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two confident plus size twins showing off their beach body and bikini

If you’ve come here for some magical tip that’s going to help you rock that bikini this summer, I have good news. No matter what your size or shape, you have a bikini body- all you have to do is put that cute two-piece you’ve been eyeing on it.

That being said, I want you to know that ANYONE can rock a bikini. It’s all about finding that inner confidence and dropping the idea that anyone else’s opinion matters.

I know, it’s something easier said than done especially if you’re new to this whole confidence thing. Now, let’s jump into how to be confident in a bikini when you’re fat. I promise- if I can do it- you can do it, too!

Should Plus-Size Women Wear Bikinis?

Can you wear a bikini as a plus-size woman? Yes! And, more importantly, should you rock a bikini as a bigger woman? Also, yes!

There was a time in my life when I questioned my confidence- I think most at least one thing that we don’t absolutely LOVE about our body. And honestly, that’s okay!

What isn’t okay is believing that you have to cover up or that you should love yourself any less because of something like a little (or even a lot) of extra body fat. You can show as much or as little skin as you want at the beach and I’m sure you’ll see other women ditching the stigma and rocking their bodies, too!

How to Rock a Bikini When You’re Fat

There was a long period of my life when I associated bikinis with women who were tanned, toned, and fit enough to pull one off- I didn’t really realize that I could be a hot woman in a bikini, too!

I started really developing confidence in my late 20s and by 30, I was ready to hit the beach in a bikini. Here are a few things I’ve learned about how to be confident in the bikini as a plus-sized woman. Hopefully, these tips make your first experience as good as mine was!

Start with the Right Attitude…

Honestly, it’s easy for someone to tell you to be confident when it comes to fashion, especially when they are already confident in their own skin.

I have to say that it was 50-50 for me. There was about 50% of me that was confident rocking a bikini on the beach, while the other 50% wasn’t so sure. What I found though was that after I did it a few times, I actually felt really confident in my two-piece.

Even if you aren’t 100%, that’s okay! Honestly, the only thing you need is a willingness to try and a “fake it ’til you make it” mentality. And if you are already really confident with your body, then kudos to you!

And Then Choose the Perfect Bikini

There is no single style of bikini that works best for the plus-sized body. Once you get out of department stores where bikinis are either tiny pieces of fabric with no support or big, bland, and boring, there are tons of options.

The right bikini can do a lot as far as giving you that extra boost of confidence when you step out on the beach. While we usually think of a two-piece as a traditionally skimpier piece of clothing, there are actually a lot of styles that help you accentuate the areas of your body that you love, while hiding the ones that you don’t.

For example, high-waisted bottoms give you somewhere to tuck in your FUPA (though there’s nothing wrong with letting that hang out either). Boy shorts or a skirt are a good alternative if you want to hide your thighs. There are even bikini tops that are designed with an off-the-shoulder design to cover your upper arms a little.

That being said, you shouldn’t feel like you have to hide your body to have the confidence to go to the beach. Big girls are sexy too, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t feel comfortable baring it all if you have the confidence to do it.

As far as designs that flatter, something that shows off your hips, waist, breasts, legs, or butt are all great choices depending on what areas of your body you love. Embrace these areas and with time, hopefully loving the rest of yourself in a bikini will come naturally!

Be Sure to Get the Right Size

When it comes to bikinis, I find that it’s always better to go a little bigger if you’re in between sizes or aren’t sure what you need. The extra fabric is never a bad thing- especially if your butt likes to eat swimsuit fabric like mine does when my bottoms don’t fit the right way.

Sizing is going to go a long way as far as providing your body with the support you need, but still offering coverage when you’re moving around on the beach. Unfortunately, this is something that varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and I’m always wondering about sizes. “Is XL the same as 1X? Does XXL mean 2X? What is considered plus-size?

The best thing I’ve found is to get your measurements if you are shopping online. At a minimum, you’ll want to know your bust/breast size, hips, waist, and butt area. While bikinis are stretchy to fit a wide range of bodies, it’s really helpful when companies have size charts to get the perfect fit.

Something else I like to do when looking at plus-size clothing or swimsuits online is to check the reviews for photos of curvy women trying on the suit. It definitely inspires confidence in my pick if I see it looks great on another plus-size body!

Show as Much (or as Little) Skin As You Want

Don’t get confident confused with baring it all. Feeling sexy in your own skin really varies from person to person and if you’re uncomfortable in what you’re wearing,

That being said, bikinis come in all shapes and sizes when it comes to the overall design and style of the two-piece. You’ll see bottoms with a higher waist that goes up toward your tummy, as well as those that are designed to sit across your hips.

Some show a small amount of skin on the belly, while others bare it all. There are even all types of coverage and support when it comes to your top, too.

No matter how much (or how little) skin you want to show at the beach, I promise there’s the perfect swimsuit out there to compliment your style. If you aren’t sure about showing skin, this also gives you the chance to work your way up. Start with a bikini with a little more coverage and gradually show more skin as you get comfortable.


