Accepting the skin I was in – Sirens Ship the Shop Review

One hot and humid afternoon at the age of 16 I remember riding the school bus home after a steamy day at school. The bus was not air conditioned so us older kids would resort to shoving the windows fully open, to allow the wind to blow across the beads of sweat that would form on our foreheads.

It was this particular afternoon I had a conversation with a girl who had beautifully tanned skin. It was skin I wished I had. I found it incredibly unfair to be given the skin I had and I often wondered why I couldn’t tan easily, like most of the girls at school could.

This particular girl looked at my white as snow legs and then up to my face and said, ‘Bec, you would be so pretty… if you had a tan.’

The comment didn’t make me feel sad because I believed what she said. I knew I would be prettier if I had a tan but I didn’t get a say in the skin I was given.

How I wished I had dark skin. I envied those with darker skin because black/dark skin was gorgeous and hid all types of lumps and bumps. White skin highlighted all of mine.

Unfortunately tan creams just didn’t seem to ‘stick’ to my skin, and when I would apply those gradual tan creams, it was easy to see a misapplication because I was so white. After a few tan cream disasters I resorted to being white, than strutting around with apricot elbows and orange knees.

I eventually got over my skin and just thought ‘it is what it is’, so I would wear the most ugliest rashies and boardshorts to cover my whiteness whenever I’d go to the beach or the pool. My swimming attire protected my skin, but it definitely did not look cool on.

At the end of year break up in year 11 (or it could have been year 10?), a few of the grades were taken to a large community pool to swim and have fun. I sat out of the pool in my free dress clothes because all the girls were in their string bikinis and I had packed my black rashie and black bike pants to cover my ‘horrible’ skin. I was too ashamed to walk out in my ‘swimming attire’ and pulled out the rookie excuse that I wasn’t feeling well and had my period. I remember sitting in the hot sun, watching everyone have fun in the water and felt sorry for myself for not being ‘pretty enough’ for the pool.

Over the years my struggle to go to the beach and not worry about what people thought of my skin has been hard to get over. I’d hate church camps that involved swimming. I missed out on a lot of swimming fun because of how I viewed my skin and the way I looked in togs.

I’m not sure when my attitude towards my skin and body changed. Maybe when I realized I didn’t want to miss out anymore? And being married to a man who adores my white skin and voluptuous curves. This has definitely helped me get over my self-conscious issues.

So with that history in mind, sharing full length pictures of myself in swimsuits on Instagram and Facebook was probably a ballsy idea, but it was another step forward for me to accept my body and skin. I wanted to share the pictures to help other women to embrace the skin and body they’re in.

ship the shop sirens

Sharing my Sirens Swimwear with Instagram followers

I was asked to review Sirens Ship the Shop service and I happily accepted my mission because I was in need of new swimwear. My body shape has changed dramatically after having three babies and my skin is no longer white and smooth all over, it’s covered in tiger stripes and creamy custard. I’m no longer a size 12 but a size 16.

For $199 plus shipping Sirens Ship the Shop service allows you to choose 5 swimsuits. You get sent the 5 swimsuits to try on at home and keep the one you love the most and send the other 4 suits back. Or if none suit you or you need a different size you can exchange for the right suit or get a refund. This service is fabulous for busy mums, like myself, who find it hard to go shopping for swimwear with their kids in tow.

I couldn’t choose between the swimsuits. I tossed between two and then Jacob threw a spanner in the works by telling me he liked the other two suits.

So I resorted to social media and shared my photos with the community that follow me online, to get a decision on which swimsuit to keep.

The fifth swim suit was a bikini that did me no favours, so I’m only showing the 4 suits that were in contention. I’m wearing a size 16 in all the swimsuits shown.

The first swimsuit I tried on was this Lizzie Parisian Stripe swimsuit with tummy control. I thought that this would be the one I would keep, except I wasn’t sure about the straps and the outer line did show my bumps.

Liizze Parisian Stripe Swimsuit

The second swimsuit was the Grace French Navy Polka Dot. I liked it but I felt the polka dot was too overwhelming on me.

Grace Sirens Swimwear

The third swimsuit was the Grace in the Lights of Vegas print and I loved it as soon as I put it on.

