The Things I’ll Wear On My Body No Matter What This Summer

I had imagined—like many women likely did—that I’d emerge out of this pandemic with a fuller but tighter self. The slow days turned to weeks, and then months, didn’t slow my taste for working out. I spent at least 20 minutes a day for most days of the week moving my body outside of its usual movement. At times, it was a dance class between writing sessions and emails. Other times, it was an hour of pilates while Oak remained on his morning Zoom meeting in the next room. While holding my butt-cheeks in and tightening up my abdomen, I pretended as if my room was my favorite dance studio. In my head, my apartment hadn’t turned into a classroom, a childcare center, my office, a cafeteria, a doctor’s office and my therapist’s office to name a few. In my room, on my mat, everything seemed relatively smooth. 

Although the health app on my phone liked to remind me that my steps were 50% lower than the previous year, I didn’t worry. I felt more fit than ever. Truthfully, my exercise routine sustained me. 

I can’t think of the early days of this pandemic without cringing. The ways we floated between remote school and in-person on a dime, depending on one case or 100 cases. I can’t think of it, and I don’t want to. But I also need to think of it to remind myself to be gentle with my body. 

On social media, like many things, how we emerge out of this pandemic seems to be neatly wrapped up in a bow. But in the comfort of our homes and bodies, neither exists. If we were lucky enough, we turned a year older in this awful season, our bodies changed, time, stress, and at times, joy, took its course. 

More than ever, I find myself saying an old sentiment, “Oh, this is just my body!” It has become not a way to pass the baton to rid myself of my work-out routines (routines I find mentally helpful as much as physically), but to affix the parts of me that may be at risk of falling by the wayside as punitive damages. 

The other day, I was speaking with a friend about working out and about my body, and River came up, hugged me and whispered, “I love your body.” Oak chimmed in and said his favorite word, “Thick!” and we all laughed. While my conversation wasn’t negative, it made me think of all the women who may be in this strange space in considering the fleshiness of themselves. And as a follower pointed out as well, the stressed skinny version of themselves now too. I am not sure there are answers to any of this. In part, my own growth is easing into genetics and becoming the woman of my story, walking into her mid 30s. 

I bought two new bathing suits recently. A one piece and a two piece. The one piece was to mostly wear as a top—an opportunity to show off my back if you will. And as I worked from home the other day in my two-piece, I realized that suit, was an opportunity to just love on me a bit more. 

So much of what we believe about our bodies is what other people tell us to believe. And oftentimes, what bad clothing tells us about our bodies, “We’re not made for you. So you must change!”

I want to be mindful to not diminish all the work I, or you did the last year plus. The bare minimum was enough.

Nor do I care to make this about uplifting myself. Rather, I just want to take some time to acknowledge the preverbal elephant in the room that many of us may be sharing space with right now. I don’t have all the answers. But I do know, this summer, I’m going to wear whatever I want. Maybe you needed to hear that, too.

Here are a few bikinis that I love:

This Triangle Print from Lively, Sea Life from Rixo, This Second Wave high waisted retro two piece from Madewell, and this bikini top from Mara Hoffman (where my one piece is from).

Are you planning on wearing any bikinis this summer? If so, I’d love to know your favorites!

Photographs by Kelsey Cherry for LY. This post includes affiliate links. If you choose to purchase something, we may earn a small commission.

7 thoughts on “The Things I’ll Wear On My Body No Matter What This Summer

  • Reply Misha June 23, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    What a wonderful piece of writing and truth! I gained a new appreciation and understanding for my body this past year, watching the impacts of stress and strain show up in ways I’d never seen before. It made me grateful for signs of a return to normalcy, adding pounds meant my mental health was stabilizing, smoother skin meant my stress hives were fading. I had a health scare in April that made me check my self medicating, which had become so automatic during the pandemic, and helped me reach for new coping strategies and am overall gratitude for life. I don’t want to feel uncomfortable in my clothes or in a bikini, I want to love and respect my body in all its shapes and forms, not in spite of them. I hope we can all be more loving towards our bodies and wear the bikinis or the one pieces or whatever the hell we want, because we are alive and life is for living.

    • Reply latonya June 24, 2021 at 9:43 am

      Yes, hoping the same thing Misha.
      Thank you!

  • Reply Sondra June 23, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    After birthing four babies in the last decade, and creeping close to 38, I thought my bikini days were over. But, I bought a high waisted, wrap top black bikini from Aeri purely because most of the reviews said that this bikini made them feel like a goddess.
    For a curvy woman, who still needs to bend over to play in the sand and put sunscreen on babies, I was skeptical. But the second I put it on, I looked in the mirror and instantly agreed, “ this bikini makes me feel like a goddess!”

    • Reply latonya June 24, 2021 at 9:44 am

      So beautiful, ” I feel like a goddess!” Same same.
      Hoping you have a wonderful summer, Sondra

  • Reply Maike June 24, 2021 at 2:23 am

    Thank you for this heartfelt story! What a year it was indeed, now that summer is here, yes please enjoy it! We are not ours sizes, we are living, And we have a size, this decade like this, that decade like that. No worries, like you said, if you exercise you will glow and you will look great!
    PS best bathingsuit for me: Eres

    • Reply latonya June 24, 2021 at 9:45 am

      Maike, yes yes!

  • Reply Amanda H June 24, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    I also bought a bikini for camping by the water this summer! I just feel like, my body has been through so much, especially this year, and I just want to have an easy swimsuit that is just about my comfort (easy on and off!) not about a more flattering one-piece. Same with summer outfits! I have a bigger booty now than pre-pandemic and who cares?? I am alive, my family is alive and for that I give thanks to my body. My body has taken care of so many during the past year and a half. As usual you have written what so many of us need to hear now! Thank you, LaTonya!

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