Swimsuits for plus-sized bodies: 3 questions and answers

Stacy Gutierrez, Danah Gutierrez

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Swimsuits for plus-sized bodies: 3 questions and answers
Danah and Stacy of The Plump Pinay share helpful tips for plus-sized ladies during swimsuit season

Danah and Stacy Gutierrez, models, body image advocates, and creators of the Plump Pinay, recently launched their new swimsuit line. In this piece for Rappler, the ladies share their helpful tips about swimsuit season, particularly for plus-sized ladies. 

Over the course of our time as bloggers and body image advocates for the Plump Pinay, we’ve gotten lots of questions from our plus-sized readers about the many pressure of navigating swimsuit season. We think having that so-called “beach body” can be achieved in one easy step: just take that body to the beach!

Of course, finding the perfect swimsuit for your shape will help to bring out your confidence, too. So let’s take a look at 3:

1. I’ve never worn a swimsuit in my life. How do I get there? 

Having the confidence to wear a swimsuit requires being comfortable in your body, and this just doesn’t happen overnight or by wishfully thinking, “sana kaya ko din (I wish I could, too).” Self-acceptance is a life long journey that takes dedication and commitment. 

To get started on this journey, keeping a journal would be of great help. Ask yourself what triggers the negative body image. If it’s from comparing yourself to the images you see on TV and magazines (or other forms of mainstream media), then a media detox could be the first step you take to get serious about loving yourself.

Replace spending your time browsing through photoshopped pictures of models with something that will change your perspective on beauty. There are hundreds of websites available online that proudly show women of different shapes and sizes owning their bodies and bravely flaunting it. 

Find someone you can relate to, and draw inspiration from them. Also, the fear of wearing a swimsuit can be eradicated once you realize that there are perfect cuts and designs that can complement every body type. It’s all about knowing your figure and accentuating your assets. 

2. What swimsuit would look good on my body type?

Wearing a swimsuit isn’t all that scary and frustrating as long as you find the perfect one that will make you feel as comfortable as how good it looks on you! 

Pear-shaped: small torso with wide hips

DRAW THE EYES UP. Details in the bust balance out a heavier bottom half

  • Pick monokinis with low neck lines in solid colors or graphic prints
  • Bikinis are great too, but avoid boy-leg cuts for your bottoms or ones with ruffles as this could make your hips appear even wider, and not in proportion with your torso

Full-chested: bigger breasts

CUPS FOR CURVES. Go for underwires or full cups for extra support

  • Choose swimsuits that have cups and underwire for maximum chest support
  • Less is more when picking out your bikini top, so stick to simple designs without the ruffles and embellishments 

Flat-chested: small breasts

TRY. If you're not as top heavy, you'll be able to get away with fancier designs up top

  • Go crazy with designs when picking out bikini tops – bows, ruffles, and embellishments are recommended if you want to create the illusion of bigger breasts.
  • Haltered bra tops, triangle bras, and padded cups are great (especially in bold prints) as it creates cleavage and gives the breasts the extra lift it needs
  • Bandeaus or strapless bra tops work well with flat-chested bodies too!

Apple-shaped: round torso or top heavy

FUN WITH PATTERNS. Designs with panels at the sides might help define apple shapes

  • Go for monokinis in bold prints or dark, solid colors with plunging or haltered necklines to create the illusion of a longer torso
  • One-piece swimsuits with shirring in the tummy area complement apple-shaped body types too, as it accentuates curves at the waist
  • Find swimsuits that play with lines and silhouettes. Ones with dark-colored linings at the sides of the waist are definitely flattering for apple-shaped bodies
  • If you think having a rounder belly means being excluded from the two-piece wearing club, you’re wrong! High-waist retro bikinis are back in trend, giving those of us who want to wear a two-piece more options.

3. How do I respond to snarky comments about my body in public after I finally get the confidence to put on a swimsuit?

Unfortunately, fat-shaming and making fun of people’s physical appearance is normal and sometimes even encouraged in our culture and society. However, this shouldn’t hinder you from loving yourself enough to be free of caring what anybody else thinks about you and your body. 

Firstly, responding to comments made about your weight shouldn’t be done in an offensive, hateful tone. Don’t resort to answering back with an insulting comment on the person’s physical appearance, because doing so wouldn’t make you any better than the person who said something about your looks.

Respond calmly. If the person won’t stop saying something about your weight, you can politely say, “Do you have a problem with it (my body)? Because I don’t.” Or you can just move on with the subject. Be creative with your replies. Be sure not to bash or trash talk your body or yourself as it could encourage them to do the same and assume it’s okay because you yourself do it.

Back in the hoteru! Today, a Filipina thought I was a local while shopping in Shibuya, and she made a horrible comment about my body. I was incredibly shocked that she said in such a hateful, offensive tone, and just froze there for a second, as I felt my gut twist in knots. I prayed and asked God to redeem me from the situation, & I honestly wanted her to know that I clearly understood what she said about me. But then again, I have to choose my battles. I can’t blame her though. We live in a culture where people are entitled to shame fat women, whether knowingly or not. We see it everywhere, and I’m sure she felt empowered making such nasty remark. I just wanted to share this so we become more conscious of how we comment on other people’s bodies, whether they understand us or not. We’re better than that. You don’t have the right to put someone else down just because you don’t like what you see. People’s bodies are not created for anyone’s visual satisfaction. Our bodies are instruments, not just ornaments. My body doesn’t offend me. It shouldn’t offend you. #realtalk #theplumpinay #stillsmiling #atleastalamkongeffectiveJapanesemakeuplookko

A photo posted by Danah Gutierrez (@thedanahsoars) on

Once you keep showing everyone that you’re comfortable in your skin and need no validation from anybody else, slowly but surely these commenters will get off your back, knowing that your self-love and confidence exceeds their shallow words.

As the famous saying by Eleanor Roosevelt goes, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Also, remember to choose your battles wisely, because not every person who says something about you deserves your time and energy.

Are you ready? Enjoy the rest of your summer! – Rappler.com

24-year old twin sisters Danah and Stacy Gutierrez created the first body acceptance blog in the country, theplumpinay.com. They are the pioneers of the body positive advocacy, also breaking the stereotypes in the plus size community. They are public speakers, models, and have recently designed their own swimwear line, PLUMP.

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