Grace Sirens Lights of Vegas

The fourth swimsuit was the Vivian Two Piece Tankini which was really tight around the tummy area, but I really liked the feminine frill.

Vivien Sirens Tankini

In the end, the Grace in Lights of Vegas got the most votes and I ended up keeping it, which I will wear to the beach this week.

Grace Lights of Vegas Styled by Bec

Winning!

After having three babies and losing time worrying about my white skin and crying over my stretch marks, I’ve come to accept my skin as beautiful and needs to be shown off no matter what size or colour I am.

Life is incredibly short and often I’ve worried too much about what others think. I’ve done it for so long, and the only person it hurt was myself because I ended up missing out.

The thing is most people don’t care what you look like on the beach and even if they do, you’re most likely never going to see them again.

A closer look at the print.

A closer look at the print.

Buying good quality swimwear like Sirens (which has been designed to fit and flatter all types of women’s bodies, both curvy and petite) is the first step to accepting how you look in swimwear. If you’re in ill-fitting swimwear, you’ve lost the battle before you’ve started.

I’m really excited by my new swimsuit and can’t wait to join Jacob and the girls in the pool and on the beach this summer.

I’m making up for lost time now and nothing is going to stop me strutting out on the beach in my new Sirens swimsuit.

How do you feel in your body? Do you tan really well or do you have white skin that burns like me?

BONUS: All Styled by Bec readers can receive free shipping by typing styledbybec at checkout. The free shipping finishes on December 15.

Disclaimer: I was gifted this swimsuit as part of the review and trial of the Ship the Shop service. All opinions are my own and this is the only way I will buy my swimwear from now on.

  • I like the print and swimmers you chose! I have fair skin, but instead of being beautifully creamy like yours mine is freckled. I learnt early on that my skin doesn’t tan, just freckle so now I am a little more sun smart 🙂

  • I am slowly starting to adopt the same attitude of I’m not going to miss out anymore because I don’t want to be seen in my cossie. You are so right that most people don’t care about what I look like, they are usually too worried thinking about how they look!

    BTW I love the cossie you chose!

  • I’ve worked really hard to be comfy in my skin. Women like you who share real pictures on SM etc are a big part of why I could do that. You show people what normal really is. It’s ballsy and wonderful. Good on you.

  • Love this post. My in-laws are always making fun of my legs. I’d rather bare them white than misapply fake tan. My biggest issue with swimwear is, um, the bottom. I cannot be bothered going to the salon as often as I need to for most forms of swimwear (and ingrown are the WORST!), and there are very few boyleg styles out there. When I find bathers that I love, I buy three pairs!
    Absolutely love the pair you’ve kept. I didn’t realise they were little squares instead of spots – gorgeous! You look fab. x #teamIBOT

  • Oh Bec, you took me right back to my childhood. I hated my body as a teenager, and it’s only now that I look back over photos of that time, that I realise just how thin I was! Though not terribly happy in my skin just at the moment, I have learned to accept who I am and embrace it. I love your swimmers! xx

  • Bec you look awesome in all these swimsuits! But i agree, swimsuits are hard work on our ego and our confidence despite what body shape we have. I need a new swimsuit this summer, so might give Sirens a look xx

  • Swimwear shopping is so hard so this is a fabulous service & you look fantastic. I love that you are now comfortable in your skin (a bit sad that you weren’t for a long time).

  • Hugzilla

    That one was my favourite too (you rocked them all, by the way!) Props to you for being brave and putting it out there to social media – I’m way too much of a scaredy cat.

  • Seeing the swimsuits on my computer screen rather than as a tiny IG image, I wholeheartedly agree with your final choice. You look fab!

  • Great final choice. I said on another swimsuit post elsewhere on the internet – if you’re having swimsuit based body issues, go to waterslides. Then you’ll be having too much fun to care what anyone thinks of you.

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

    Yep that last one had a great neck line and you look Sex and the city fabulous

  • I love the one you kept, its so nice. That’s such a cool idea for swimwear shopping. The first time I went swimwear shopping after having bub I ended up in tears more than once because I was so overwhelmed with how much my body had changed and nothing would fit or looked good. I’m more accepting of it now, but I think it’d still be fabulous to try on the togs at home instead of in a change room. It all seems much less daunting than going to the shops.

