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The Bikini (Or Not) Chronicles: We Asked, You Answered

NextTribe bikinis for women over 50

After the blowback from our recent swimsuit story (the too-young models! the stick-thin bodies!), NextTribe did a deep dive into the types of swimsuits that you, dear reader, really love and the results of our survey are in. Here we calculate the figures — ahem, percentages.

Most of you do not wear bikinis, in fact only 16 percent don this maximum sun-exposing silhouette. The suit of choice is a tankini, favored by 27.45 percent, closely followed by a one-piece at almost 25 percent.  A smaller percentage opted for more coverage, in the form of either swim shorts and tank top, swim skirt and top or swim dresses.

The last time our responders wore a bikini? Twenty percent said they never had. Sixteen percent gave up on bikinis in their 40s while 14 percent made it one more decade before throwing down the bikini white flag.

But the real surprise (besides the scant one percent who don’t put on a swimsuit at all!) was that so many respondents, almost half at 44 percent, believe their bodies to be bikini-busters — unfit to show off the swim style anywhere, anytime. Bikinis are too revealing, said 22 percent of you; the modesty factor arose from thinking one was too fat in the tummy, too big in the bust or with too much wrinkly, drooping skin. The numbers show that as women, we really are hard on ourselves. We need to stop beating up on our bodies!

Many of you commented that women should be free to make their own swim choices. But frankly, this body-positivity-focused fashion editor felt some of the responses (excerpts provided below) struck a rather judgmental body- and age-shaming note (towards oneself as well as others) and I’m hoping for all our sakes we can band together to support each other as we continue on this remarkable journey of aging boldly. I say, go bold, go old. Go bikini!

“In my travels, I see women in other countries wearing bikinis and suits that American women do not feel they can wear. I think the women in other countries have the right idea.”

“I feel bikinis are too much information, really, on anyone over 45. It just seems exhibitionist and kinda creepy.”

“I don’t like the feeling that I am out in public in my underwear. Thus no skimpy swimwear.”

“It’s always been a struggle to keep things covered up, done with all the tugging and tucking!”

“Wear what makes you comfortable; mentally and physically. Confidence makes us all beautiful.”

“It’s all in your head. There will always be someone that has a better body than you or a worse body. Embrace it.”

“It has taken a lifetime for me to finally throw off what others think I should or should not wear!”

“Wear whatever you feel confident in wearing, and strike a pose!”

“You should wear what you’re comfortable wearing….but some people really shouldn’t be that comfortable.”

–Kimberly Cihlar

 

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Michelle

I believe in modesty at any age and our bodies should not be on public display no matter how good you look. Ii reveal only to my husband what should only be seen by him.

I wear a bikini with a shirt swim skirt at age 58. The skirt adds just a touch of coverage or I wear a tankini

why is this even a question?

Exactly!!

Isn’t this what we’re trying to avoid? This mentality/type of thinking?

Yep, it is a question and we asked it based on a story we wrote. Plus we did a survey which you can read through the link. Check it all out. We love your feedback and how our readers share their thoughts and ideas. Thank you!

And your body looks the same whether fabric is stretched over it or not.

25%

Good bye negativity-celebrating a divorce at age 58 with a solo vacation to Mexico. Finally wore a bikini and haven’t looked back, ignoring naysayers

Wear Whatever You Want!!!
❤️❤️

Why not! I love it when someone is confident in their own skin! Age is just a number, not a death sentence!

I wear a 40s style 1 piece. I’m 56

I will wear what I want when I want at any age I am proud if my body and it’s Waaaay over 50
Sorry not sorry if you have body image issues

Eve

I’m 51. I wore a bikini in my twenties then I had kids. Finally got back my body and I am wearing a bikini again. I am fitter then I have ever been.

I’m donning a bikini this year! Embracing my imperfections and age…who cares! Lol

55 and in a bikini

Kim

51.Bikini. With boy shorts if I’m doning something active. I earned this body, both the muscles and the extra fat on the thighs. I have no intention of hiding it or being uncomfortable.

Gail Anderson

I would love to wear a bikini, but in my case, modesty isn’t the issue (I say that one should wear whatever she wants regardless of age.) For me, the issue is the sun. I had melanoma years ago and still have to be careful.

If you have the confidence and you feel good in it then you should rock your bikini!

Vicki

I started working out regularly 5 years ago and started wearing a bikini. I’m going to be 50 next month and I plan on wearing a bikini for many years yet. Great article!

Gina Burrier

I am 60 yrs old and wear bikinis because I love the sun on my tummy. No I am not model size and yes my post menopause stomach is round . For too many years I tried to hide my body under loose tankinis until a trip to aruba changed my outlook.I saw women of all sizes and aged older than me wearing very tiny bikinis and thoroughly enjoying themselves without a care of body issues. Their self acceptance and confidence was beautiful. I also thank my husband who always makes me feel beautiful and is never judgmental about my… Read more »

We recently vacationed in Fiji. Most of the other tourists were from Australia and New Zealand. Several women in their 70s showed up at the pool each day in bikinis. It was awesome!

I’m 50 and have never worn a one piece! And hopefully never will

A person should do what makes them feel good no matter what age. I don’t need anyone’s opinion about how I want to look in anyway. I just need to be happy with myself. Our society is to hung up on looks and how someone should look or act at a certain age. All BS. Are they living my life?! Be happy with yourself. Live and let live!

I still wear one!

Well I wear a bikini and I’m 53 age is just a #

I agree, if you feel comfortable wearing one I say do it. Just like when “they” say you shouldn’t have long hair after 40. Who cares as long as you feel comfortable wearing it!

I’m over 50 and I wear a bikini!!

I’m 50 and I do…who cares what other people think? There will always be people that look better than me and people that look worse than me. I don’t care one bit!

I wear one!!! I don’t care what anyone thinks!

I am 52 and I can wear whatever bikini I want.

I’m well into the 50’s club and that’s all I wear. Damn proud too!

Linn Preston

I just turned 50. I look pretty good for my age and will not stop wearing a bikini. I refuse to let my body become overweight. I can control how my body looks with diet and exercise. I am not a health food “nut” nor do I skip meals or use fanatic diets. I eat srnsibly and move my body for fitness. Go bathing beauties everywhere!!!

Linda Fulleda

Hi. I’m 54 and always wear a bikini. Women in other countries wear them without a second thought no matter body type or age. I feel like I’m in great shape but struggle a bit with the skin texture after kids and general aging but these aspects are out of my control. Funny that we can’t accept who we are, while men, don’t seem to take the time to consider the length of their swim trunks based on age or body type. Here’s a question to ponder: Why is it that men are allowed to age and women are not?

You lost me.

56 and still wearing my bikini….not string mind you, but I proudly show my belly button!

I had twins 16 years ago and have never been comfortable wearing a bikini. We went to Florida for a family vaca 2weeks ago and I thought what the heck wear the damn bikini! I was so uncomfortable the first day and kept making comments to my family. Finally by the third day I stopped complaining and went with it! My 16 year old son said “ mom you look so good today! You were confident about yourself and it showed!” I always tell my kids a confident woman is a gorgeous woman. WEAR THE BIKINI!!!

LOVE this! It’s all about the inside, really. Thank you for sharing your story, Cristi! #WEARTHEBIKINI!

It doesn’t matter how old you are! If you can rock that bikini go for it!

Brigitte Mechler Allen, this is coming up in my time line now!!!

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