Ah, pool parties. I’ve never considered them a safe space for my body, since plus-size people are generally removed from all conversations involving swimwear, the beach, pools, or basically any activity around showing skin. And if we are included, we're generally being fed the you don't have a beach body
messaging or only being sold matronly bathing suits designed to cover up our bodies. Or even worse, we're laughed at, trolled, or deemed "brave" just for putting on a swimsuit at all. Almost every fat girl has experienced these things, and they can cause years of damage and self-hate.
This is why, after years of negative experiences at pool parties and the like, I was so excited to attend the 2nd Annual Golden Confidence Pool Party
hosted by fashion blogger Essie Golden
. During the rooftop event, a sea of plus-size bloggers, influencers, and models got to dance, lounge, take gorgeous selfies, and swim without feeling the need to cover up. This party wasn't just about having a good time — it was about creating a space for women to feel good about their bodies.
And with that, I put on a bikini and entered into an alternate universe. From the moment I got off the elevator and walked on the hotel's rooftop, I felt like I entered an entirely different world. I've never been surrounded by so many plus-size people at one time, ever. The friendliness was contagious — everyone was walking around, grabbing drinks at the bar, saying hello, and complimenting each other. There should have been a sign that read: "Welcome to plus-size pool party heaven, where everyone looks amazing and sizeism doesn't exist."
"Oftentimes, plus-size folks aren't welcome in other spaces," party-goer Brooke Rodriquez
told me. "Too often, we see bigger or different bodies being subjected to ridicule for simply existing in public spaces."
The best part about this party was that we all felt good about ourselves. At no point did I hear anyone make a negative comment about her body or anyone else's. To be surrounded by that much positivity was liberating.
Thankfully, a photographer was there to capture all of this amazingness. I know people are going to look at the photos and comment on how "brave" these women are. The only reason people say that is because there's a collective understanding that plus-size women shouldn't show off their bodies. So anyone who dares do so must be a rebellious badass — and that's a problem.
As blogger Jewelz Mazzei
told me at the party: "Nothing about what I'm doing is brave. There is nothing that I'm doing that you can't do. You need to do this for yourself."
Clearly, we need this community and body-positive events like these to show the world that all bodies are good bodies — and all bodies deserve to have a killer time at a pool party. Click through to see what a pool party without judgment looks like. (Spoiler alert: It looks amazing.)
It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach, here.