7 Ways to Tackle Beach Insecurities

Bikini season is finally here, which means we get to break out the shorts and our tans have never looked better. It also means we get to groan at almost every photo that comes through our Insta feeds as the pressure to have a beach body becomes overwhelming. We’ve already made it clear that everybody is a beach body, but the insecurities that come with going to the beach are still all too real.

Being able to let yourself go and have fun proves difficult when you’re hyper-aware of what’s going on around you and too focused on how uncomfortable you feel. When asked if people are insecure while going to the beach or public pool via Twitter poll, 302 out of 364 admitted yes, the beach is practically a feeding ground for insecurities.

Bottom line here is the beach is a place for you to go to enjoy yourself. You are there for yourself, not to please or impress someone else on the beach. With that being said, insecurities aren’t easy to shake and there are ways you can make yourself more comfortable.

1. Pre-game with a shopping spree

The only thing better than the weather during summer is the shopping spree that comes with it. Raid your local stores for new bathing suits, an outfit to wear over your bathing suit or a bikini cover-up. Buying a bathing suit that you feel confident in is key, and once you get to the beach you’re going to want to show it off.

Lightweight cover-ups that double as dresses can help with feeling awkward around older beach-goers and they serve as the perfect bridge between clothing and bare swimsuit if you’re not quite comfortable enough for that yet.

Older beach attendees can be a problem for some, like Geneve from Boston University. "I definitely get uncomfortable when I get glances from people of an older generation. I feel like if it is a beach or pool, I shouldn't feel uncomfortable walking around without a towel, coverup, or clothes on, but depending on the demographics of the location I'm at, this can be the case sometimes."

2. Beach day prep

When we asked college students what insecurities they had at the beach, a lot of them came back with the same answer: body hair.

One sophomore who would like to remain anonymous – we’ll call her B  – says her Slavic roots are to blame for her naturally thicker and darker hair. “I used to dread the summer months because I hated putting on a swimsuit. I have high levels of the testosterone hormone so I naturally have more hair [than] most other girls.”

Insecurities like these seem small to some of us but they can potentially be isolating to others. “I used to be so embarrassed by my happy trail and bikini area to the point where whenever someone invited me to the beach or pool I would make up an excuse to not go,” B says. “[This] made me feel even more insecure because I was isolating and withdrawing myself from my friends.”

Arm and leg hair that’s naturally thick or dark is an insecurity for a lot of women. Of course, nothing is wrong with natural body hair (hello, it’s there for a reason) but if you’ll be more confident without it you can always remove it.

Hair removal was key to tackling B’s insecurities. “I did some research and figured out the best option was laser hair removal. While it is a bit pricey, I feel so comfortable in my own skin. I’m the first to suggest beach and pool days and overall I feel so much better about my body.”

You can shave before you go to the beach to make sure you’re free of stubble, wax if you want a longer temporary result or you can opt for laser hair removal for a long-term effect.

3. Gather a killer beach babe squad

If you’re insecure, the best thing you can do is surround yourself with people that are going to make you comfortable and distract you from what’s going on around you. Gathering a gang of beach babes that you trust and feel comfortable around is key to having a good time.

If you’re worried about pictures being taken of you looking unflatteringly candid, let your squad know you’d rather opt out! Tell them you’re feeling insecure and you might be shocked to find out that, hey, so are they.

4. Have a photoshoot first

Speaking of pics… a completely, totally irrational insecurity of ours is being on a beach and thinking: “Oh my God someone is going to take the worst candid picture of one of us that’s going to go straight into our Insta tagged pics and our lives will collectively be forever ruined.”

Take pictures when you first arrive at the beach to avoid this fear. Take squad pics or Insta-ready selfies when you first arrive at the beach when you look your best of the day because let’s face it, you’re only going to get sweatier. Devote the rest of your time at the beach to just enjoying yourself with your friends. You’re (hopefully) there to enjoy the day and get your tan on, not visit a photo set.

5. Scope out the hidden gems

If you live in typical vacation-spot states, beaches in the summer can easily become a crowded, uncomfortable kind of hell. If you’re worried about being around a lot of people (or running into someone you used to know, how horrifying), try to avoid hot spots and popular beaches.

With some of us at HC having lived on beaches for a majority of our lives, believe us when we say there’s nothing worse than tourist beaches. They’re usually the first spots that come up on the map when you search “beaches near me” and they are, without a doubt, horrifying. The last time an HC babe went to one she was too afraid that the guy fishing 20 feet away from her was accidentally going to throw his line in her direction and reel her onto shore like some kind of pruned, drowned, hairy fish.

Do your research and find beaches that are hidden and that only locals of the area would know about. If you live close to the beach year-round, your parents or friend’s parents probably know some. If you’re visiting a beach, asking around is never bad.

6. Chance a glance at other people

One of the most daunting things can be stopping to just look around at other people, especially at the beach. When you’re insecure a majority of your time is being spent forcing yourself not to look at other people. It’s a whole lotta looking at the sand and minding your business.

But when you do take a second to look up and look around you, you realize: nobody else knows you’re there. We’re serious. Everybody else on the beach is too busy minding their own business to care about what you’re doing.

7. Hit up a dog beach

Yes... they exist and yes, they are heaven on earth. If you have a dog that loves swimming, scope out dog-friendly beaches and bring your pup along with you. In cases for people with anxiety, bringing your dog along to places, especially beaches, helps take the attention away from you. Instead of feeling like everyone is looking at you, you’ll take pride in knowing they’re focused on the angel galloping at your feet.

Plus, you’re surrounded by other dogs, hello.

And remember...

Everyone around you is most likely worried you’re looking at them, or not caring to look at you at all. You’d be surprised to find the people you’d least expect to feel insecure are worried about the same things you are, so make sure you’re not the one judging others around you, either.

The most important thing to remember is none of these people at the beach will ever see you again, so why not have fun and make a complete fool out of yourself?