Surprising Secrets About Women and Swimsuits

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Reporting by Nicole Brennan, Michelle Khai, and Sophia Pino, FITNESS Magazine

More than 1,000 women confessed to FITNESS magazine what they really think of their beach bodies. Go beyond the tan lines with these juicy factoids...and then check out the June issue (on stands now!) for tons more exclusive findings.

1. About one in four women...
...don't trust anyone to tell them honestly if a swimsuit looks good on them.

2. If Justin Timberlake invited them to a beach party, 36 percent of women...
...would turn him down flat because they don't feel they're in good enough shape.

3. The #1 asset women look forward to flaunting... the beach? Their cleavage, said 40 percent.

4. One in five women...
...say they'd be up for going to a nude beach!

We spill the rest of the secrets here.

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Do you feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit in public? Why or why not?

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I feel like I look good in a bathing suit. I wear a one piece or a age 62. BUT I hate them, too tight and uncomfortable. When I go to the beach I usually wear shorts and a halter top, since I don't go in water.... Report
Our European vacation certainly helped me with this - the first day at the beach in Rhodes I was the only person under 70 with a one-piece. And when I bought a bikini, I was certainly not the 'worst' body on display! Report
I wear a swim skirt and tankini top. I wear this kind of suit for me and my daughter. I want her to see me having fun and not being concerned about my body when we are at the pool or beach. She likes that I wear a "skirt" for swimming! For exercise swimming I wear a one piece. I get my suits from They have great choices and prices. Report
I was just saying on someone's blog yesterday that swimsuit designers should design them to look good on more body types. Why does the bottom of a bikini have to be the tiniest piece of fabric possible? And why should a size 6 person like me wear a large swimsuit? It's just silliness! Report
Living in Europe has cured me of bathing-suit-shyness. I'm a size-14 50-year-old, and when we go on vacation next week, I'm wearing a bikini at the beach. When we first went to the beach in Italy a few years back, I wore a one-piece... and ended up going out and buying a bikini because I felt conspicuous wearing a one-piece when women of all shapes, sizes, and ages were wearing bikinis. Report
I tried on swimsuits today and what a bummer. I want to feel good about how I look at any size but that is very difficult when I see myself in a swimsuit. I don't look that bad but I don't look that great either. I am busty with a small butt so if it fits on top it's baggy in the rear. oh well I have a good time in the pool and on the beach anyway. Report
Amused by the pp. who wrote about the woman at a nude beach who 'should not have been' nude. Many Europeans don't go to nude beaches to show off, but to enjoy themselves. I would have expected people on this site to rejoice that a person could enjoy being in her body, regardless of how unfashionable it might seem! That kind of confidence is worth developing. Report
I feel comfortable wearing a one piece swimsuit in public. Since I swim as my preferred form of exercise I don't really have a choice.

I cracked up-I don't really have a cleavage (Nearly A anyone?) so I don't flaunt that. I have been in Europe to some nude beaches and most of the people who are nude shouldn't be!!! The worst was a woman in her fifties (at least her skin looked it) sprawled out on some rocks (why rocks?) as we went by with my son's fifth grade class to look at some really cool sculptures in the other rocks!! Report
I am dreaming of a white new bathsuit but I have to 'earn' it first. Report
I never liked wearing a swimsuit, even as a kid. You are "expected" to look "good" when you wear one. They never seem to fit/flatter, the shift and move and are too unpredictable--come untied, bottoms come off, tops slip up/sideways, etc. They are just a mess. And way too expensive. Report
I was 50 pounds heavier this time last year and I wore a bathing suit. I have chronic pain and the only thing that gives me relief is to be in the water. I just had to block everyone else out and remember why I was swimming. This year I am in a size 12 and I am loving it. I am 60 but I feel I look better then I have ever looked. Report
I never loved wearing a bathing suit in public. Even in high school, I played travel softball and was a spring board diver! I was in "decent" shape as I called it. Looking back, I looked pretty good. Never perfect, but I never will be. I can't believe I wore a swimsuit in swim meets in front of a crowd of people (including the boys swim team) with all eyes on me to dive. WOW! Not to mention, I was only a diver for one year. So, my skills weren't great. I know the experience I gained from this was worth so much more than the diving itself. I learned a great lesson at the age of 16 that stays with me. I may now be nearly 50 pounds heavier and less muscular. However, if my friends and family want to judge me, they don't have my best interest in mind. (I am critical enough for everyone.) My loved ones have always just enjoyed my company and humor. Wear a suit that makes you happy.

