Update: This story was originally published on March 17, 2012. But, in honor of another summer officially being on its way, we've added 10 more women who inspire us to slip into our swimwear and own it in a major way. Click ahead for 25 forever-rad beach babes.
Whether you've been hitting the elliptical or indulging at that pudding place down the block, or both, all winter long, the thought of stripping down to a bikini in public for the first time in months can be somewhat jarring.
Just in case you need a little push, we're here to boost your swimsuit confidence and galvanize your prep with some inspiration in the form of 15 babes who redefine the word "bikini bod." While the body types here run the gamut, one thing is constant: Each woman is confident and sexy — exactly the things we want to be when we hit the sand. These 15 ladies look so darn comfortable, happy, and gorgeous in their bikinis, they're amping us up for our own swimsuit debut.
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Cheryl Tiegs — In the '70s, every suburban boy had this poster hanging above his bed. This image of Cheryl Tiegs made the pink bikini as infamous as a yellow, polka-dot one. If that Beach Boys song didn't make it clear to you that there was something special about California girls, Cheryl probably can.
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Ciara — If you aren't a Ciara fan, take a moment, watch this video, and then get back to us. The woman is a bewitching dancer, and all those hours clocked in the studio really show.
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Crystal Renn — Whether a size 2, a size 16, or a size 8, Crystal Renn's body has been a point of conversation for a while now. But whatever number the label on her dress may read, she always looks stellar. And we're definitely not alone in feeling that way: Sports Illustrated recently ran an editorial featuring the lovely lady at her current, beautiful size.
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Marilyn Monroe — In 1947, it was only a year after Norma Jean Baker began to be known as Marilyn Monroe and several years before she would go on to create the films she's loved for today. And, this coquettish snap from that year of the not-yet-blonde Marilyn in a striped, skirted two-piece is forever one of our faves.
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The Cast of Spring Breakers — Our college spring breaks might have consisted of visits to our grandparents or getting our wisdom teeth removed, but we could certainly appreciate the wild, perhaps unlikely, ride the undergrads of Spring Breakers took us on — all while in coordinating neon suits, we'll add.
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Gabi Gregg — The blogger behind GabiFresh not only looks amazing when it comes to beach-ready gear, she's also been one of the most powerful advocates of body-positivity. Coining the term "fatkini," and then going on to actually create her own line of them, Gregg is the kind of babe who means serious business.