot by Peter Lindbergh in Harper’s Bazaar

Just for reinforcement, make sure you watch the Dove video: Real Beauty.  I definitely teared up a bit.  My hope is that we’re all a little nicer to ourselves (+ one another) this summer (+  always.)

We're over here now:

Jessica Arb Danial Art Advisory