  • Aren’t these suits fun? You chose well. I’m in the market for a new swimsuit. One that covers my stretch marks admittedly but I always find it hard to find the right one. I’m a fellow whitey as well 😉 xx

  • Good on you for accepting yourself and your skin. I think the pattern and neckline of your choice really suits. I wore a bikini for the first time last summer (nothing too skimpy) – I felt good and even though I’ve put on 2-3kg over winter I’m planning to get back into it. As you say, life is too short.

  • Lauren @SAHM I am

    I hoped you would choose that swimsuit, it looks wonderful on you! I have an awful skin condition that means I have patches of darker pigment all over my body, but this year I have finally brought a swimsuit that I love so that i don’t have to cover up in a t shirt and board shorts.

  • I wrote about wearing swimmers for ibot, too! Good on your for getting out there. I love the suit you chose! Enjoy your swim!

  • Good choice, Bec. They all looked great on you and good on you for having the courage to show off yourself in your swimmers. I don’t think I could do the same. There are many parts I hate about my body too, but I figure there’s nothing I can do about it, so I just roll with it xx

  • Love your choice Bec. Love this post. Love your skin. Love YOU! xx

  • You look absolutely gorgeous in the Sirens swimmers Bec! All the styles look great but I definitely love the ones you chose – so pretty. Such a fantastic way to try all those swimmers in the comfort of your own home. Well done Sirens!! And your attitude is awesome. Good on you for moving on, loving your skin and getting out there. Have a great time at the beach xox

  • What an awesome service by Siren Swimwear. I really like the pair you chose. Such a beautiful post too, gorgeous girl. Zoe xx

  • Thanks Zoe. I equally loved your post this week on swimwear. xx

  • Thanks lovely. We mainly spent a lot of time at the pool, but I strutted my stuff because I knew the swimmers looked fabulous. x

  • Aww shucks, thanks Bev. I think the same of you too. xxx

  • Really sweet? I look at your body and think how amazingly slim you are. I reckon you can pull off a bikini still. And you’re older than me!! xx

  • Thanks Becky. I need to check out your post. xx

  • Lauren, I’m so glad to read that you aren’t going to let your skin dictate your fun. Enjoy summer. I bet you look gorgeous. xx

  • Thanks Kathy. I’m so pleased I chose the one I did. It got a great work out on our holiday last week. I have a few kg’s to lose too… but after Christmas and New Years I say. x

  • Yes, I have stretch marks all over too. I have them on the top of my thighs which are on show when I wear togs, but I try and forget about it. Out of sight, out of mind. xx

  • Toni, you would love the service. I think its a great concept for us mums. Swimwear shopping can be so daunting. And change rooms often have the worst light. x

  • Aww thanks Natalie. xx

  • Great advice Ness. I went on a few waterslides on our holiday and you’re right. You forget about what you look like because you have so much fun! x

  • Thanks Janet. xx

  • Thanks Hugzy. Appreciated your help. Glad you’re happy with my choice.

  • Yes, so true Vicki. It is sad that I wasn’t happy for a while, but once I realized I couldn’t change my skin, something changed on the inside and I got over myself. xx

  • Thanks Josefa. Swimsuit shopping isn’t a fun activity, but shopping with Sirens made the whole experience worthwhile and fun. I found it hard choosing just one pair. Hence the social media call out for help. 🙂

  • Thanks lovely. Your figure is gorgeous. Funny how in hindsight we are our worst critics when we were at our ‘best’ shape wise.

  • I had a teacher that used to point out my white legs and I used to hate it. As for the bikin line issue, I so get what you mean. And with Sirens, the coverage is awesome. You could grow a forest and still be completely covered. xx

  • Thanks Amy. I think it’s important to show what’s normal… and I do know I could be healthier, but this is what I look like at this moment in time. x

  • Thanks Ingrid. I hope you can enjoy the beach or pool this summer and not worry either. It’s a great attitude to adopt. xx

  • I LOVE freckled skin because it offers an illusion of a tan – well that’s what I think. I have to be sun smart too with my skin. Being pale means I can get burnt quickly and easily. x