We're in the full swing of summer, so I finally got the chance to try out these two swimsuits from Red Dolly Swimwear! The sweet folks at Red Dolly were kind enough to send me the Bella (a high-waisted two-piece black suit with white polka dots) and their Mint & Fruit print one-piece suit (which has the cutest little citrus segment print). Both suits feature lovely prints, a halter tie top and a gathered center bust (which is lined with an elastic band underneath).
Neither suit provided much support, but the citrus print one-piece came with padded bust cups, which I really appreciated; unfortunately, the two-piece didn't come with them, but you can add them to any suit for a small fee – and I'd definitely recommend that you have them added if you're well-endowed like I am. I chose to wear an XL in both suits, as I hate when swimsuits are too tight and expose too much, but I think I might've been better off in the size large, as they felt a bit roomy. However, these suits served me well for my beach day (well, faux-beach day, since I was on Lake Ontario, not the ocean) and a relaxing afternoon by the pool. Red Dolly has a ton of darling designs to choose from (and they make matching suits for both babies and little girls!). I'm actually dying to try out one of their cute swim skirts, and they have a couple of pastel suits I love! If you're eyeing one of these cute suits, you're in luck: you can take 20% off their order at Red Dolly Swimwear when you enter the code SAMMI at checkout!
So here's the thing: swimsuits can be very scary little creatures if you allow them to be (and admittedly, I often do). As a woman in our society, we're constantly bombarded with manipulated images of seemingly perfect models in skimpy swimwear, and it's difficult (at least for me) to not get down on yourself for not looking a certain way when you bare almost-all in a bathing suit. It's stupid. It's unnecessary. It's harmful. I believe 100% in body positivity and loving myself at any size... in theory. In practice, it's not always so easy. I've struggled with my weight and body image for most of my life, and it can be a real challenge to not critique things about my figure – especially when swimsuits are enter the picture. I don't like to equate what I weigh with how beautiful I feel, but if I'm being honest, the two do tend to have some sort of correlation – not because I don't believe that I'm attractive when I'm heavier, but because I personally don't feel healthy and happy at a larger size, and I'm sure that shows through.
I've made a lot of positive changes in the last few weeks, including losing 10+ pounds on Weight Watchers thus far – though please be assured that I'm more concerned with feeling like the best version of myself than the number on the scale. I'm on a bit of a journey. Part of that journey is embracing and celebrating how I look in the here and now, which can prove to be difficult when you're so focused on a particular result. Sometimes you just want to skip to the end, to the "after" photo. But that ideology sucks and I want to be cognizant of loving myself unconditionally. That being said... I wasn't thrilled with how I looked in some of the photos from these sets. Instead of appreciating the cute suits from Red Dolly, I would end up fixating on my body's supposed imperfections. Of course, as a blogger, I have the task of editing dozens of photos of myself, and that gives me the unique opportunity to pick apart every little roll and bit of cellulite I see. That's hard, and it's even harder to break that habit. The idea of exposing parts of yourself often kept private to potentially the whole of the internet is... daunting (especially when you don't have much control over where they might end up or how people might judge you). But you know what? I felt really cute in these pieces. They're really fun. I like how I look in the photos I chose to show here (even with my hair up, which I normally hate!). I don't look perfect or like a model, but that's anything I've ever really wanted. I just look like myself – "flaws" and all – and that's a pretty beautiful thing.