Body Confidence and How To Get Vacation Ready

It’s official, swimsuit season is upon us. The most talked about season of the year and the one that we all love yet equally dread at the same time. I don’t know about anybody else, but I have a love hate relationship with summer. Let’s start with the positives; sunglasses, avocado salads, green juices, sunny mornings, warm evenings. Negatives; an overwhelming pressure to get yourself ready for bikini season, the need to eat healthy and avoid carbs, having to get all kinds of skin out on social, waves of guilt if you haven’t been to the gym for two days, needing to sleep with a fan every night to ensure your skin doesn’t practically melt. Which one wins?

As women who live in a generation that’s completely dominated by social media and an unrealistic, ever-changing expectation of what ‘perfect’ is, we haven’t got it easy. More to the point, summer heightens all of this especially when you can’t open Instagram without being bombarded with an endless grid of sun-kissed, beautiful women creating summer content we all wish we could recreate ourselves. Let’s be honest, we’ve all screenshot these Instagram-worthy pictures from our explore page for inspiration before heading off on our own holiday. The truth is, the pressure to look a certain way has never been so prevalent – especially during summer so no wonder that we allow the stress to take over pre-vacay. I know that from personal experience, the week before I go away, I’m running around in a desperate attempt to secure the ‘perfect’ holiday wardrobe, trying on at least thirty pieces of swimwear to just find one that I like, getting my nails, lashes, brows done and spending a solid month in the gym because I know that for the entirety of the trip I’ll be eating pasta and pizza. Anyway, with all of this in mind, I’ve teamed up with Debenhams to help make your holiday countdown less stressful.

SCHEDULE A PRE-HOLIDAY PEDICURE

It’s sort of an unspoken rule that you can’t go on vacation without having a pedicure beforehand – nobody wants to be lying on a sun lounger with unkept, haggard looking feet and I for one, always make it a pre-holiday priority to schedule a pedicure before going away. However, if you are incredibly busy, and even the thought of having to get into the city, find a parking space and going into a salon increases your anxiety levels from a 4 to a 6 – why not book an at-home beauty service? Yes, for real, you can do this. Debenhams very own beauty salon Blow LTD bring the joys of the salon directly to your door so you don’t need to even leave the house to get your beauty fix. If you opt for a mani or pedi, they have a selection of OPI shades; including some dreamy neutral colours which I couldn’t get enough of. There’s nothing better than a nude nail with tanned skin is there? More importantly, they use Shellac, which if you aren’t nail obsessed like me, is a gel and lasts a lot longer than normal polish. You can click here to book your appointment.

You can use code: HANNAH15 to get £15 off your at-home beauty treatment valid until 3rd September.

FIND THE RIGHT SWIMSUIT FOR YOU

Pear-shaped, hourglass, oval, straight – I’m losing track of how many different shapes women’s bodies are compared to nowadays. How this categorisation came about, I have no idea but it’s something we certainly shouldn’t be defining ourselves by and taking into consideration when swimsuit shopping. Attempting to decipher which ‘body shape’ you are only puts more unwanted pressure on yourself and honestly, who really has time for that? I remember five years ago, there was a fascination with being ‘skinny’ and if you didn’t embody that specific shape, you almost felt less-than. Within the last few years, and since Kimmy K came on the scene, this has completely revolutionised and the world has become obsessed with the hourglass figure and the bigger the booty, the better. My point here is, that trends with body shapes continually change so fixating on one of these, and comparing yourself isn’t worth the time and emotional energy. Instead, embracing what you have and finding swimwear that looks good on your body rather than a general body shape is much healthier and you’ll feel much more confident on holiday if you have a healthy relationship with your body. Don’t get me wrong, we all have our hang-ups. I for one, am not a huge lover of my stomach, however, I’ve definitely (within the last few years) learnt to love my curves and accept them instead of wishing they were something different.

It’s no secret from my Instagram that I love a bit of swimwear picture when I’m on vacation, and in particular I seem to have an obsession with swimsuits. I’ve recently learnt that a high-rise style swimsuit usually tends to suit my body sometimes more so than a bikini. Stripes are just an added plus when it comes to swimwear and this beauty is from the new Faith Swimwear Collection and Debenhams. If you want to stand out on holiday, go with a bold pattern of bright pop of colour.

*I’m wearing: Faith Swimwear Swimsuit *

GET A HOLIDAY SANDAL THAT DOESN’T BLISTER

The final thing to ensure you are pool-side ready is finding the holiday sandal. Often, to find a pair of shoes that are actually comfortable, you usually have to sacrifice fashion for function. I think I can count on one hand the shoes I’ve got that I would describe as my ‘ride or die’, the type of shoe that won’t let you down and end up drawing blood at the end of the day – this has happened to me at least twenty times. The brutal truth is, the majority of shoes that look beautiful, aren’t comfortable. Even most of the trainers I have, after wearing them for a few hours, start to hurt. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said I’m doing it for fashion. When you’re going on holiday, unless you want to pay the absolutely ridiculous fee for more luggage, you are very limited with how many shoes you can pack. This means that the ones you are taking, need to be comfortable to an extent, otherwise you are just, with lack of a better word, fucked.

When it comes to finding the perfect shoe, there are lots of other requirements that need to be met – do they go with your outfits, do they elongate your leg, do they make you look shorter, are they dreamy? I always ensure I have thought about all of these things before purchasing a sandal otherwise it’s only going to stress you out either before you go away, or during your trip. I opted for a dreamy tan sandal with stud detailing.

*I’m wearing: Call It Spring sandals*

About Hannah Whiting

Self-confessed perfectionist. Fashion enthusiast. One day I will live in New York.

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