My best friend isn't a bikini competitor. But I feel the closest to you all. Competing is a temporary stage in my life yet the bond feels very strong. Never before have I felt that I belonged to or related with so many women.
When you're lining up to go on stage with the best bodies you've ever seen, it's scary. Then you get to know them, see their scars, spots and stretch marks - and you see their beauty. The sense of belonging is strong, when you all are ridiculously orange with drag queen make up and pumping up like hardcore bodybuilders. It's very odd to say that I met some of you while being completely naked all together drying our spray tans...
You might get intimidated by some bikini girls, but you know that the real competition is with yourself. No matter how envious you are of another girl's body part or stage confidence, you know that the only way to get it is to put in the work. Also, you can't buy a body composition, and you know just how much effort and sacrifice went into building it and dieting to a perfect body fat %. You are not jealous of her life, as you respect the amount of pain she went through and how much she had to say 'no' to social events.
It's also very hard to be intimidated by a physical beauty of another woman anymore, because I met some serious knockouts with incredible bodies who are just like me inside - insecure, emotional and not perfect.
If we stop for a moment to pick on our imperfections, we can appreciate just how much we 'work out' and are actually super fit! All bikini girls I know look MUCH younger than they are. They hardly drink alcohol and have strong discipline most of the year. And when they 'slack', it is only a 'slack' within the teeny tiny fitness community's standards.
Despite the backgrounds and nationalities, we all have one big goal - round tight glutes haha! It can sound shallow but it is one of the hardest goals to achieve as a woman.
Prep takes its toll on our hormones and mood swings, but we come out stronger every time and manage to handle it better. During prep the smallest things can make you cry, but during the 'off season' your ninja warrior mentality is strong.
You're confident in your body, as much as you like to deny that. Because unlike majority of people, you've put in work to make it better. In the moments of doubt and comparison to the 0.0000001% population of bikini girls, you might cry, but you'll wake up the next day, lift some weights and love and respect yourself more than you ever did before.
To every bikini girl who is reading this - I deeply appreciate you and admire you.