I am not a body image superhero.

I'm not always brave. I'm not completely healed. I'm not invincible. And though I logically know better... I'm not always "okay" with my body.

I debated sharing these photos because of the "Thou shalt show" and "Thou shall NOT show" bullshit that I've internalized when it comes to body size/shape visibility- even within online plus communities. To then put a spotlight on these raw photos in an outfit post where everything is expected to be composed and perfectly curated? Well, these images (being everything but composed and effortlessly curated) didn't help the anxiety.

I mean,  COME ON. I'm not wearing an oversize sun hat, high heels or having someone fan me with palm fronds so what exactly is the point of photographing this swimsuit, again?*

I then debated sharing this thought process with you at all because I know how we always inherently want online fat girls be superheros even though no one is, because: real life. But I get it. I get why we want them to wear capes and always have fantastic days while the remaining pieces of the crumbling patriarchy** just roll off their fabulously fierce backs as they strut off into the sunset. That kind of inspiration is intoxicating and very hard to find in this world.

But the hard to hear news is that every fat person on the internet is, in fact, shockingly... human.

All of us, and I think I fall into that last category a little more than most. This internal battle happens less and less, but some days, damn... the shame is SO REAL.

I ALWAYS see the beauty in other bodies. All of them; bodies of every kind- "even" a body that looks just like mine even when I'm not feeling certain about myself. This has been the case for ages. But my personal journey when it comes to me? It gets tricky.

And while I may not be feeling anything that I'm posting right now a full one hundred percent, that somehow makes it seem even more important that I blog about my personal bullshit. So today? I decide to say: FUCK IT ALL.

Fuck body currency. Fuck hiding. Fuck worrying about thighs that fold. Fuck belly roll woe. Fuck the concept of "unflattering" faces. Fuck trying to make scars disappear. Fuck wasting the precious (and limited) time and energy I have on hating on this body of mine when there are so many other important things I want and can and need to do.

So yes, fuck body shame and fuck the shame around body shame too. Fuck. It. All.

Whatever. Forever. Moving on. Amen.

All of these photos were taken at one of my beloved friend's birthday party and the joy and happiness that we felt there was indescribable. And that (dare I say!?) is what matters the most.

Regardless of my internal body image cross-examinations though, there is something that I NEVER question and it's: Is there such a thing as owning TOO MANY leopard print swimsuits?

The answer is no. 
No, there most certainly is not.

I'm wearing:

This leopard bikini top 
the matching strappy bottoms 

and this Nicki Minaj perfume because I don't believe in scent shame and it smells like every summer party I want to be invited to. If you're throwing a party that is going to feel the way Pink Friday smells, tell me when and where.

Note: I often wear 3x in most items on most sites, but this suit runs a little large and fits like a 4x. While it fits when my shoulders are flat, it also scrunches when they do the same. I might suggest ordering the ensemble a size smaller than normal.

Fashion to Figure doesn't have an affiliate program, but they are rad AF all around. They're always up to offer a 10% discount to TMB readers so if you ever shop there, save some dollars and use the code "THEMILITANTBAKER"   and get some of those SAVINGS!

(Moving on to my babely friends and THEIR suits: I did my damnedist to find similar options in plus sizes but shit... Its harder to find these exact suits online than it is to get my seven year old cat to walk on a leash. So- impossible. However, I did find some similar-ish options just in case you're loving what they're serving in the photos. Left to right:)

Katy options: 
Katy is wearing a brand that creeps me out (and doesn't have plus sizes- fuck that noise) so I'm just going to suggest checking out Swimsuits For All and specifically Monif C's  bikinis because they're amazing.

Tiera options:
Mazu Swim (up to 24) | Xback Swimsuit (up to 24) | Crochet High Neck (up to 24)

Najima options:
Pin-Up Zebra  (up to 4x)  | Underwire Zebra (up to 4x) | Ruffled Animal Print (up to 4x)


Corissa shared a few places carry 28+ swimwear. They include: Love Your Peaches (up to 8x), Ulla Popkin (up to size 38 but runs small), and Avenue (up to 32). Thanks Corissa!

And then this amazing back flop happened.

REMINDER: no one is obligated to embrace their body all the time. I'm going to make an enormous assumption and guess that no one "feels the love" every day. And y'know what? That's just fine.

I could write a million more words about this, but I already have for my manuscript and I have very few coherent words left (I ran out midway through this post, actually) so I'll leave you with this simple statement below.

EXISTING is victory enough.

P.S. Keep your eyes open for Alysse's "Best of Plus Swimwear" post coming up in the next few weeks for more amazing poolside options.

* Swimsuit links. The answer is swimsuit links.
** But, WHAT crumbling patriarchal ruins though, right? If anything they're busy reinforcing whole cities right now. I don't know what I'm talking about; my brain has melted in several ways. Ignore me. You get the point.

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