Word is, Instagram influencers are dwindling in their ‘measurable influences’ or successes. While studies have found that they have lost the ability to actually sway anybody’s decision whether or not to buy or promote something, there’s really one BIG thing that we’ve all got to thank the OG influencers for… their effort in promoting self-love and positivity.
Because of this rise in many different body shapes and skin tones stealing the social media limelight, they have helped normalise the fact that it is OK to look different because everyone’s beautiful the way they are — a refreshing change from the old traditional media that only promoted a certain kind of look. You know which one.
Now that we’ve become used to the notion that everybody and every body is beautiful, many of us have begun to come out of our shells and appreciate our bodies. A huge part of that is to actually gain enough confidence to finally WEAR THAT SWIMSUIT during that girls’ trip you’ve been planning since forever!
But then there’s an issue…where do we start? What type of swimwear do we go for? So many questions such as ‘will this flatter my body shape?’, ‘does this make me look weird?’
In hopes of aiding us, we approached local inclusive (all sizes available) swimwear brand La Bumba!, which was founded by two Sabahan beach bums, Hannah Bhatt and Rufina Tan. They gladly helped us create this guide for every girl out there who’s probably about to rip out her hair out of frustration…
1. Rectangle, straight, athletic or ‘banana’
If your waist measurements are the same as your hip or bust, and your shoulders and hips are pretty much the same as well, then you have a rectangle or a banana body type. Most outfits that go with you are off-the-shoulder, tube dresses and belted waists.
Wear swimsuits that distract the eyes from focusing on the straightness of your rectangle body. You can either enhance your bust, widen your hips or slim down your waist! Here’s how to choose the best swimsuit for a rectangle body shape.
You have two options. The first is to enhance your cleavage by wearing push-up swimsuit tops or if you’re not comfortable with push-ups, we suggest you wear frilled or ruffled tops. They don’t add volume to your cleavage, but create a contrast between your bust and waist.
High-leg-cut swimsuits expose the widest part of the hips. As a result, the hips appear wider than they are.
Enhancing the waist
Opt for cut out swimsuits that mimic an hourglass or faux belt creating an illusion that you have a slimmer waist.
2. Triangle or ‘pear’
Your shoulders and bust are narrower than your hips. Your waist is defined to fairly defined, and probably slopes out to your hips. You also have slim arms. Clothes that show off your waistline are the most flattering for you.
For this body shape, your hips are already gorgeous, lady! So let’s focus on enhancing the upper body. The goal is to balance out your proportion by emphasising your bust. Here’s what to look out for:
Enhance your cleavage by wearing push-up swimsuit tops. If you’re not comfortable with push-ups, we suggest wearing ruffles, frills, fringes, textures and printed tops because anything that shines, or moves is perfect as a top for a pear-shaped lady. Remember that your bikini top should always outshine your bikini bottom. Choose a straight across bandeau top or horizontal stripes simply because it creates a wide illusion.
Any high-waisted bikini bottom will look great on you. However, wear plain-coloured bottoms and avoid ones that have prints or embellishments because the focus should be on the upper body. Vertical stripes give you a slim illusion so opt for that if you want.
Your hips and bust are nearly equal in size, and your waist is well-defined. Your legs and upper body are fairly proportionate, shoulders rounded and your buttocks are also rounded. It’s considered the best proportions, so you can pretty much wear any swimsuit and look good in it!
Hourglass women tend to have a fuller bust so we suggest getting a top that has great support. Underwire bikini tops will provide you with that support. If you dislike underwires, you can also opt for halter tops as it pulls everything up offering a stronghold behind the neck. Avoid bikini tops with thick padding as they can be too heavy for the bust.
Since you can wear any bottom and look good in them, it boils down to what you want. If you are going for a retro look, opt for high-waisted bottoms. If you want to flaunt more booty, opt for cheeky bottoms. If you want to elongate your legs, wear high-leg-cut swimsuits. Girl, you’re really at an advantage!
