Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

A few weeks back, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Los Angeles with my blogger boo Marcy. Traveling as plus size women can come with its own challenges and we set our sights on something new for Marcy: plus size swimwear. 

Prior to our trip, Marcy and I shopped Lane Bryant's plus size swimwear online. We virtually planned our looks and both picked out bikinis we loved. We both wanted to experiment with mixing prints and try cuts that were new to us. For me, that meant a bardot-style bikini top and for Marcy, that meant wearing a bikini in public for the first time. She picked out a marble print longline bikini with matching swim skirt. The print is bold and the suit features coverage and support that is so important in plus size swimwear. 

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

It was really important to me that Marcy and I got to do this shoot together. Marcy's blog, Fearlessly Just Me, has always resonated with me because of her authentic approach to fashion. She's not afraid to admit that there's still things she's working on and I find that approach to be so relate-able. Marcy's approach to fashion is so important in the current environment of body positivity. A lot of body positive messaging comes across as if putting on a swimsuit eliminates societal fatphobia or that wearing a bikini as a fat person is as simple as just putting a bikini on your body. 

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant
I understand that oversimplification to an extent but loving your body and being able to overcome societal stigmas to wear what you want is far more of a journey than a destination. I first wore a bikini as a fat person three years ago. I remember the onslaught of fat shaming that came along with it and over these past three years, I've worn bikinis and plus size swimwear many, many times since then and have been fat shamed nearly every time. While I don't think twice about wearing a bikini these days, other people still spend a lot of energy trying to tell me not to. 

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

Marcy and I spent five days in Los Angeles and our trip ended at the beach, Venice Beach to be specific. I was itching to get to the ocean the entire time we were in LA. 
I knew going into this shoot with Marcy that swimwear was new to her and I was excited and honored to have the opportunity to share this moment with her.

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant
There's a lot of emotions that get tied to plus size swimwear. As fat women, society makes it quite clear that our bodies aren't "bikini bodies." Overcoming these past messages about my body and finally just putting on a bikini was a huge step in my own self love journey. It's a big middle finger to everyone who tries to police plus bodies.

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

 As Marcy and I stood on that beach, on-lookers stared down on us from the pier. There was a straight size model shooting a bikini in the same exact spot. All of that could have scared Marcy away. It could have made her say, maybe next time but she didn't. On that beach, she embodied her blog name and she was truly fearless. I was in awe.  

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

I asked Marcy to tell me about our experience shooting together from her point of view. She said, "This swim shoot was such a big deal for me. Some plus size women wear swimwear without a second thought and I am in awe of all those wonderful women because they have paved the way for those of us still trying to get to that place, me included. That's what Alysse did for me that day. She was there but still gave me the space and patience to get through it, which made me feel strong and empowered. That's how all women should be and feel -- we should all empower each other while we are on our journeys. I am more confident than I was 10, 20 years ago. But I am still a work in progress and that journey feels less scary knowing I have women in my life who are by my side during that journey."
Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

This experience ties right into my 2017 motto: it's okay to be afraid but do it anyways. It was an honor for me to be able to be there for Marcy as she tackled one of her fears and we could not have done it without amazing photograher Rob Eves (@hellarob on IG) and his wife, body positive wardrobe stylist Kat Eves. Their encouragement and guidance made all of the difference in creating a comfortable environment where we could just be free. 

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

This experience is one that I will not soon forget! And I am glad that we have these photos to capture this moment. You can find outfit details below. For reference, I am wearing the size 42D in the top and 20 in the bottoms. There's more photos below and don't forget to follow myself (@readytostare) and Marcy (@fearlesslyjustme) on Instagram! Marcy and I will both be writing more about our California adventures! You can read about Marcy's experience here

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant
OUTFIT DETAILS
Eyelet Stripe Off-the-Shoulder Bikini Top, c/o Lane Bryant
Cover Up with Fringe Hem, c/o Lane Bryant

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

OUTFIT DETAILS
Marble Longline Bikini Top, c/o Lane Bryant
Marble Drawstring Swim Skirt, c/o Lane Bryant
Knit Open-Front Cover Upc/o Lane Bryant

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant
Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant
Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant
Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

Women Empower Women: The Plus Size Swim Edition with Lane Bryant

*This post is in collaboration with Lane Bryant but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains some affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them.  This is one of the ways I can continue to bring you amazing content!