The right accessories can really go a long way in making you feel confident. While you probably don’t want to do a blowout and do your makeup right before going to the beach, there are still plenty of other ways that you can dress up your swimsuit.

Having a swimsuit cover is nice if you don’t want to bear it all while you’re trying to walk from the car to the beach, especially if you’re carrying gear. Match it to your outfit for the ultimate accessory- just don’t use it as a crutch to keep yourself covered while on the beach.

Sunglasses and a cute pair of sandals also look great at the beach. Don’t be afraid to paint your toes, have your nails done, or get a tan if that is how you feel most confident, either. More permanent accessories like tattoos or belly button piercings look great on fat people, too!

Remember That Not Everyone is Watching You

I remember walking across the beach in my cover-up, laying down my towel, and then looking around nervously to see if anyone was watching me before I pulled it the cover-up off. Much to my surprise, nobody jumped up from their towel to stare at me as I took it off- they were just trying to enjoy the beach.

Something else I noticed was that there were quite a few other bodies like mine. I mean, it’s not really a surprise since reports show that around 41% of Americans are considered overweight- but you really just don’t expect to go to the beach and see tons of other larger people. There were even a few other curvy girls rocking their bikini bod!

Chances are, nobody is looking at you. And, if they are, they’re probably admiring your confidence or wishing that they had the boldness to love themselves and step out there. While I hate the idea that putting certain outfits on your plus-size body makes you brave, I don’t mind baring it all and making a stand for the other curvy girls out there.

A Few Extra Tips for Becoming More Confident as a Plus-Sized Woman

I honestly think a lot of my confidence came from making the decision that I was tired of hiding and not really enjoying life as I should. I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun on my six-month trip to Asia if I was worried about what everyone thought about my body while I was enjoying hiking on the beach. Hopefully, these tips will help you with confidence on the beach too- or anywhere really!

Start Loving Yourself Now

The best advice that I can give you when it comes to having the confidence to pull off any look on the beach this year is to start loving yourself now. You are sexy and beautiful and any weight that you’re carrying doesn’t really change that.

That being said, there really isn’t a problem with wanting to lose weight or change your body. I’m very “pro-whatever-makes-you-happiest” and I believe men and women should be able to change their appearance if they aren’t happy with something.

Even if you want to change, though, it doesn’t mean that you should put off loving yourself until that happens. Your body deserves to be loved now and you shouldn’t wait until you meet your fitness goals.

The way I look at it is that life is too short to spend it criticizing your own body. You are beautiful and deserve to be loved, not only with your extra pounds but because of them. There’s nothing wrong with change, but there is something wrong with failing to give your body the love and respect that it deserves.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

I’ve said this before, but the body positivity movement has been huge for me as far as inspiring confidence. There are actually women in magazines, on social media, and even on the runway that look like me in all my curvy girl glory. They have flabby arms, tummies, cellulite on their thighs, and still look every bit as hot as the thinner girls the media used to glorify.

I absolutely love this movement and I’ve found that something that has really boosted my confidence is admiring the beauty of these other girls. After all, if I can find someone beautiful that has the same body shape as me, why shouldn’t I be in love with me, too?

This is something that translates into your personal life as well. I’ve been blessed in the sense that my friends and family have never excluded me or made me feel like I was less than them because of my weight, but I know this isn’t the truth for everyone.

The people in your life should love you unapologetically even if you do weigh a little more. If they can’t do that, instead of shedding pounds, shed these negative people from your life. There’s no room for that when you are learning to love yourself.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Up Space

Something I got in the habit of especially as a young adult was being afraid of taking up space. I would eat less, be quieter, and dress less attractive because I was worried about being too bold and attracting too much attention.

The thing is though, you shouldn’t have to be worried about taking up space. Be as loud as you want to be, dress in bright or revealing clothing, and don’t be afraid to rock the crop top if that’s what you’re comfortable doing. You deserve to be noticed just as much as someone smaller than you.

Be Confident in Your Personality, Too!

At the end of the day, your looks aren’t the only thing you have going for you. Looks are also something that changes with time and it really shouldn’t change how you feel about yourself or how much you love yourself.

The way I look at it is that my physical appearance is a bonus to my personality. I’m caring, funny, adventurous, and so many other positive things and I love myself because of that too, not just because of my appearance!

Final Word

Hopefully, this article has helped you learn a little more about how to be confident in a bikini when you’re fat. The truth is, we no longer live in a world where you have to feel ashamed or like you have to hide your body at the beach. It doesn’t matter how much (or how little) you weigh and you should feel confident enough to flaunt your curves no matter where you are.

That being said, the right bikini, accessories, and attitude will really help you get there as far as having the confidence to show off your curves. Even if you don’t have the confidence yet, put on the bikini and the rest will come with time.

Camila R.

Camila is a body positive blogger and fat activist that's focused on helping people of all sizes live life big! That means accepting yourself at any size and just enjoying life! She lives in New Mexico with her husband and two chihauhuas.

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