It’s part of the summer season that 99.9% of women dread: swimsuit season. Not only do they have to bare their bodies to the world, but they also have to deal with the endless stream of unflattering bikini photos that always seem to make their way onto Facebook (isn’t there an unwritten girl-code about not tagging your friends in bathing suit photos?).
Instead of dreading swimsuit photos and hiding behind a towel this summer, maybe it’s time to finally take charge of your inner beach babe and confront the problem head on.
Here are a few secrets to looking like a supermodel in your next bathing suit photo—no gym membership necessary.
Pick a Great Swimsuit
First things first! You don't have to have the perfect body to look great in a bathing suit, but you do need to make sure your swimwear suits your shape. That means no ill-fitting briefs, no too-tight tops, and no saggy, worn-out anything. Ever.
When shopping for a new suit, you don’t necessarily have to stick to the “fit rules” you’ve always been told to follow. Comfort and support are important, or course, but it really comes down to confidence, and picking a style that highlights what you love and minimizes what you don’t.
Do you love it? Does it suit your personality? Do you feel like the hottest woman on the beach when you wear it? Then buy away! If you’re having trouble deciding on a suit, you can always bring along someone whose opinion you trust and who will give you honest feedback no matter what.
Embrace Your ‘S’ Curve
What is an ‘S’ curve, you ask? Well, it’s that flattering, feminine shape that happens when you shift your weight onto one hip and tilt your shoulder down a little, towards the extended hip (take a look at any Victoria’s Secret photo shoot and you’ll see dozens of examples). It’s a classy way to enhance your curves while looking lean at the same time.
Tip: Don’t put all of your weight on the hip closest to the camera. You’ll appear way shorter than you actually are.
Pop Up on Your Toes
When you stand on your tiptoes, your legs will appear stronger, longer, and leaner. Plus, your whole body will appear taller, which always makes for a more flattering swimsuit photo. (If you’re sitting down or jumping in the air, you can get the same effect by pointing your toes.)
Tuck in Your Tummy
Engage your stomach to instantly improve your posture. You’ll look taller and leaner, and will get a mini-workout while you’re at it!
Try an Action Shot
Sometimes it can feel a little awkward to stand on the beach or pool deck and pose. So why not run around, play with your hair, jump, splash, and just be yourself? You’ll feel more comfortable and you’ll actually draw way less attention to yourself.
Test the Lighting
It never hurts to take a few test shots to make sure the lighting is just right. In general, you’ll want to stay out of direct overhead sunlight (it’ll cast all sorts of weird shadows over your body), find a place in the shade, or wait until the light is soft and low (early in the morning or around sunset).
Pose With Your Legs Together
Crossing your legs one in front of the other gives you a sexy hourglass shape and makes your legs appear longer.
Accessorize to the Max
Still not comfortable in front of the camera? A statement necklace, a bold hat, or a pair of fabulous sunglasses will take the emphasis off your body. Or, you can use Victoria's Secret model Erin Heatherton’s tried-and-true secret weapon: showstopping hair!