Also, this year, I purchased a suit from Victoria Secret for the first time. I must say, this gives the most support for my large chest then any other suit I've owned. It's like wearing a good bra that makes your clothes look better. I went to the clearance section on line and got a tankini for less than $30. It's worth a look. Report
I'm with a lot of other ladies: I'm not going to NOT participate in a swimsuit event, but I'm going to make sure my suit fits me and covers me up pretty well... Report
I am comfortable in my own skin, and have never hesitated to wear my swimsuit when on a cruise or at the beach. Now on the other hand, mine aren't very revealing. I'd love to get into better shape and not wear an "old lady" swimsuit out in public. But for Report
I do not feel comfortable in most swimsuits but it is because of my tiny chest, in a world where big and cleavage are flaunted - I am very self conscious of having neither. As for the rest of my body, I think there are styles available for every body type and I try to choose wisely. I love the water and will wear the suit but sometimes I wear a loose tank top over it. Report
I'm certainly comfortable wearing a bathing suit in public. At 64, who really is looking at me. I wear a one piece or a tankini. I am quite busty, and would rather be smaller on top, but I love the beach, and the pool. I'd never give up wearing a swimsuit, because I'm not perfect. Report
I feel so comfortable that I wore a bikini when I was 50 lol! Wearing any kind of bathing suit (even topless) doesn't bother me anymore. If people want to look, who cares? Does their opinion even MATTER? NO! I wish I would have felt this way when I was younger and thinner. Cut-offs and a tank top on a curvy 130 pound girl was just plain dumb! I also think it's kind of sad how many women can't be comfortable in their own skin. We hold ourselves to such a high standard; have you noticed that men don't do this as much? We have a lot to learn. Report
No, I'm not comfortable in a bathing suit. Report
At age 64, I don't want to worry about how I look in a swim suit. Yes, I am overweight. Yes, I have loose skin. But I love the water and things that would have been problematic for me when I was younger are not so much now. Even when I reach my goal weight I will not look like a model, but I would not trade a single year of experience for that. I agree with Jael...look somewhere else! Report
When I weighed 400 pounds, I didn't wear a swimsuit for about 6 years (I never went in the water, either). However, since losing over 200 lbs., I will wear a one-piece (no bikinis for me; I think I look better in a one-piece). I still get self-conscious about the cellulite on my thighs, so when I am feeling less-than-confident, I'll wrap a sarong around my waist, over my bathing suit. Then, I feel glamorous and it lifts my confidence! But on my confident days, yep, I'm out there in a suit, sans sarong. Report
I love swimwear. I think it's a by-product of loving water. I generally own more swimsuits than I do pairs of shoes. And I may not love my size, but as much as I don't like that, I love the water more, so who cares what people say, I just wear a one-piece nowdays. I also have a stock of various lycra/spandex clothing that I am willing to wear in the pool. At home I generally wear a lycra/spandex tank-top and lycra shorts, it's just more comfortable. I did a scuba class for PE credits for college and found the idea of rental wetsuits disgusting. I wore lycra/spandex jazz pants and a generic brand "cold-gear" like top in the pool. Worked great. Now I want sunblock rashguard shirts! Report
Go, Jael--great answer! I love to swim but have a large amount of loose skin from losing weight. Haven't gotten up the courage to wear a swimsuit in public yet, but I'm working on it. Report
No i don't go to beach's.
I don't know how to swim
and i don't desire to learn
either. That's why i don't own
or wear a swimsuite. i would rather
wear capris and and shirt. Report
I live in Hawaii, if I go to the beach, I'm wearing my swim suit. Sometimes I will even wear a bikini. Am I skinny? NO. Do I give a crap what people think of me? NO. If anyone makes a comment to me, I simply tell them "If you don't like the way I look, then don't look at me!" Report
I've never felt comfortable wearing a suit even when I was quite thin. I'm always comparing myself to other women who have boobs and a tan. Now I'm fat and haven't been in a swimsuit in probably 20 years! Report
I've never felt comfortable wearing a suit even when I was quite thin. I'm always comparing myself to other women who have boobs and a tan. Now I'm fat and haven't been in a swimsuit in probably 20 years! Report
Last July I wore a bathing suit when vacationing in Cozumel, Mexico and still felt uncomfortable knowing that women in their 70's and 80' (scuba divers) were in better shame than me. I'm going on a cruise in October and more than likely will wear one because no one I know will see me in one Report
The last time I owned and wore a swimsuit in public, I was 6 or 7 years old. Report
I always feel self consious in a bathing suit. There are always going to be people who look better than me and there are going to be people who don't look as good as me! Report
Nothing has stopped me from having fun - usually most people are too focused on them and what they are doing to pay any attention to you anyways! Report
not a chance I'd turn down that beach party with Justin Timberlake! haha Report
I'm far from perfect with my 36 year old body, but I couldn't care less. If I'm going swimming (I don't like the beach per se, just the swimming), I won't let my quite average look spoil my fun :-) Report
I've always been comfortable in a swimsuit, even at my heaviest. I just don't really care what other people think. At 200 pounds I went topless on a beach in France. It was one of the most liberating experiences in my life.

