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Look better in the buff before bathing suit season

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

It's time to boost body confidence

Unfortunately, we can't all be blessed with the long, lithe limbs, a miniscule waist and the perky boobs of, say, Cameron Diaz or Blake Lively, but that's no reason to hide shamefully under a mu-mu or full-body swimsuit.
Happy naked woman

We say dare to go bare! After all, you only live once, and body confidence is an important key to both looking and feeling good. It may not be summer yet, but bathing suit season will be here before you know it and we want you to feel ready!

Stop negative thinking

Pay attention to what you're saying about your body in your head. When you hear a negative tone, stop yourself. Think about it this way: What would be going through your head if your partner suggested sex with all the lights on? If you're not happy with your body, chances are the romp will be anything but hot and heavy. You'll be too busy worrying about cellulite to relax and enjoy the ride. Trust us, an amazing orgasm trumps worries about hip-width or butt dimples any day!

Key into confidence

You've heard it before, but the fact that happiness doesn't come from being a size zero is worth reiterating. The more confident you are, the more people will be attracted to you, regardless of your waist-size. We're not saying a short skirt combined with long legs won't attract attention, but in the end, if you exude the self-confidence and energy of a genuinely happy person, people won't see you as fat or thin.

They will be attracted to what you have to offer -- your thoughts, ideas, sense of humor and intelligence. And a big bonus to feeling confident is that not only will you feel great in the buff, but you'll also look and feel fabulous in your new Marc Jacobs ensemble. Forget that studded clutch; confidence is the new 'it' accessory!

Spread the bodily love

If you dislike any part of you, then you can't be a complete person. Focusing on the parts we don't like makes it hard to really see ourselves as we truly are. To counteract the temptation to focus in on the wobbly bits, try looking into your eyes when checking yourself out in the mirror.

This may sound cheesy, but if you think about your thighs with disdain, how are you going to view them in the mirror next time you catch a glimpse? Probably with the same disdain you just thought about them with. If you stop yourself from hating on your hips, you may just be able to accept them. It's the only body you have, and if it works, then what's not to love? Be thankful for all your moving parts, no matter how big or small they are.

Make healthy choices

The best thing you can do to look and feel good naked is take care of your health. This doesn't mean logging three hours a day on the elliptical trainer or moving in with your Pilates instructor. It means making healthy choices such as getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating enough fruits and vegetables and moving, be it walking to work, running after a toddler or hiking on weekends.

For example, we know you love your new pair of Michael Kors ankle booties (so do we), which means you will take care of them. You will make sure they are stored somewhere your dog won't mistake them for chew toys; you will avoid wearing them in the snow. We take much better care of things we love. The same applies to our bodies.

Embrace what makes you unique

Whether it's the dimple in your chin, the fact that one foot is bigger than the other or the giant birthmark on your lower back, learn to love what makes you, you. You can choose to look at things like this as negative, but do you really want to feel bad about yourself? We didn't think so.

Watch: How to wear your hair at the pool or beach

Love going to the beach or pool but don't know what to do with your hair? Here are a few quick hairstyle ideas for beach days and pool parties.

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