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Woman’s Powerful Bikini Instagram Shows The Value Of Self Confidence

HuffPost logo HuffPost 5/22/2017 Carly Ledbetter
Rachel Spencer, above, in a post about learning to love her body. © Rachel Spencer Rachel Spencer, above, in a post about learning to love her body.

In just two photos, one woman made a strong argument for why everyone should be able to feel confident at the beach in a swimsuit. 

Rachel Spencer, a confidence and success coach, recently posted two photos of herself to Instagram. In one picture, she is 13 years old in a swimsuit, covering her stomach for the camera. In a present day picture, the 26-year-old is happier and more confident, identifying herself as a “self-love queen.” 

“I’ve been sitting here trying to think of a good caption but this photo just makes me sad when I look at it,” she wrote in an Instagram caption. “So how about I ask you a question: Who taught the young girl on the left to hide her tummy before taking pictures in a swimsuit? Who taught her that at only 13 years old, her chubby little body was unworthy of a photographic memory?” 

Spencer said the reason she hid her body was because of boys who bullied and teased her about her weight. Over the years, she also felt pressured by images and messaging in the media about things like cellulite and dieting. But thanks to a little time and some self love, she’s in a super positive place thirteen years later ― and she has a message for people who need to get to that place. 

Related: Swimsuits that look great on everyone (Provided by INSIDER)

<strong><strong>The INSIDER Summary:</strong></strong><strong>Summer is almost here, which means it's time to start shopping for swimsuits.</strong><strong>Swimsuit shopping can be stressful because of societal beauty standards that don't often include realistic body types.</strong><strong>These 11 swimwear items are sold in a variety of sizes that will look good on anybody.</strong><p><br> Swimsuit season is upon us.</p><p> While many women feel pressured to achieve the ideal "swimsuit body" during this time of year, an increasing number of <a href="http://www.thisisinsider.com/plus-size-models-to-follow-on-instagram-2017-4">plus-size models are gaining popularity</a> and redefining <a href="http://www.thisisinsider.com/plus-size-swimwear-to-buy-this-summer-2017-4">what a swimsuit body looks like</a>. They're empowering women to wear whatever swimwear they like in the process.</p><p> Here are 11 swimwear items - including one-pieces and bikinis - that will suit anyone regardless of their size or shape, and make swimsuit shopping less stressful.</p> 11 swimsuits that look great on everyone

“I have a message for all the women who are much older and STILL feel ashamed to show their tummy at the pool: Don’t be,” Spencer said. “Put on that bikini and smile. Don’t feel the need to let other people’s opinions ruin precious memories with your friends and family. Show your daughters what it’s like to flaunt their flaws at the pool. No shame. Your imperfections tell a story. Your body is beautiful. You are BEAUTIFUL.” 

I've been sitting here trying to think of a good caption but this photo just makes me sad when I look at it. So how about I ask you a question: Who taught the young girl on the left to hide her tummy before taking pictures in a swimsuit❓ Who taught her that at only 13 years old, her chubby little body was unworthy of a photographic memory❓ It definitely wasn't her parents or family, so who was it? Well, did you know that this innocent young girl was bullied for her weight? Not by the girls. The girls were nice. But the boys...the boys were mean. From then on out, she never wanted to go to the pool, saw boys as a threat, cried to her teachers, etc etc. Things started to get better in middle school, but then came the media. *Knock Knock* Diet culture, fitness, cellulite cream--CELLULITE?? Why was a 13 year old worried about cellulite??? Because the media told her it was bad. That SHE was bad and needed to change. If you couldn't tell by now, the young girl was me. There's a big difference between the closed off, hiding, young girl on the left and the carefree, happy, open girl on the right. ❤️And that difference is self love.❤️ I taught it to myself. I had to. I had to find a way to be happy. The process wasn't quick. I'm still working on it at 26 years old. But I have a message for all the women who are much older and STILL feel ashamed to show their tummy at the pool: Don't be. Put on that bikini and smile. Don't feel the need to let other people's opinions ruin precious memories with your friends and family. Show your daughters what it's like to flaunt their flaws at the pool. No shame. Your imperfections tell a story. Your body is beautiful. You are BEAUTIFUL.

A post shared by Confidence & Success Coach (@mylifecoachrachel) on

Amen to that. 

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