4. Inverted triangle or ‘apple’
Your shoulders and bust are larger than your narrow hips. Open necklines, waist-enhancing outfits or clothing that shows off your legs look best on you.
The goal for an inverted triangle body shape is to visually reduce the width of the upper body and enhance the width of the hips. This way, a more balanced and feminine look will be achieved. Here’s how to choose the best swimsuit for an inverted triangle body shape:
Look for bikini tops with eye-catching details in the middle such as crisscross, plunging necklines or a diagonal ruffle so that the focus is in the middle of your chest instead of the width of your shoulders. Opt for tops that have wide straps because they do not accentuate your shoulders and avoid them from looking imbalanced.
Look for bottoms with prints, ruffles, tie knots or high-leg-cuts to emphasise your hips. You can also opt for loud colours. If you want to add more definition, opt for bottoms that reveal a little butt cheek. You can choose the level of booty coverage, including cheeky, Brazilian and even thongs!
5. Round or oval
Your bust is larger than the rest of your body, hips are narrow, and your midsection is fuller. If that sounds like you, you have what’s usually called a round or oval body type. What would flatter your body shape is a flare top, or vertical details.
Body Positivity Talk With Hannah & Rufina
1. Did you have any problems coming to terms with your body shape, or anybody close to you who has that problem?
Rufina: When I was younger, I was always underweight and I had an athletic body type/shape. I had a hard time accepting this because my perception was that women MUST have curves. I wish I knew back then that we come in different shapes and sizes!
Hannah: Yeah, I have always been heavier at the bottom and smaller on top. But it never really struck me till somebody pointed it out. People don’t learn to hate their own bodies, people teach them to. And after being a mom, your body changes drastically too! The pressure of trying to lose all the baby weight in a super short amount of time is super unrealistic, and influencers and celebrities promote it but people don’t know how much time is needed, how much help (trainers, babysitters) goes into this, how much money it takes to get back into shape as fast as they do.
2. Did you have any difficulty in flaunting your body in your swimwear, or did anybody close to you have that problem?
Rufina: Yes, I must admit, to this very day. It is for a completely different reason. I have two keloid scars on my right shoulder and because of that I avoid wearing clothes that will expose my keloid BUT there are many types of swimwear out there so I just have to get one that covers my keloid and problem solved!
Hannah: Yeah definitely but you can get over it by finding the perfect piece that flaunts what you want to flaunt. Everybody has THAT special piece!
3. Say someone is having problems wearing swimwear, what would your advice be?
Rufina: One of the most common reasons a person doesn’t wear swimwear is because they constantly think that there is something wrong with them. There is the fear of being criticised for how they look and it all boils down to accepting your flaws and loving yourself. My advice? Be aware that self-love is a process. It requires time, effort and a lot of questions to understand why you feel the way you do. So start asking yourself questions and validate those feelings!
Hannah: I believe when that happens it’s always because of self-consciousness and insecurity so what I would say is, ‘GURL, DO THIS FOR YOU. YOUR BODY IS AMAZING. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! AND NOBODY ELSE NEEDS TO THINK THIS EXCEPT YOU CAUSE IT’S YOURS AND ITS KEEPIN’ YOU ALIVE AND WELL!’
4. Do you have any mottos regarding body positivity that you’d like to share?
Rufina: “Adore your body for it houses the Dreams and Desires of your wonderful mind.”
Hannah: “There is no weight limit on beauty.”
5. If you could persuade someone to own at least ONE bikini in their lifetime, what would you say?
Rufina and Hannah: Bikinis speak louder than words. When you wear one you are telling people to shove their opinions about your body in the trash because regardless, you are gonna WORK it, get that tan and be an absolute B-A-B-E. Every girl should live life like they are wearing a bikini. Confidence is your best accessory!
6. Complete this sentence … “Every body is beautiful …”
…like any great work of art, our imperfections make us a masterpiece.
We hope that has left you feeling good, and that this will also help you seamlessly plan your next beach holiday. For more inspiration, check out these articles: