Hello, my name is Tamryn and I have been blogging for almost four years and have never shot swimwear. I know, I know. I live in California and have never shot swimwear photos. How is this even possible?! Well, I’ll get right down to it, I never WANTED to show anyone what I looked like in a swimsuit. Let me backtrack a bit…
With the rise of body positivity, you’ve probably seen many beautiful women owning their curves and receiving quite a bit of attention from it. Rightfully so! For example, my bestie Sarah of Sassy Red Lipstick (and the gorgeous girl that you see beside me in the photos above!) owns her curves and consistently tells her friends and readers that confidence is the number one accessory you need when styling outfits and/or wearing bathing suits. She is also an amazing friend. Sarah supports me through everything, pushes me to challenge myself, and actually cheers me on when I’m feeling discouraged about my blog and celebrates my accomplishments. My friend Kara of The Whimsey Soul creates such amazing outfits around current trends while staying true to her body positive message that women of all sizes can sport trendy pieces. Kara is also one of the most positive people ever and loves bringing women together to celebrate body diversity! I’m literally surrounded by inspiring women who have decided that society’s social constructs of what women should look like are stupid and meaningless. So…where do I factor in?
When it comes to cheering on my friends, I am insanely loyal. I love watching my friends succeed and I constantly see their beauty emulated in a variety of incredible ways (i.e. their lovely personalities, their style choices, etc.). However, it is very hard for me to see my own strengths mainly because I am always working on how to better myself as opposed to accepting myself for who I am. When I say better myself, what I mean is going to the gym 5-6 times a week and working out very hard to maintain a certain level of “fit,” eating healthy most of the time because I feel guilty if I don’t, and constantly comparing myself to other women with better hair/butts/legs/clothes/etc. If I’m being completely honest, being in the blogger world has somewhat amplified my self-consciousness because I am literally comparing myself to other bloggers ALL THE TIME. When I get my blog photos back, I pray that I look okay in the photos before I open up the folder EVERY SINGLE TIME because I always feel awkward AF in front of the camera (there’s that pesky lack of confidence again!). Luckily, my friend and photographer Shannon makes the process much easier by helping me feel more comfortable with her endless support.
What it really boils down to is that I have always had a difficult time accepting myself for who I am. I’ve never been cool or confident, I’ve always been awkward and introverted. It’s really hard for me to put myself out there because I constantly feel like my blog stats/outfits/looks aren’t good enough, that I’m not good enough. Plus, in a world where bloggers are inflating their stats by buying followers/likes, it is almost impossible to grow organically. I know I shouldn’t put too much emphasis on blog growth, but I’m not going to lie, growing this little blog of mine is super important to me. So, when I don’t see the growth that I want to see, it’s VERY discouraging and creates a lot of self-doubt (I have been struggling with this a lot lately). On the bright side, I have grown much better at embracing my awkward side because, really, it’s not going to magically disappear, but I still can’t help but get down on myself for always being the girl amongst her friends that has a pimple for every event I attend, who can’t help but get lipstick on her teeth when talking (even after BLOTTING), and who sweats when she gets anxious or uncomfortable. The crazy part of my brain goes to a dark place and I begin to wonder “maybe my blog isn’t growing because people don’t like the way I look or my style,” and then the sane part pipes in with “well, maybe you don’t want those people following you anyways!” Logically, I know that most women feel uncomfortable in their skin, hence the reason why this amazing body positivity trend has really taken off, and I know it’s because women feel a great deal of pressure to be perfect all of the time. Again, being in the blogging world amplifies this perfection pressure for me because I really don’t want people to be let down when they meet me in person at events or even on the street. I’ve gotten a little better about this in the sense that I try to just live my life and not really worry about what other people think, but it does creep in now and again.
This year, I’ve been trying much harder to give myself a break when it comes to comparing myself to the impossible beauty standards that I measure myself up to everyday. If you told me that I would be shooting swimwear at this time last year, I would’ve laughed in your face. I didn’t like wearing swimsuit to the pool let alone in front of a camera to share with the world! I do feel like being around women who are so accepting of themselves and others has helped me feel more confident in who I am, but I still find myself always striving to be better. Maybe that’s just ingrained in who I am. I like challenging myself and I do really like feeling fit and healthy. However, I do need to start changing my own impossible expectations (I will never be stick thin) to feelings of gratitude toward what I do have, a healthy body that I work hard to maintain.
With so much support from Sarah, I can honestly say that I am so happy with how this swim shoot turned out. Not only was it so much fun, but it felt liberating to just run around in my swimsuit without worrying if my thighs looked fat or if my arm pit tits were on full display. Sarah and I laughed through the whole shoot and I felt amazing and dare I say confident (!) in my own skin. When I didn’t let me anxious thoughts in about not being/looking good enough, I was able to just be happy. I’m going to try to maintain this way of thinking from now on because it allows me to have much more fun. We only live once and I want to make sure I’m living well.
Thanks for reading and for your support throughout the years!