According to the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, a whopping 76% of American women don’t feel good about their bodies. Sound familiar? If so, don’t let your insecurities cloud some of the most beautiful days of the year—instead, give your confidence a big boost while wearing your most bad ass bathing suit this summer. Here's how to do it.
Nail the basics
Kick up your beauty routine by focusing on your hair, skin, teeth and nails to feel and look healthier. When you feel great about yourself, you'll think less about the things you're insecure about. Treat yourself to a regular deep hydration for your hair to give it extra vitality and use a moisturizing mask once a week, especially around your eyes. Try an illuminating foundation to give your face a natural glow, and exfoliate and moisturize to plump up and smooth out your skin all over.
Interestingly, research shows that having pearly white teeth makes you more likable instantly—and it can make you look younger. Luckily, all it takes is a few minutes with whitening strips to make a noticeable difference. A manicure or pedicure can also help you feel well-groomed and confident. Booked solid this week? Try a quick buff or cuticle trim at home; it really helps.
Work it out
Did you know that supermodels are known to exercise just before a photoshoot so they can flex their muscles to look more toned? You can definitely do the same before you hit the beach.
Keep it simple and effective with a plank, some lunges and squats or couple of minutes of jumping jacks. The increased circulation and deeper breathing from your quick workout will help your skin glow and improve your posture while muscle contractions help give you a firmer look. Remember to stay hydrated and keep healthy snacks on hand so you feel great after your sweat session on a hot summer day.
Enhance the shape you have
A healthy alternative to spending too much time in the sun, spray tans are a go-to secret for confident celebrities around the world. Why not treat yourself to one as a way to accentuate curves in all the right places as well?
Make your spray tan work for you by choosing a formula that works for you and exfoliating your entire body first, focusing on any areas where you have rough or dry skin (like your elbows and knees). Once you're done, apply self-tanner and let it set. You can go over areas you're self-conscious about twice to accentuate them, whether it's your waist, thighs or booty. To get it just right, subtly blend the tanner to create a gradually darker area.
If you''re working with self tanning products for the first time, try a test run at home before planning to rock your darker, summer shade at an event or on vacation. When short on time or in doubt, leave it to a pro and treat yourself to a professional tan with contouring. You'll love the result!
Good posture can be a game-changer when it comes to your appearance—so while it might sound unusual, you should practice your most upright posture before you hit the beach in your bathing suit. Use a mirror to scope out how you look when you walk, sit and stand. Are there positions that look more flattering than others?
You can also practice 'power posing'. Try putting your hands on your hips or behind your neck or pushing your chest out to feel more confident about how you look. Find the pose that makes you feel the best and know you can rock it anytime you're feeling self-conscious.
Adopt an “I’m hot” mindset
Confidence is captivating and beautiful, so it's no surprise that people admire and flock to those who have it. Confident women have a few things in common too: They hold themselves straighter, stand taller, make more eye contact, and are naturally more playful. The best part? When you exude confidence, no one notices the things you might not like so much about yourself!
Before you get ready to step out in your badass bathing suit, spend a few minutes in front of the mirror. Repeat some empowering positive affirmations to boost your self-esteem, such as “I’m beautiful” or “I rock this bikini”. Focus on your best attributes and remember the times people have complimented you on them. You can even think back to a situation where you felt super-confident, like when you had a successful presentation at work or when you finished a 10-mile run.
Loving yourself unconditionally and feeling good about taking care of your body is the best strategy for finding confidence while rocking a bathing suit. Once you start actively loving yourself, there will be nothing that can hold you back from making this the best summer ever.
About the Author
A social scientist and holistic health coach, Franziska Alesso-Bendisch, MBA, PhD helps busy women create sustainable and healthy habits based on their personality type. She's the founder of The Well Space and passionate about putting women into the driver’s seat when it comes to their own health and the health of the planet. Franziska is based in Miami, FL, a mom of 3 under 3, and enjoys the little time she has with a glass of wine, cooking (something healthy), yoga and connecting with the startup scene in Miami.