by Kaitlyn Boyle
Summer is the time for sun, beach, and all things swim. Many models and young girls dream of being swimsuit models and strutting their stuff for the runway and beach alike. However, when presented that opportunity it can be scary and easy to become insecure in your own body. Wearing a swimsuit shows off all of you and your beauty, but it also reveals what many believe are flaws or imperfections. (trust me, they aren’t flaws at all…)
At the age of sixteen, I was asked by my modeling agent to try out a swimsuit shoot as many models are required to have some form or other of swim attire photos. I personally had never felt any kind of self-doubt or body worries when on the beach or any other time requiring that I wear a swimsuit in public. I mean, I also never put much thought into it since most of my time in a bathing suit was spent running around the beach like a crazy person or swimming to the bottom of the pool grabbing pennies that I threw into it. Because of this, I didn’t think I had any worries or fears about the photoshoot, however, when it came to a few days before the shoot I became nervous and self-conscious about how I would look in my bathing suit in pictures. My own dislikes about my body came from how my back looked, because when I was younger, I had a spine deformity called scoliosis. This caused my back to not have the curve and indent that many other girls have, especially swim models that I had seen. They always look so amazing and have the perfect body, curves and all. The days leading up to the shoot I was practicing poses in the mirror of my bathroom and trying to see how I could stand and make my posture to where I would have more of a curve. It seemed weird to me that I was suddenly doubting myself and my modeling ability, all because of the wardrobe I was going to wear.
On the day of the shoot I had to get up really early and drive down to Daytona beach. My mom and dad both came since it was my first bathing suit shoot (and my father was overly protective…) and we parked and waited for the photographer to show up. I had packed every bathing suit I owned and a few pairs of shorts and shoes in case we decided to take some other shots. The entire time we were waiting for the photographer to show up I could feel my body shaking out of nervousness. I kept reminding myself that it was just like every other photo shoot and that I was nervous at all of them but always end up having fun. This time was different though, and I couldn’t get it out of my head that I would be posing in a swimsuit. It's perfectly natural to feel weird and awkward when in your bathing suit in front of someone you don’t know, especially when they are taking pictures. (sounds creepy now... I promise it wasn’t!)
When the photographer showed up, he asked me if this was my first swim shoot which I replied to with an awkwardly proud “YES.” He helped me choose the first suit and we decided on a black and white two-piece, which luckily was my favorite one I owned. When I had changed my mom and dad stayed back and let me and the photographer head down to the beach. The shoot started off kinda slow as I was still nervous and felt weird. All of the swim shoots I could think of had gorgeous models who gave off “sexy” or “attractive” vibes. (All of which I wouldn’t use to described myself…) I’m pretty sure the photographer could sense my feelings because as soon as I was about to ask what style he was going for he told me something I think will stick with me for the rest of my modeling career. “Just think of it as any other studio shoot. Pose how you would normally and don’t feel weird.” It may not sound amazing or life saving but it meant a lot to me and helped me finish the shoot strongly. The entire time I had the idea of a Victoria secret model in my mind and didn’t even think about acting as I normally would have.
The conclusion to the entire situation ended up being fairly successful and made me proud. I finished the shoot like a pro and the photographer told me he would submit the pictures to a magazine. (Further showing me that I did well…) About a month later the magazine that I had been submitted to came out and I was featured in Picton magazines June edition. My pictures ended up being really good (in my opinion...) and I liked the way I looked. So, my message to anyone doing a swim shoot or just wanting to be confident in their suit is this, be yourself and act natural. You may think you have imperfections but no one else sees you that way and you’re perfect the way you are. Afterall, swimsuits are for summer and summer is all about having fun.