Conquer Bathing Suit Anxiety for Good

The time of year full of sun, fun, and surf is upon us. It’s time to spread our towels out on the sand and dip our feet into the water to beat the heat. However, with the peak of swimsuit season approaching, our enjoyment of all these things is often stifled by a certain anxiety –– one surrounding the idea of wearing a swimsuit in the first place.

Unfortunately, bathing suit anxiety is something many women struggle with. Lack of comfort, confidence, and an overload of self-doubt can make many of us hesitant to even go to the pool. For many women, even just imagining themselves trying on a swimsuit can lead to stress and negative thoughts.

So how do we beat the anxiety around swimsuit season so we can enjoy our summer to the fullest? Here at Maxine, we have a few tips on how to build your beach body confidence!

1. Have a Positive Mantra

The phrase fake it til you make it applies to a lot of things in life –– and bathing suits are no exception! Repeating a positive phrase to yourself can get you into a better mindset. Daily affirmations can help you be more adaptable and optimistic in life.

Try repeating these phrases while you close your eyes and hug yourself or while looking at yourself in the mirror.

  • I feel beautiful.
  • I love my body.
  • I am perfect as I am.
  • My body is a gift.
  • I feel happy and confident in the body I’m in.

2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparison truly is the thief of joy. However, it can be hard to avoid comparison in a modern world in which we are bombarded with perfectly polished images in commercials, television, and social media. 

Seeing models and influencers in the media often correlates with a negative self-image in women. We have to remember that these images are highly curated and that nobody meets society’s beauty standards all the time. 

Everybody is unique –– if that wasn’t the case, the world would be a lot duller.

3. Focus on the Function of Your Body, Not the Appearance

It can be hard to unlearn the mindset that appearances are everything. Self-objectification happens when we are too concerned with our body’s outward appearance. However, your body’s function is far more important than the way it looks! A helpful thing you can do is redirect your thinking about your body from its aesthetics to its functional value.

Getting in tune with your body through movement, physical activity, yoga, and meditation are great ways to do this.

4. Every Body Is a Beach Body

The idea of a beach body is deeply ingrained in a lot of our minds. We may feel pressure to exercise or diet every summer to achieve this elusive ideal. Falling short of the beach body expectation can turn many of us off wearing a swimsuit in the first place. But here’s the truth: the ideal beach body doesn’t exist. 

Do you have a body? Is it on the beach? Then we’ve got good news for you: you have a beach body –– and it’s definitely ready to enjoy the beach!

5. Write Down What You’re Grateful For

We often spend a lot of time picking apart things that we don’t like about ourselves –– most of us have a whole laundry list of characteristics that bother us, features that make us insecure, or behaviors we wish we could change. Try putting all that aside for a moment and, instead, making a list of five to 10 things about your body that you are grateful for.

Here are some questions to consider as you do this:

  • What’s something about your body, no matter how small, that you like?
  • Is there a part of your body that strikes up a happy memory?
  • What does your body do for you every day?
  • When has your body allowed you to do something you didn’t know you were capable of?
  • When do you feel most at ease with your body?
  • Is there a piece of clothing that you feel great in?
  • Where’s the best place your body has taken you?
  • When do you feel most beautiful?

6. Remember –– Nobody Is Paying As Much Attention As You Are

Let’s be honest –– even though it’s easy to feel like everybody’s eyes are on you when you’re out in public. In reality, nobody goes to the pool or beach to judge other people in their swimsuits. Everybody is too wrapped up in tanning, swimming, building sandcastles, or even thinking about their own bodies to notice yours. As the saying goes: you are your own worst critic. 

It’s easier said than done, but try reminding yourself that nobody is really paying attention to your swimsuit.

7. Have a Backup Plan

While we ideally want to feel confident in our bodies at all times, sometimes that just isn’t the reality. If you’re still getting used to wearing a swimsuit out and about, it’s okay to want a bit of a safety blanket. Have a swimsuit cover-up of some kind handy for some extra security. That way, those trips in and out of the water won’t feel as daunting.

8. Find a Bathing Suit You Love

A lot of us are guilty of forcing a certain item of clothing that, at the end of the day, just doesn’t feel right. For every swimsuit you dislike yourself in, there’s one out there that will bring out your best features. Focus on finding a swimsuit that you’re excited to wear!

Here are some tips for finding the perfect swimsuit for you:

  • Don’t settle for the wrong size: Make sure your swimsuit fits perfectly.
  • Consider different styles: There are many different styles of bathing suits you can try, including tankinis, swim dresses, one-pieces, and sarongs.
  • Try different prints: Go for a fun print that catches your eye!
  • Consider specific suit features: Consider body-flattering suit features like styles tummy-control or bust support for extra security!
  • Make a swimsuit checklist: Make a list of things you’re looking for in a swimsuit before you shop such as style, colors, straps, underwire, or coverage.

Try Some Suits With Extra Coverage

For many of us, it’s the thought of showing a lot of skin that gets us feeling anxious. But keep in mind that you don’t have to bare all for a day at the beach. There are plenty of different swimsuit styles –– some of which hardly look like swimsuits in the first place! 

Swim skirts and swim dresses can add a feminine flair while disguising the upper thighs. High-neck swimsuits can cover up unwanted cleavage. It’s great to feel good in your own skin, but it’s reasonable to want some extra coverage.

Have a Swimsuit Dance Party

This might sound a bit silly, but hear us out. When all else fails, try putting on your favorite swimsuit, turning up your favorite music, and dancing around your room. There’s actually science to back up the benefit of this personal dance party.

Dancing can help you feel more in touch with your body and positively affect your confidence. Pretty soon, you’ll be having so much fun jamming out that you will start to forget about your swimsuit anxiety –– it’ll just feel like a second skin!

Bathing Suit Time

When it comes to swimsuit anxiety, one thing will always be true: you’re not alone. Most of us are familiar with that feeling of insecurity and fear associated with wearing a bathing suit. While it’s natural to feel that way, it’s still crucial to try and conquer swimsuit phobia so that you can enjoy life to the fullest. Who wants to waste away a beautiful day feeling insecure?

There is so much fun and joy to be had when you’re surrounded by friends and family at the beach. Try focusing on them instead of stressing about your swimsuit. By trying these tips and practicing positive self-affirmations, you will be on your way to swimsuit confidence!


Media Comparisons and Threats to Body Image: Seeking Evidence of Self-Affirmation | Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Trying on Swimsuits Really Is the Worst, Study Shows | Live Science

Effects of Dance Interventions on Aspects of the Participants' Self: A Systematic Review | PMC

Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science Behind It? | Positive Psychology