That being said, I've always worn one-piece bathing suits, but I'm only 18 pounds from my goal. I'm hoping that by the end of summer I will meet my goal and then I can buy myself a new bikini! Report
I don't like bathing suits because they don't support "my girls". I wear a bathing suit to swim and run and play. Wearing a sports bra underneath the suits is not fun because the bras that support "my girls" are not water-friendly.

Maybe this is why I don't swim often. :-) Report
I feel fine wearing a bathing suit or bikini (regardless of extra skin or stretch marks) long as I'm at a beach with "regular" people and not stick figure bikini models there lol I figure if people don't like what I look like in a bathing suit/bikini, they can kiss it lol I've worked damn hard to lose my weight and I honestly couldn't care less what others think Report
I'll admit. I'm not comfortable wearing a bathing suit and I used to love swimming ! When I gained weight, that gave me the excuse to not wear a bathing suit. I'd just tell myself I was too fat to wear one. Well, since I've lost the weight, I still have "issues" getting into a suit. I just keep thinking my body isn't good enough to wear one. I know it shouldn't matter. I should just get out there and enjoy myself. but like many people, I keep hearing those negative voices in my head. And like a dolt, I listen to those negative voices !

I know my self image is better today than it's been in a very long time. Could a wear a suit ? Sure. but, forget a bikini. I have too many stretch marks and excess skin on my tummy to be able to rock a bikini. However, there are some one pieces I wouldn't mind wearing. I just wish suits weren't so expensive !! Every time I get my nerve up to buy a suit, I look at the prices and cringe. Who pays $70+ for a suit ? That's outrageous and I know some suits cost much more.

I know, excuses... I should just find a cheap suit and hit the pool.

I found this line from the Desiderata: "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself". That being said: PUT ON THAT SUIT, NO MATTER YOUR SIZE, AND HAVE FUN THIS SUMMER! Report
I am comfortable because I have dropped the media image of beauty. When I went on my first cruise a few years ago, I expected that people would look glamorous and like Demi Moore in a bikini...not! They looked just like me! I looked around the deck and maybe 1 in 100 women looked like that Demi. So, with that being said, I find a pretty suit, one that accentuates the positives, and I go for it! Report
This year I definitely don't feel confident yet. Hopefully by July I'll have a little more self-confidence back in order to wear one in public. I am perfectly fine with the swim suit in my own back yard, though, sunning myself or floating on a raft in the pool. Report
When I met my husband about six years ago, he took me to the Jersey shore! I FELL in LOVE with it. Being from Ohio, I'd been landlocked my whole life. Well, walking on all of that beautiful sand bundled up in a sweatshirt and jeans wasn't going to cut it. I hadn't had a swimsuit on in nearly 30 years (statistically speaking: 100 pounds and 4 children ago). But I gritted my teeth and went for it. I'm out of shape and overweight (working on both slowly), but I wasn't going to let something so wonderful go past me because I was insecure.

I look like a beached whale, but I gritted my teeth and was determine to have a good time and not enjoy something so wonderful because of my feelings about how I look. Report
I'm not comfortable with my belly/hips because of extra fat and stretch marks. Report
Wearing a swimsuit is fine, but I have to wear shorts to cover my thighs! Report
I hope I feel more confident in a swimsuit by August as I have booked a gite in France which has a pool. Report
all my suits (except for the ugly plain black Speedo one piece) are 5+ years old and way too big on me. I'm always worried I'm going to lose my top or my bottom, so no, I don't feel comfortable in a suit. Report
I feel better than 2 years ago, still not totally comfortable Report
I have never felt comfortable wearing a bathing suit in public. I am always comparing myself to others and it makes me feel worse about my weight. Report
I have never felt comfortable in a swimsuit. Report
As soon as my legs are tanned, I have no problem wearing a bathing suit in public. I also have gone topless at a beach where nudity was allowed. Report
I am comfortable. I look like ME and I will enjoy being out and about. Report
I do now. I bought myself a new bathing suit for meeting my weight loss goals and I love to show it off. =) Report
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