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Who cares about a ‘bikini body’? Meet the sea swimmers who say their hobby has banished any body hang-ups

Baring (nearly) all on a beach is a hard thing to do, but many regular swimmers find that wearing a swimsuit all year round is an easy way to improve your body confidence

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Jenny Vial pictured on Kinnegar Beach, Rathmullan, Co Donegal. Photo: Lorcan Doherty

Jenny Vial pictured on Kinnegar Beach, Rathmullan, Co Donegal. Photo: Lorcan Doherty

Helen Mason at Baginbun Beach, Co Wexford. Photo: Mary Browne

Helen Mason at Baginbun Beach, Co Wexford. Photo: Mary Browne

Swim pals Irene Owens (left) and Jennifer Hughes pictured at Blackrock, Co Louth

Swim pals Irene Owens (left) and Jennifer Hughes pictured at Blackrock, Co Louth

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Jenny Vial pictured on Kinnegar Beach, Rathmullan, Co Donegal. Photo: Lorcan Doherty

There’s a secret that many women who swim regularly know. It’s that the longer you spend in a piece of Lycra, the less you care about what your body looks like.

As more and more women have taken to the waves and to rivers and lakes all over the country, it’s not so much a secret anymore, more of an innate knowledge that has grown almost by osmosis. What you can do with your arms and legs, how you feel when you’re in there and sharing the experience with others, become the important things. In a world where we are bombarded with what the perfect ‘bikini’ body looks like, it’s a relief to get to the stage where you care not a fig what you look like as you prepare to immerse yourself in cold water.


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