Woman inspires us all by wearing a bikini to the beach for the first time
A woman wore a bikini to the beach for the first time, realized she’s awesome, and is now inspiring the rest of us to show off our summer bods.
“I’m on a journey to love me for me,” Jazzmyne Jay said in the video by Buzzfeed that documents the experience. “And if people love it, that’s awesome. And if people don’t, that’s not my problem.” Hell to the yes.
But first Jay explained what motivated her to push past her boundaries. She’s dealt with body image issues and eating disorders and even saw therapists for both for years. The worst time, she shares in the video, was from her junior year of high school to her junior year of college. “I grew up just being around a lot of girls who were super thin and super blonde and super white,” Jay explained. “I idolized them and their figures more than I appreciated my own.”
As part of her journey of self-love, Jay decided she needed to wear a bikini in a public place like the beach. “I have it ingrained in my head that I’m not supposed to wear a bikini,” she tells the camera. “I want to do this because I see other women bigger than me wearing them and I’m like, ‘You go, girl.’ But if I put it on, I’m like, ‘No, girl.'” But still, she wanted to be “the most confident version” of herself, which is an incredibly meaningful goal.
A photo posted by Jazzmyne (@jazzmynejay) on
Women are constantly told to be more confident while also digesting an endless stream of advertisements showing us all the ways we’re not good enough. Feeling confident can be hard – especially in a bikini and most definitely while on camera sharing your story with the internet. “The goal is not to leave in tears,” my mom told me when we shopped for my first adult bathing suit. That was over a decade ago, and I still rarely rock a bikini. But as Jay showed us, sometimes moving past the anxiety allows us to realize we’re freaking fabulous.
After ordering two bikinis – one black, one gold, – Jay heads to the beach wondering how many people will be there and notice her. But she throws off her cover-up quickly and gives herself permission to “be like, whatever.” And once she did that Jay started feeling confident. “A lot of times people tell me I look good, and I’m like ‘yeah, okay, whatever,’ but I truly believe that this swimsuit is supposed to be mine.”
For the past 20 years I’ve told myself I am not “good enough” to wear a bikini to the beach. With help of my confidence queen, @dayshaveronica, I went out and wore this because I don’t have to limit myself to just “plus-size high-waist swim suits.” SO much thanks to @nyla.wissa, @kanedeep, @mcwhorterphotography, @danmagro and @emsven13 for your support💋💋 This is me, in a bikini, and I fucking love it. #effyourbeautystandards #myswimbody #ashleygrahamxswimsuitsforall #plussizefashion #buzzfeed
A few days later she shared the above image and caption on Instagram. “I was a little bit hesitant at first because I was nervous what people were going to say,” she said. The photo received more than 700 comments and most of them were kind, like this one from Leigh, “Honestly you make me want to get my bikini out for the first time, being plus size and having hate sucks so thanks for being a ray of sunshine.” And a sweet husband wrote this, “I can’t wait to show my wife your story; I love her body, and she’s not very comfortable with [it]. I wish she could see herself through my eyes. Every inch of her is beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing this!”
“Before this experience, I thought that I should only be wearing high-waisted swimsuits because of my body type,” Jay said. “But now I feel like I’m going to be trying on a whole bunch of different swimsuits because I feel like I should rock every swimsuit there is.” We couldn’t agree more.