Embracing Body Positivity: In Paige’s Words, and Photos

From being featured in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to the unveiling here of Paige Spiranac’s 2019 Myrtle Beach Seaside Photo Gallery, the Play Golf Myrtle Beach ambassador has evolved her perspective on appearing publicly in swimwear. We present that perspective here, in her own words, along with the photo gallery that follows.

 by Paige Spiranac

As you probably know by now, I love taking golf trips to Myrtle Beach. There is no shortage of amazing courses to play, restaurants to enjoy, or hotels to discover. However, I have another favorite part of my trips that I have yet to really talk about – and that’s the “beach” in Myrtle Beach.

While this has been a big part of my private experience to the area since the beginning, when Play Golf Myrtle Beach wanted me to help show off their beautiful beaches, I initially said no. If you’re a person who has ever felt a little self-conscious putting on a swimsuit, I’m sure you can understand why. With all of the pressure to look and feel a certain way, it can be hard enough to head to the water with just your friends and family. Despite the fact that it’s a swimsuit and you’re going swimming, regardless of how comfortable you feel in your own skin, even just one comment is enough to make a person reconsider sharing their beachside experience.

And I’m no different. For the longest time I was hesitant to post any picture in a swimsuit. My head would swirl with how I would feel about all the potential reactions and comments I would receive. “I’m too fat.” “I’m too thin.” “My bikini is too revealing.” Even the positive comments can feel like an invasion of space.

But then last year I was given the incredible opportunity to participate in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. I figured if there’s ever a time to step out of my shell, that was it. With a loving, supporting team there to make me feel comfortable, I had the time of my life shooting in Aruba.

Through that experience, I realized that it’s not about everyone else; it’s about me. I have the power to change my mindset, and to control how I’m perceiving others’ reactions to me. A negative comment can only negatively affect me if I let it. I have the power to shape my ideal life, and in that ideal life I certainly want to be able to share my favorite experiences – some of which, of course, are going to take place in a swimsuit!

You don’t have to post yourself to millions or be in a magazine to start to feel more positive about yourself and your body. It’s not about the number of people who see you. It’s about continually working on freeing your mind from negative self talk and allowing yourself to be who you really are, to look how you look, and to be kind and compassionate to yourself. We are all more than our bodies. Certainly everyone has more to contribute to this world than their physical appearance. However, we all have a body, and of that body we should be proud! Yes, the human body is beautiful – in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And yes, that body does some incredible things for us. So why do we spend so much time trying to hide it?

I now refuse to let others tell me that I can’t share pictures of myself enjoying a gorgeous beach. I won’t be shamed into hating myself for the way I look. I choose to embrace all the wonderful experiences that come with having a body, and that includes laying in the sand and feeling the ocean waves while I’m in Myrtle Beach.

So, this year, let’s all try to spend less time tearing ourselves and others down and more time being encouraging, so we can spend that time with our face to the sun.

Click on a thumbnail below to view the full gallery of photos, taken recently at the beautiful North Strand beaches of Bird Island in Sunset Beach, N.C. Photography by Scott Smallin Photography.