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9 women bare all to send a striking message this swimsuit season

TODAY logo TODAY 5/30/2017 Brooke Sassman

The first day swimsuit day of summer can feel intimidating, as any woman knows. Together, we have more in common than we think.

Love Your Body on TODAY © TODAY Love Your Body on TODAY

Putting on a bathing suit for the first time each summer can feel intimidating. As part of our "Love Your Body" series, TODAY Style asked nine women of all shapes, sizes and walks of life to look in the mirror and talk candidly about what they see in their reflections — both physically and emotionally.

The realization? That their biggest "flaws" or insecurities weren't so different after all and that, in fact, they're all beautiful.

"I walked into this big space and was asked to stand in front of a mirror; that can be difficult for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons," Katie Sturino of the blog The 12ish Style told TODAY Style. "And the things that you start to see when you're staring into a mirror are really interesting."

Body image swimsuits © Samantha Okazaki Body image swimsuits In 2013, a survey conducted by Lands' End revealed that 89 percent of women feel they're most exposed while wearing a bathing suit. For 20 percent of those women, it's worrisome and anxiety-inducing.

This was especially true for new mom Michelle Lindsay who experienced several changes to her body after giving birth.

Mom body image © Samantha Okazaki Mom body image "It's amazing that you're creating this life and afterward, you know, you have this beautiful child. But your body definitely changes, inside and out," Lindsay told TODAY Style.

That realization has helped the 42-year-old spread positivity to others who may be struggling like she once did.

"For new moms whose bodies are changing, you can't control everything. You are creating a human life. You can't control what your body is going to do or how it's going to react or how you're even going to give birth, you know? Don't be so hard on yourself."

These are just some of the inspiring stories they shared — to hear them all, check out the video above.


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