Paula's story

Was it always hard for you to find the perfect swimwear?

Yes. Always. I spent many, many years looking for the right swimwear for me - swimwear looked good but not fussy, and had enough coverage and support for me to run around in without worrying about "wardrobe malfunctions". Lots & lots of hours travelling to shops and researching, looking for the best swimwear brands for curvy women, that were action-friendly and that were made to last - not designs that were out of style within months or get really saggy and fade after just a few wears.


What did you have to deal with when you tried on swimwear?

I dreaded having to try on swimwear. First, finding a style I liked and then trying to find my size, which they rarely had, even though I was a very normal size (Uk10/12). Trying on swimwear gave my self-confidence such a battering! One time, a very young shop assistant told me I should look instead at the swimwear in a certain department store - that catered for women 40+. I was in my late 20's….. I could NEVER understand how finding swimwear was such an ordeal when I was still in my 20's and just wanted to look good and be comfortable!


Were you scared to go outside wearing a bikini?

Not scared but certainly very nervous and very, very self-conscious. I was always holding my boobs in  or pulling at my swimwear to fit right. But most of the time though I was too self-conscious to wear swimwear around my friends which is such a shame looking back. I don't ever remember feeling comfortable in swimwear to be honest. And I know a lot of my friends felt the exact same. I remember one day at the beach, it was just me and my friend. Both of us talked about feeling very self-conscious in swimwear and how uncomfortable it made us feel.  We talked about what our perfect swimwear would be and how we would be that little bit happier just feeling comfortable - that's the day the idea for UBU was planted in my head. (Thank you Karen H!).  It took a while, and a very windy route but 6 years later, UBU was launched!


How did you overcome your fears about swimwear?

I still havent fully. I still have moments of self-consciousness but I don't want to waste any more time worrying about this so I push it out of my mind and enjoy being who I am and having lots more fun!


What would you say to others who feel self-conscious?

Be you. Stop worrying about anyone's opinions. Its only you who matters. Self-confidence is the most beautiful thing you can ever ever wear. Be kind to yourself, don't waste precious time worrying and get on with living your best life! #youbeyou


Read more about how UBU and #youbeyou came about in our interview with @honeycombers -