When creating the bikinis for Girl Got Curves my pattern maker asked if I wanted to use tummy control, I confidentially said no but she was surprised as she had worked with plus-size designers before who had. I explained to her what tummy control means to people, subconsciously when choosing to wear tummy control you are telling yourself that your tummy is not how it is supposed to be. It is something that we’ve been conditioned to think that having a tummy is bad and therefore if we are going to wear a bikini, we must wear one with tummy control, but we don’t. Wearing a bikini is a personal choice and shouldn’t be determined by brands putting in tummy control for us to feel it’s the only way to wear a bikini, not to mention who wants to wear something tight and uncomfortable when you’re eating and drinking in the sun.
It puts us in the mindset that plus size swimwear with tummy control is our only option, but I wanted to give women another option, the option to make them feel comfortable and confident in themselves and their swimwear. I wanted to make a statement to tell women they can wear a bikini without tummy control, something that has been designed for them to feel good in. You shouldn’t have to change how your body looks in order to wear a bikini.
Once I had explained all of this to my pattern maker her facial expression had changed, she really ‘got’ what Girl Got Curves was and why it was important to me to make these women feel confident and love themselves. She loved it and was excited to create the bikinis. It was for that reason I knew it had made the right decision to not put in tummy control as I wanted to fight back to all of those ideals that we feel we have to meet to be a woman. It’s time we took back the control and started doing what we want too.