As one of the founders of the swimwear-obsessed site A Bikini A Day, Natasha “Tash” Oakley is, like, the poster girl for the toned, tanned bikini body.
Every single day, Los Angeles-based Oakley and her co-founder Devin Brugman post a new and totally gorgeous shot of themselves in rad bathing suits, in even radder tropical locales—which likely explains how they’ve amassed a million Instagram followers. You know, each.
And while “bikini body” is a loaded term that can come with uncomfortable assumptions, Oakley and Brugman say they started the website more as a celebration of the bikini lifestyle, which to them means “freedom, travel, expressionism, and relaxation,” and that they don’t buy into the idea that women have to improve themselves to look smoking in their swimwear.
“I think the definition of having a ‘bikini body’ is feeling confident in your bikini,” Oakley says. “I don’t think there is one type of bikini body—everyone has one.”
We chatted with the crazy popular bathing-suit maven and model to find out more about that idea, her workouts, and her motivation for living the bikini lifestyle. —Jamie McKillop
You spend a lot of time wearing, designing, and thinking about swimwear. What does “bikini ready” mean to you? It’s really about balancing your lifestyle in terms of fitness and mental health—you’re the most confident you when you know you’re healthy. And there’s a lot more to that than looking like the stereotypical swimsuit model. So many girls are aspiring to be swimwear models these days, or to have that, quote, “bikini body”—and there are definitely certain segments of the media pushing a particular look. Fortunately, there are models like Ashley Graham representing curvy women and showing how beautiful they are in bikinis.
But because your body fits that “bikini body” mentality, do people question your motives? We have never really experienced this criticism, we celebrate the female body, confidence, and positivity. We never compare ourselves to others and neither should they, our differences are what make us special, the world would be a boring place if everyone looked the same!
I know you love to work out. What does your fitness routine look like? Devin and I work out a minimum of four times a week. We did a fitspo series with Bandier that is actually the exact fitness routine we came up with three years ago. It’s completely made up—we’ve got a circuit routine, and ab and butt-focused exercises—and we’re not personal trainers or anything, but it’s what we see the most results from. From the reader feedback we’ve received, it’s working for other people, too. Beyond that, we’ll do Flywheel, yoga, SUP, hiking, or anything, really, to keep it interesting.
And what’s your goal when it comes to working out? It’s too bad when people work out just to look one particular way, because it’s our different assets that make us beautiful. If your outlook is about how you feel, you’re going to work out. We really believe it’s all about being your best self.
What about your diet—how do you keep that balanced? Devin and I aren’t vegetarian or vegan, but we eat organic as much as possible. It’s getting easier and easier to do, even with how much we travel. But we don’t subscribe to a particular diet—just a healthy one. We keep our portions down. And we gravitate towards fruits and vegetables naturally, but we don’t beat ourselves up about eating unhealthy once in a while.