Bare Moxie is Thrilled to Welcome a Post From Our Very First "Guest Blogger" - Kendra Dicker-Krase, a Health at Every Size (HAES) advocate & Beautiful "Moxie Girl"!
Three summers ago, I bought my first bikini. I lovingly referred to it as my “fatkini,” and I wore it all summer long from the beach at Sawyer in Lake Michigan to the shores of Maui. I loved the sensation of the water against the bare skin of my stomach. Wearing the bikini made me feel free in a way that other swimsuits had left me feeling constrained. I loved the convenience of being able to choose the best fit for my top, even when it’s different than my bottom. I’ve shared smiles with other women rocking the bikini, even if they aren’t the spitting image of a Victoria’s Secret model. Knowing that there are other women out there who are also willing to embrace their body and their confidence helped me to own my own sense of confidence. I was totally smitten with the bikini experience.
When Bare Moxie put out the call for live window models during "Swedish Days", I was in. For me, there is nothing more validating than seeing versions of “unconventional” beauty to confirm that my body is, in fact, a body worthy of love and respect. By modeling in the window, I was hoping to share the same message with other women--we are all built differently, we are all beautiful, and we are all able to rock out the bikini if we so chose.
As I got there early for Salon 31 to do my hair, I saw the other model. She was eleven feet tall and young and gorgeous. All of a sudden, my confidence drained. I’d be standing next to this glamorous, tall, hour glass shaped woman when my own body couldn’t be any more different. I’m five feet (when I stand up straight) and apple shaped.
Here’s the biggest secret that I can share with you. Sometimes, I feel nervous sharing so much skin because I know that woman like me, woman of size, aren’t “supposed” to be wearing teeny-weeny-itsy-bitsy bikinis. Yet, I wanted to share with the world that I am proud of my body. I am proud of her strength and her curves. I am proud of her stature. Finding love for and pride in my body has become a radical act of protest. So I climbed up into the window and played at being a super model for a day. I modeled four looks, my favorite of which was tiniest bikini that I’ve ever worn. For a moment, I felt nervous, but as soon as I allowed myself to own what I loved about the suit and its fit on me, I was able to let go and laugh and smile at all the people walking by.
By standing in the window, rocking the iridescent coral bikini, I wanted to show Geneva, that we have the power to acknowledge the beauty in all women. We have the choice to acknowledge and celebrate the beauty within ourselves. And if we all take steps to accept and love our bodies as they are, perhaps self-love and self-pride will become less radical and more common place. In the mean time, I hope that your summer swimming experiences find you in a suit that helps to make you feel sassy and sexy and free.
Kendra Dicker-Krase is a Health at Every Size (HAES) advocate, and is in the process of writing her memoir. When she’s not swimming or modeling bikinis, she teaches high school English and coaching Speech Team.