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This girl's Instagram reminds us that any body can be a bikini body

 
It's easy to get caught up in your own insecurity and think that if you don't have a perfectly toned, perfectly smooth body that bikinis aren't for you. Though the media is increasingly embracing all different types of bathing suit babes, and it's easy to look at someone else's imperfections and still see them as beautiful, it can still be hard to show off our own. 

One body confidence coach is taking the lead, though, and setting the example for others by embracing her body as it is. 21-year-old Michelle Elman used to never wear bikinis thanks to the scars on her stomach, but after years of hiding her tummy under tankinis and one-pieces, she's decided that it's time to be bold.

"People with scars can't wear bikinis," she wrote boldly on her Instagram. "This is what I have believed for the last 21 years of my life and when asked in January why I never wear bikinis, this horrible sentence came out of my mouth. I was shocked - at myself! I had had 15 surgeries, a brain tumour, a punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, a cyst in brain and have lived for the last 21 years with a condition called Hydrocephalus yet somehow my scars have always been the hardest part. They make already awkward moments in your adolescence even more uncomfortable...and made me feel even more isolated in a world where I felt no one could understand."

 

"At age 7, I tried on my first bikini and after receiving a range of reactions from disgust to pity, it soon became easier to hide away [in] tankinis and one-pieces... Over the years, I have learnt that my scars make people uncomfortable," Michelle added, explaining why she never felt comfortable with her stomach bared. "About a month ago, I finally faced up to wearing a bikini and although, I love my body thoroughly and have for many years - this was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, yet once it was on, it was one of the most liberating feelings to know that I wasn’t letting two pieces of material stop me from being comfortable in my own body."

"Every human has scars," she said. "They are part of our story and we should be proud of them... THIS summer, let’s stand up and be proud of our scars and what they represent - a story!"

Michelle even encouraged others to join in her body-confidence movement, writing, "Tag a friend below and lets make this the summer of scars! #scarrednotscared."

We love Michelle's #scarrednotscared hashtag, and we think it's so awesome that she's finally been able to take this step in accepting herself for who she is, how she looks and what she cannot change.

Are you as inspired by Michelle as we are? What parts of your body have you learned to love over time?

Photo credit: Michelle Elman

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by Chelsea Duff | 2/1/2016
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