When I was growing up, I was taught that curvy girls could only wear one-piece swimsuits. I followed this for many years. When I became a teenager, I saw all of my friends in two-piece swimsuits so I dared to buy my first two-piece. It had a longer top and the bottom was high-waisted, leaving only an inch or two of skin showing in between. I wore it very proudly.
Rihanna’s “Savage X Fenty” Show
Then I had the privilege of performing in Rihanna’s “Savage X Fenty” Show at NYFW. For the audition, I had to send the choreographer a picture of me in a bra and underwear. I thought for sure Rihanna would never want me for her show after seeing it. I was wrong. I booked the show and it was the beginning of a new era for me. I was on stage dancing in lingerie and I felt beautiful. There were models of all shapes, sizes, colors, sexualities, etc. performing with me. I was so proud to be a small part of such an iconic performance for Rihanna herself.
This experience gave me the confidence to buy and wear my first “real” two-piece swimsuits, including a coral bikini. While in Waikiki I took a selfie and posted it on Instagram of me wearing that same bikini. Last year it was one of my highest-viewed posts on Instagram with 146,955 views. I was afraid that many people would make rude comments about the photo. Instead, I received 704 positive comments from mostly women of all ages saying how inspired they were by my photo. Many said they were going to try on a two-piece swimsuit for themself for the first time.
I am always amazed when people much older than I am say I inspire them to love their body. It is too bad that society has told us that we should cover up our bodies and feel ashamed if we are not a size 0 like the models we see in advertising or on television. We must learn to celebrate our bodies and not be afraid to wear the clothes we want to without regard for societal pressures. We are born with one body and we are all special.
My challenge to everyone is next time you go shopping, try on at least one item that you thought you could never wear. You might surprise yourself. I know I did!
About the Author: Curvicality columnist Amanda LaCount is a professional dancer, actress, singer, model and body activist. She’s the youngest of seven, and relocated from Colorado to Los Angeles to pursue her dream. When she’s not auditioning, rehearsing or performing, she loves to ride horses and go to the beach. You can find her on IG @amandalacount