Lots of people get slammed for posting photos of themselves on beaches abroad, but you have to remember that things aren’t always what they seem on Instagram.
At the beginning of December, I decided to go to Miami, where I own a house that I had not visited for almost a year. The US does not allow travelers from the UK so quarantined for 14 days in Barbados which was a really nice place.
When I left London, everything seemed normal: people were going out to dinner and doing their Christmas shopping. There was no confinement. I was thinking of staying a few weeks in Miami as I had bought a house here two years ago, but then the lockdown happened. Now I don’t think I can go home because of the two week hotel quarantine ruler. I really miss London.
I’m really safe and following UK restrictions even though I’m in America which is pretty much back to normal. I own a swimwear brand, Kimberley London, and have made sure my employees are safe too. During the last lockdown, I moved the sewing machines to our staff’s homes, so they could make bikinis in their front rooms. I think it’s really important to keep everything UK made and continue wherever we can.
I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not to continue posting pictures at the beach. I don’t want to offend anyone at all or make them feel like I’m trying to show off, when I really am not.
But in the end, I decided to continue. I hope social media is a bit of light fun: colorful pictures of the beach, bright sunshine, and the bikinis I design. I want it to be uplifting – from this approach I have had such kind and positive feedback.
Remarkably, our sales did quite well. It seems that buying a bikini or a bathing suit is a marker of hope: hope that one day we can have a normal summer vacation again.
I might go to the beach, but it’s usually alone or with another person, just like the rules in England.
It seems to have been the right choice. After five years of slow and steady growth, my subscribers have doubled from 200,000 to over 400,000 since November.
You just have to remember that Instagram is not meant to be a mirror of reality. These are the edited highlights. On social media I might be in a bikini, but in real life I’m just as likely to be at home in a tracksuit.
As told to Helen Chandler-Wilde