Everyone says you never forget your first kiss – and while that may be true, I’m a firm believer that women will never forget the first time they felt sexy. Whether it’s a kiss under the bleachers, using your mother’s favorite shade of red nail polish, or finding that pair of perfectly fitted blue jeans, the first time you felt sexy was essentially one of your first glimpses into womanhood. Maybe a teacher caught and scolded you and your first kiss, chastising you both for being “inappropriate.” Or maybe, you were told you shouldn’t wear such a mature color for nail polish, or else you may give off the wrong impression, just like you would in those fitted blue jeans.
The first time you felt sexy, you were empowered. By the second time, you knew to “tone it down.” The concept of sexiness and femininity is undoubtedly weighed down by the social constructs and unreasonable standards we’ve caged these two ideas into. Despite being coveted for being sexy, women are just as equally shamed for it – especially women in positions of authority.
My name is Lily Khosrowshahi, and I’m the CEO and Founder of ByLil bikinis. In the public eye, bikinis are equated with being sexy or scandalous. I’m here to say it can be both or neither; above all, wearing a bikini offers women the chance to embrace their hips, dips, curves, and all their other lovable areas.
Now, you may be thinking, “it’s just a bikini – it’s not that deep”; then why are women faced with the insurmountable pressures of molding their bodies into a “bikini body”? Why does that terminology even exist?
It wasn’t my first kiss that made me feel sexy, nor was it playing dress-up in my mother’s closet. The first time I felt truly sexy was in my Nico Bikini design in the color Watermelon Cooler – you may think, “shameless self-plug,” but let me explain.
Trying on my first design was both my gateway into an industry I fell in love with and a moment of reflection on what I considered sexy as applied to me – not as it is applied in modern fashion and beauty-focused media outlets.
While I am CEO and Founder of ByLil, I was also the brand’s first model, alongside my older sister. It should go without saying that modeling bikinis mean showing off skin, and that stands in direct opposition to the conservative image of a “respectable” woman in a position of authority. I’ve received (and continue to receive) criticism for modeling my own designs, being told, yet again, that I am being inappropriate.
When you think about it, however, as a bikini brand owner, why shouldn’t I proudly wear my bikinis? I am, after all, promoting them to women – if anything, it would be hypocritical to forgo my own designs for something more “modest.”
The inspiration behind ByLil came from this notion of what it means to be sexy; being sexy should be approached as a fluid concept that comes in all kinds of shapes, forms, and sizes.
When I tried on that Nico Bikini design for the first time, all I could think about was making other women feel the same way; confident in their skin, embracing their femininity, and doing so shamelessly.
For this reason, ByLil bikinis are reversible, versatile, and adjustable; with one ByLil set, you can create up to four different looks! I wanted my designs to reflect the notion of being sexy with fluidity by offering women alternative styling options with each design.
Looking forward, I plan on expanding ByLil into a lifestyle brand – in fact, that transition is already underway. I aim to continue expanding on ByLil’s versatility by transforming it into anyone’s one-stop shop for sunny days spent lounging by the pool or exploring the beach.
There are actually quite a few similarities between what it takes to be a CEO and what it takes to be sexy. Confidence is, of course, key, but beyond that, both roles require a strong sense of self-awareness and a dedicated commitment to instilling that same confidence in others.
After all, being a CEO is sexy.
ByLil bikinis is a female-founded company dedicated to providing customers with quality pieces and making them feel bold, confident, and accepted – with every new collection. Our seamless bottoms and adjustable tops are meant to embrace everyone’s hips, dips, curves, and other lovable areas. When you size up with ByLil, you’re only sizing up for coverage. We hope that ByLil bikinis will encourage our wearers to embrace their confident, sexy, and feminine side long after the summer seasons are over.
Image Credits: ByLil