At the start of the summer, a crazy – yet incredible – thing happened to me.

As regular readers might remember, I headed off on a wonderful family holiday to Ochos Rios in Jamaica on a family press trip to Beaches resort and it was there that my husband Peter took a quick pre-beach snap of me wearing my favourite red Boux Avenue bikini.

Having not worn a bikini in public for a while, this was the first time, two kids later, that I felt truly confident to don a two-piece so wanted to mark the occasion with a snap.

Vicki in a bikini

Encouraged by my husband Peter, I uploaded the photo to social media.

This was in the wake of the controversy surrounding Protein World’s ‘beach body ready’ adverts and I wanted to show that all women should be proud of our bodies – no matter the size or shape or however many stretch marks we might have!

I’ve had 2 c-sections, carrying big, tall baby boys both times and it’s safe to say my body is definitely not what is was.

I’ve lost definition around my waist and I have stretch marks, but you know what, it doesn’t bother me at all. Honestly.

And nor does it bother my husband Peter either. He always makes me feel good about myself, even when I’ve been at my heaviest.

There are so many unrealistic body expectations put upon women.

I’ve recently returned from London Fashion Week, and there, I sadly witnessed with my own eyes, the ultra-thin models on the catwalk. It’s a sorry sight.

But we’re also seeing progress too with ‘plus-sized models’ (I use this term reluctantly as I genuinely don’t think a size 16 should really be labelled plus size) Ashley Graham owning the catwalk and causing a social media storm – for all the right reasons. Yay!

But back to the bikini shot….

Having posted the image on my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, I didn’t think any more of it until suddenly I took my phone out of my handbag a few hours later and was met with hundreds of notifications.

The photo quickly reached 60k people in a few hours, and I was overwhelmed by the plethora of positive comments from women telling me it has inspired them to overcome their fears and wear a bikini in public for the first time or take their children swimming again.

I spent that night in tears (of joy) reading all the wonderful messages of support – the unexpected reaction literally blew me away.

You can read all about it here.

The very next day, I felt inspired to start the #proudinmybikini hashtag as a way for women to feature our bodies collectively, a way for us to support and admire one another’s strength and confidence.

Now we’re heading towards the end of the summer (sob) I wanted to create this post and celebrate all the women – and their hot bikini bods – who got involved in the hashtag!

And when I say ‘hot bikini bods’ I mean ‘so hot it hurts, sizzling bods’

Just check out these sexy mama’s *wolf whistles*-

(Insta/twitter handles depending on where the image was shared)

proud in my bikini

If you wanted to share your image but didn’t get to in time or have blogged about body image and want to link up, whether you feature here or not, please join my Proud in My Bikini linky that will be open forever!

[inlinkz_linkup id=565541 mode=1]


I also want to say a massive thank you to everyone who posted their bikini picture this summer along with the hashtag-

Huge thanks to:

(Apologies if anyone was missed here, please notify me if so).

…In a world where negativity can unfortunately so often dominate online rhetoric, it has been heart warming to see women coming together to support and admire one another.

It was great to read all the comments on everyone’s individual photos and posts, and it’s so uplifting knowing that together we are all playing our part in shifting the unrealistic expectations placed on women’s beauty.

I hope we’re at a tipping point where every single woman, mother or not, bikini/swimwear or not, can start feeling proud of their bodies.

Whether you’re a size 8 or a size 18, we should all be proud, we shouldn’t glamorise one type of body shape because we’re all fabulous daaaaahlings!

Let’s celebrate our strength and beauty.

Thank you to all who took part and let’s keep the positivity going!

