A plus size women may feel liberated while in a bikini, but once this mere garment comes off, she’s back to square one.

There’s better ways to gain confidence.

Can you not find a better role model than someone whose only accomplishment seems to be getting pictures of herself taken in skimpy, skanky and tight clothing?

  • Why is someone like this your role model and inspiration for self-confidence?
  • How did your standards get so low?

Ask yourself what your bopo Instagram idol is very confident at doing.

You’ll be hard-pressed to come up with an answer other than “wear clothes I wouldn’t dare to.”

See this for what it truly is: a mere fashion choice. 

You are idolizing a stranger for having a different fashion choice than you: wearing a bikini.

Wearing a bikini is a fashion choice, not a mark of confidence. You can do better than this for your role model.

Five Ways a Plus Size Woman Can Become Confident without Getting into a Bikini

#1. Take up yoga.

Every pose in yoga is modifiable – for the very novice to the most advanced.

Remember, anyone can wear a bikini, but the more you do yoga, the more confident you’ll become as you master increasingly difficult poses and gain stronger joints and more energy.

#2. Take up a martial art.

This could be karate, jiu-jitsu, judo, whatever is the most appealing to you.

If you can’t do jump kicks due to your size, so what. There’s way more to martial arts than leaping or spinning in the air.

There are certain components to the martial arts for which a plus size body is on an even playing field as the thinner body, such as board breaking, grappling, joint locking.

In tournaments, sometimes a plus size woman takes a trophy in point fighting or forms. I’ve been to numerous martial arts tournaments and have witnessed this many times.

#3. Take up strength training.

If you’re already doing this, ramp it up. Do more barbell work. Try to lift heavier and heavier over time.

Learn to do heavy deadlifts, because a strong back will support everything else you ever do. Train your body to lift heavy things over your head. Talk about building confidence!

You will feel more able and stronger as your body learns to lift heavier weights. Lifting heavy will not make a big woman even bigger. But large portion sizes of junk food will.

#4. Take up aerobics.

This could be classes, machines, hiking or jogging.

One thing, though: If a treadmill is your mode of choice – do NOT hold on. When I was a personal trainer, I forbad even my most overweight clients from holding on.

Once you’re confidently marching on a treadmill without holding on and noticing your improved stamina, this new confidence will affect other aspects of your life.

#5. Realize that women are not ornaments.

If you want to push the idea that women, indeed, are ornaments or sex objects, then post a lot of pics of yourself flaunting a bikini.

Because that’s exactly what the message is when full-figured women think they can “show everyone” something by posing seductively in bikinis.

“Feeling compelled to wear a bikini daily in order to obtain validation is no different than doing anything else which you feel you must do, or else you’ll be judged negatively,” says Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of  The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Dr. O’Gorman explains, “There are many examples of women being pressured to act in certain ways. For example, feeling they must:

  • Smile all the time
  • Be nice all the time and not make anyone uncomfortable by stating your opinion
  • Allow yourself to be touched, groped, fondled
  • Be seen as a sex object, first, last, only
  • Feeling you have to prove you’re desirable by wearing a bikini, even if you do not really want to

“…Are all examples of what I’ve named as toxic ‘girly thoughts’ – internalizing harmful societal standards that lead to developing toxic self-judgement resulting in not acting on what they think, know, is best for them, ultimately not acting on what is in their own self-interest.”

The answer to this societally imposed pressure is to “establish your own ground rules for yourself, for your body based upon what is helpful for you, not on what you feel is expected of you.”

Dr. O’Gorman is an internationally recognized speaker, a consulting psychologist in upstate New York and the author of eight books including Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting. She’s a regular blogger at The Powerful Woman.Net.  Learn more at patriciaogorman.com.