Source: Essie Golden/Instagram
Julie Mazziotta
July 18, 2016 06:10 PM

What’s better than a pool party in the summer heat? A pool party that celebrates body positivity!

Style blogger and curvy model Essie Golden came up with the idea for the Golden Confidence Pool Parties in 2015, based on the #goldenconfidence hashtag she would add to her swimsuit photos on social media.

“We created [the hashtag] to help encourage plus size women everywhere to wear swimwear and feel good about themselves while doing it,” she explains, but the women said they would only wear swimsuits “if they were surrounded by other women who looked like them.”

So Golden, 29, came up with the idea for a body positive pool party, starting with her first one in her hometown of New York City last year.

Golden Confidence Pool Party
William Bradley

“I decided to create a safe and non-judgmental place where women of all shapes and size can come together, slay in their swimsuits and uplift each other,” she says. “And that’s exactly what this event has done.”

“Women have traveled from all over the states and even internationally, just to be in a positive space with other women. Many women come alone and leave with new friends. It’s truly incredible what an event like this can do for people.”

Golden Confidence Pool Party
William Bradley

After the success of the first Golden Confidence Pool Party, Golden expanded it this year to Miami and Los Angeles, where she hosted the party on Saturday with attendees like Tess Holliday.

Golden Confidence Pool Party
William Bradley

She hears constantly from women who are thankful to have a space where they can feel free from body insecurities.

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“I hear it all of the time. That’s why I know an event like this is important,” she says. “It’s really troubling to hear women in their 20s and 30s telling me this is the first time they’ve worn a swimsuit because their body isn’t perfect, or because they’re so scared someone is going to make fun of them.”

Golden Confidence Pool Party
William Bradley

“These women come to my events fully covered and by the end of the event they’re in the pool looking amazing in their swimsuits, laughing and having a good time. You can see their confidence building.”

Golden hopes to take the pool parties international – “I would love to bring it to London, Toronto and even the Carribbean,” she says. “I want to take it everywhere!”

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