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28 Responses

  1. Mama and More aka Zaz

    darling Vicki, at last I’m getting to comment on this post! As you know I strongly believe in making women feel good about themselves from the inside out, and dealing with our demons, recognising the beauty and power that shines out of us. I’m truly honoured to be part of this collective, and long may we keep championing the REAL view of women – that we don’t need external decrees on what is beautiful, we can own that ourselves! Xxx

  2. Jen

    Thanks you so much for including me in this. realising how much my confidence in myself can affect my 6 year old daughter Millie made me “have a word with myself” about wearing a bikini and being more confident in my own skin. I’ve always been so body conscious even when I was a teeny size 6 pre babies and that’s not what I want for Millie- so I now wear my bikini (stretch marks and all) with pride ? xxx

    • Honest Mum

      Oh Millie thank you, I’m so happy this campaign has helped you, it’s really helped me too. We must be proud of our beautiful bodies, we all look amazing. *High fives xx

  3. Sarah F

    What an inspiring read, I missed the original photo on social media but what a great story, there’s way to much pressure put on women to conform to a tiny size, and speaking from experience it’s blooming hard work to starve yourself to be stick thin, its unsustainable and I’ve finally let go of that kind of behaviour and having gone from a size 8 (Im almost 6ft) to a size 12 I don’t think I should be ashamed that I couldn’t maintain the stick thin look. I’m honestly more happy in my skin and #proudinmybikini – albeit a bit cold at the end of September lol

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks for your lovely comment Sarah, what a great size you are, I hate the pressure and was so pleased to launch this campaign, it’s vital we all feel proud and happy in our skin because we’re amazing. *high five

  4. HelpfulMum

    Thank you so much for including me. This is such a wonderful idea and you certainly helped me to feel confident in a bikini for the first time in years!

  5. Becky @ PinksCharming

    Really inspiring post, it makes me want to put my bikini on right now! Though it’s a bit cold right now, he he. Seriously though I think this is great and think all these lovely ladies look brilliant. Becky x

    • Honest Mum

      Haha never too cold for a bikini, get the fire on and walk around in it! Thanks for your lovely comment, so happy to see all these amazing ladies join in x

  6. Mummy Tries

    Gorgeous lady, what can I possibly say that hasn’t already been said? I’m so incredibly honoured to have featured here, and want to thank you for your never ending encouragement and support. You rock chick, and I’m proud to call you a friend. Have a wonderful weekend xxx

    • Honest Mum

      Thank you so much sweetie for joining in and being such a great friend to me. The biggest highlight of blogging is finding friends like you. You look incredible xx

  7. Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Thank you for including me lovely.Thrilled to be a part of this. Anything which supports women in feeling not just ok but amazing in their own skin gets my vote. The more we learn to accept out bodies and love them as they are, the happier and healthier we will all be. Well done on starting such a brilliant campaign. Amazing! Xx

    P.s Will link up a piece I wrote about wearing a bikini before I went on holiday x

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks so much sweetpea, an honour to have you and the other ladies join in and you are so right, we must accept and love our bodies. Thank you too for linking up. Lots of love x

  8. Petra / Be Healthy Now

    Amazing work Vicki! I love how you are trying to celebrate women’s beauty and make women confident about their bodies again.There should definitely be more real women featured online as ultra-thin models don’t help women feel good about themselves.But it’s good to see that plus size models are booming. Keep up the good work Vicki, I admire what you do!

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks so much, I am so happy that blogs offer a separate platform to mainstream media that can represent all our beautiful bodies, not just size 0’s xx

  9. Jenn

    Kudos to all of you, beautiful ladies. I didn’t even have a chance to put my bikini on this summer 🙂 I would join, though, for next summer’s round up, if there will be such 🙂

    • Honest Mum

      Hi Jenn, that would be amazing, the linky will run always so once you post about it please do come back and link up, thank you for your kind words 🙂

  10. Alex

    Thank you so much for including me! #proudinmybikini genuinely opened my eyes and made me realise my body is beautiful and I must learn love my curves! Every single photo in that collage is beautiful and no one should think otherwise! Xx

    • Honest Mum

      An honour to have you Alex, thanks for joining in, you look and are beautiful, and you are so right, every woman there is a knock-out, completely gorgeous. Go us! xx


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