Yes, there are some people who look absolutely great in a swimsuit. The ones I know who fit that description, however, usually are younger than 12 years old.
For the rest of us, there are cover-ups. Sure, you can use the old soggy towel wrapped around the waist routine. Use it, that is, if you want to look even worse on the beach than you would with no cover at all. A bulky towel tucked in at the stomach? Don't go there.
I found all of the cover-ups shown here on racks far from the swimwear, in places you might not think to look. And every one them is a two-fer. Each of these can double as a real piece of clothing, out in the world, where people are not sweating and sunning half naked.
There are no strict rules on how to pick your beach cover except this one: Brutally assess the parts you want to hide and choose accordingly. For example, if you like the way you look from the waist up, a short flirty skirt might be all you need for a touch of modesty at the poolside bar.
If your good intentions collided with a few too many chicken-wings-and-beer happy hours last winter, a loose, calf-grazing caftan might be a good choice.
To get you started thinking about the possibilities, check out this selection of cover-ups at prices so low (starting at $4.99) that you'll feel sunny, even on a cloudy day.
Choose one that will conceal your least favorite parts.
Shop in unexpected places such as sleepwear departments and thrift stores.
A "boyfriend" men's shirt in a big size can make you look smaller.
Pick a garment that does double duty as a robe, skirt or tunic.