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While wandering around my local cheap and cheerful bargain store, I came across some home décor that made me laugh out loud in horror. Take a look for yourself: 

 


Wooden weight loss tracker in the shape of a dress
Original photo by Iona Hancock


Wooden weightloss tracker in the shape of a bikini
Original photo by Iona Hancock

Yup. It’s horrific. Who needs a tacky wooden weight loss tracker that constantly reminds them that not only do they need to lose the pounds, but also that if they don’t their body won’t be ‘ready’ for the summer months? NOT ME! 

These badly decorated planks of wood are part of a much larger and toxic issue: diet culture. Diet culture can take many forms, the normalisation of unhealthy eating habits to maintain a certain weight or the promotion of appetite suppressing sweets on Instagram to name a couple, but is also present in the continuing trope that women must slim down in preparation for their summer holidays, lest men see a back roll on the beach. 

This idea of a ‘beach body’ is unbelievably dangerous, particularly as it is so often based on a photoshopped, Instagrammed, and thus unattainable beauty standard. When women try to get this mystical ‘beach body’, they push their body to extremes and are susceptible to being left stressed out with dwindling confidence as they try to reach the unreachable. It also hurts me to think of all the young girls who fall victim to this type of thinking, who may have seen the photographed abomination above and internalised it as correct. 

These weight loss trackers also reminded me of when Boris Johnson announced his road map out of lockdown for England, and you couldn’t go on any social media apps without seeing the ‘You’ll have to roll me out of lockdown!!!!’ memes. I don’t want to see any more of them on my feed, thanks. 

If you have made it this far in the article, I want to remind you that every body is a beach body. If you have a body, and go to the beach, congrats! You have a beach body. Regardless of your measurements or weight, you are also allowed to wear whatever you want during summer. Whether that’s a full body wetsuit or a nothing but a thong bikini, just do whatever you feel good in. In fact, here’s a radical thought, you can wear what you want wherever you want, regardless of what your body looks like! Rejoice! 

 

Iona Hancock

Aberdeen '22

PGDE Primary 21/22 @ Aberdeen 1st Class Honours in Politics and IR @ Aberdeen
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