A Betweeny in a Bikini: Cellulite, Stretch Marks, and Confidence

A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.comA Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com

The Polka Dot Bikini

It seems that most bloggers, when sharing a swimsuit post for the first time, feel the need to disclaim something about their body or their insecurity in the suit. As if they’re not allowed to be confident in these photos they’ve chosen to share with the whole of the internet. But I’m not going to do that today, because in all honesty, I had a hard time paring down the amount of photos I wanted to share.

Five years ago, it might have been a different story. I would have been embarrassed to even look at a swimsuit like this much less put it on my body and model it in front of other beach-goers at a public park. Five years ago, I would never have posted a photo of myself in a swimsuit on the internet. I can only find one photo of me in shorts that was willingly posted.

But today? Today I feel like a fairy beach goddess and I think these photos are beautiful.

A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com

The contrast between how I am now and how I was five years ago is tremendous. Five years ago, I was fifty pounds lighter but thought I was too chubby, being heavier than most of my friends and not understanding that our builds were just different. I have muscular legs and a curvy butt, and many of my friends are built leaner and more athletically. Where they had size 2 or 4 legs and looked willowy in swimsuits, I jiggled and had far more cellulite than any one of them, in my eyes.   A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com

Five years ago I would have been terrified to even be seen in public in a suit like this, let alone posing for a camera and planning to post blog photos. I would have been embarrassed that I have gained fifty pounds and my thighs are lumpy, that my butt is jiggly, that my belly is round from having babies. I would have been embarrassed that the cut of this top shows off some of my back fat. I would have been far too insecure to be this pale on a beach and I would have kept my arms securely crossed around my middle to hide some of myself from being so visible.

A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com

All I would have noticed about these photos would have been the flaws. The cellulite, the bruises, the armpit fat, the soft belly and lumpy thighs. I would have deleted so many of the photos from this session for showing all of the things I criticized about my body. I likely wouldn’t have let anyone take photos of me in the first place.

A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.comA Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com

But today? Today, I don’t care. Today I want my beautiful daughter, who excitedly points at these pictures and exclaims “mama!!!” to realize that having a body, any body, is okay. I want my daughter to understand that I am working hard on being STRONG, not striving to fit a magazine’s standard of what beautiful is. I want to be a good example of how to show yourself love even as you work hard to be a better person.

A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.comA Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.comI want my son to see me, in all of my cellulite, stretch marks, and chubby-thighed glory, and realize that he should treat women the way I treat myself: with love and respect for this body that has borne me two children and houses so much love for so many people around me. I want him to see beauty in others, and not criticize their flaws immediately as I am sometimes wont to do with myself.A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com

I want people around me to see me enjoying myself, I want them to see that I’m not just enduring being photographed but actually having fun with it. I want people to be encouraged that they don’t have to hide themselves if they’re 20 or 50 or 100 pounds heavier than they want to be at that moment. A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com

I want to honor this body that God made me by being healthy, by being strong, and by accepting it as it is in this moment. I want to pursue energy and stamina, and not the world’s idea of a perfect body.  A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com

I want to recognize the beauty my husband sees in me right now.

A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com

So, not only did I pose for photos in a bikini, for literally the first time ever, but I enjoyed it. I laughed. I struck many poses. I had a hard time choosing just two to share. And I hope that this encourages someone, somewhere, to forget about all those nagging insecurities and to enjoy life in your body, the way it is right now. Because we are full of so much more than just having perfect bodies and smooth skin. We are worth SO much more than how we look.

And happiness is a beauty that shines far brighter than the lumps on our thighs, the stretch marks on our hips, or the fat we have gained by living life.

A Betweeny in a Bikini | eyreeffect.com

Swimsuit, Amazon | hair flowers, thrifted | Photos taken by Suko Photography

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  • I don’t know if I can find words to express how AWESOME this was. SO well written and so many exclaimed “yes, yessss YESSSS”‘s from me as I read this post. These photos are breathtaking and you rock for sharing this. Not in a “omg you’re so brave” way but in a “you kick so much ass and you know it and i love this so much” way. You look awesome in this bathing suit.

    http://www.inanutshellblog.com

  • Kish Vargas

    All I can say is You go Kristina!!!! You look absolutely fabulous and gorgeous all rolled into one.

  • Georgie McLennan

    First time commenter but I’ve been reading for a little while – I just LOVE these pictures so much!! You just look glowing with happiness and confidence and it’s so beautiful!

  • Dahlia

    What changed your opinion from this post to the last one?

    http://eyreeffect.com/2014/08/25/the-power-of-modesty/

    • I don’t think anything has changed. I know the outfits are very different and that one seems more traditionally modest from modeling a swimsuit, but as I mentioned in that post, I had only chosen these pieces for their aesthetic and not to actually go with that post.

      I consider this to be as modest a swimsuit as any other I have owned. I consulted both my mom, who raised me with the views I have, and my husband, whose opinions I value a lot when it comes to clothing choices, and they both like this suit a lot. My husband shot these photos and is fine with them.

      I’ve never mentioned a technical skirt length or neckline to be followed if you want to be modest, because I know it varies a lot within communities and upbringings. When I was searching for a more modest swimsuit, this is what I had in mind. For practicality’s sake, because one piece swimsuits pull down at the top almost always due to my figure, and for coverage’s sake. It’s the least booby thing I’ve found post kids, as my body has changed, and my butt is not being exposed by a high cut. My whole upper body is not out and about other than a small slice of ribs, which is fine.

      Arguing about the semantics of how much skin should be shown to be modest would be kind of silly, considering every modesty reference in the Bible refers to the heart.

      But, back to the original question, no. Nothing has changed. Except maybe weight gain and my own perspective as a married woman, taking my husband’s wisdom into consideration more now at almost five years married than I did then at 2 years married.

      • And as a side note, context is important. I am literally at a beach in a swimsuit and unless someone would expect me to wear a suit that covered my knees and all… this is normal and fine beach wear.

  • You look gorgeoussssss. <3

  • I have to agree with everyone else in saying that this post is so well written and filled me with inspiration. You look divine and I’m happy that you’re happy with yourself!

    Hannah | The Outfit Repeater