opinion

"‘Bum-preneurs’ are self-made businesswomen. Why are we so quick to slam them?"

There’s a specific term for women who make their money designing and Insta-showcasing swimwear: “Bum-preneurs”.

They’re the Australian women who are dipping a toe into the global swimwear industry, which is reportedly worth around $23 billion, and coming out beaming.

Kendall Layt from New South Wales is just one sparkling example. Her line KOKOH Bikini made $100,000 in its first year and globetrotting is now her every day life.  

Karina Irby from Port Macquarie is another. The 26-year-old spent hours learning how to make swimwear and founded her own label Moana Bikini. The brand has over 400,000 followers on Instagram and business is booming.

Check out the Instagram feed and you’ll see Karina’s perky bottom, toned tummy and perfectly tanned torso unapologetically parading around idyllic beaches, crystal clear oceans and beautifully serene landscapes.

Yet, these women have been slammed online as “ridiculous”. Someone comments, “No great skill required” and then there’s the spiteful swipe, “it will end in tears when things head south in the autumn.” Jealous much? 

Interestingly, Karina Irby says, “It’s not just a bikini, it’s a lifestyle.” And that’s the very core of the problem that many have with these women. This is why some are so quick to tut, roll their eyes and scoff at their success…

????⚡ @kokohbikini #bikinidaysbalmynights

A photo posted by Kendall Layt (@kendall_layt) on

Because they’re not just designing swimwear, they’re living the daily dream of a constant photoshoot too. They’re not buying a bikini for a two-week holiday; their life is a beach-dwelling fantasy.

Of course, it’s likely the spiteful feedback is coming from angry keyboard warriors, furiously venting envy through their laptops.

Because there’s only one thing someone who’s unhappy hates more than someone else making a fortune – and that’s someone beautiful who’s having fun in the sun while the dollars come rolling in.

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Truth is, there is nothing “ridiculous” about this lifestyle, unless the sentence is “ridiculously amazing”. This is an awesome way to live and an Insta-glimpse at living the dream.

They’re not running around after kids or stuck on a hellish daily commute. These women aren’t hurriedly straightening their hair only to find it’s frizzed in the rain before they’ve even caught the bus.

They’re not sitting in a dingy office surrounded by irritating people who are driving them slowly insane with the agonisingly slow tick of the hands of the clock each day.

They’re not desperately slapping on fake tan in a frantic attempt to make their pins look beach-ready.

They have Victoria Secret-hot bodies and their self-made brands are skyrocketing with every image they post on social media. They’ve cracked it. Where’s the applause?

Listen to the Mamamia Out Loud team discuss the lack of diversity in Victoria’s Secret parades. (Post continues after audio): 

You don’t build a brand – a successful brand worth millions of dollars – overnight. You don’t see a thriving market, find your passion, spot potential opportunity and focus on forcing your way into it by sleeping in late. And you don’t get a super toned, beautiful body good enough to model your own designs without putting in effort.

When we see women who are young, beautiful, ambitious and successful we have a choice. Do we high five the green-eyed monster, or do we feel a surge of pride?

These are women who have turned their dreams into reality through hard work and sheer determination. Our reaction should be clear.

 For more from Corrine, follow her on Facebook here.

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