real life

Try a fake tan, and 7 other steps to body-positive confidence by TV host Emmylou MacCarthy.

If you follow me on Insta at Emmylou_Loves, you’ll know I am all about being comfortable in your own skin. I constantly bang on about giving zero f*cks about what people think of you, and what they think about you in your bathers!

The way I see it: do not let what YOU think you look like in your bathers, stop you from doing those things that give you so much joy in life.

But it’s not always that easy is it? What if you’ve just had a baby, gone through a break-up, or you’ve experienced a bout of depression? In these moments, body positivity can be the first thing to exit the building. I know, I’ve been there – the babies (multiple), the breakups (too many) and the depression (an old friend), and if I can bust out in a set of bathers at the beach and love myself while I’m doing it, I know you can, too.


I produce and host my own TV show, Dot Com Social. Last year on my first season, I got a bunch of hate mail telling me I was fat, that the chair I sat on was too small for my fat arse, that I am so fat no one would want to have sex with me and that I am disgusting.

If that’s not a smack in the face to body confidence I don’t know what is! The worst part was that I had to get back in that same chair for the next five weeks knowing the body haters were watching. Although they had a point, that f*cking chair was way too small! Ha!

Anyway, what I have come to realise is that it’s not about waking up and just feeling confident with your body. It’s a daily practice that you need to commit to and work on until you mentally catch up. And I have been subconsciously practicing daily routines which make up my go-to options for gaining body confidence.

So, here are my tips for gaining that body positive confidence and rocking your bathing suit!

LISTEN: Feeling bad about your beach body? This is a simple guide to not feeling bad about your body at the beach. Post continues after audio.

1. Do not give a flying f*ck what anyone thinks.

This one is not going to come easily, but start with it. If that negative self talk kicks in, think to yourself, “Would I talk to my BFF like this?” Hell no! So give yourself a break. As long as you are being kind and honest in life, no one else’s opinion counts!

2. Own it. 

I don’t mean just in your head, I mean own your outfit and just work with where your body is at right now. If you are at a stage where leggings and an over-sized top is all that fits then so be it, but OWN it. Choose some earrings that you love, bust out your favourite shade of lipstick, add a slight heel or boot for a little sass and have some fun with it!


3. How to pick a swimsuit you love.

When it comes to swimsuits, find one that is comfortable, gorgeous and fun! Something that has straps for support and gives you the freedom to do what you want while you’re at the beach or pool. And if you’re feeling a bit self-conscious, there’s nothing wrong with throwing a glamorous kaftan on.


4. Try a tan.

You will be surprised how much a tan can help you pull off an outfit. If you can’t afford a spray, get a gradual rub-on one from the supermarket.

5. Pick the low-hanging fruit.

If you are at that stage where your body is freaking you out and you’re in a rut (we’ve all been there) and that physical change you’re working towards is still a long way off, focus on the things that can instantly lift you. Get a hairstyle you can maintain and style, treat yourself to great skincare, start a healthy skin routine and drink loads of water so you radiate life and love through your face and eyes. For me, having a pedicure in the dark moments really lifts my spirits!

6. YouTube some stuff.

Literally anything you need to learn is on YouTube or Instagram. If you want to learn how to style a head full of beach curls, apply eyeliner, tie a cool head scarf, log on and learn a few little tips to add to your repertoire.

7. Be realistic with yourself.

This one we don’t always want to hear, but it’s a must. As much as I rock a bathing suit, and love my clothes and who I am, I am very realistic around my health and what it means to be healthy.

I am constantly working on being active, exercising and trying to maintain a healthy eating regimen. I won’t say it’s easy, but I am always trying. I know when I am moving, getting fresh air and trying to stay physically fit, I feel better, I look better and my mental confidence is so much stronger.

Remember ladies, you’ve totally got this.

LISTEN: Catch up on what women are talking about this week on Mamamia Out Loud. The team discuss perfectionism, workplace gifting and the trials and tribulations of the modern dating scene.