Why you already have a “Bikini Body”

After weeks of rain and gloomy clouds, the sun is finally shining. The signs of spring and summer approaching make me excited to get outside and eager to see what the warm months ahead will bring. However, with warm weather comes less clothing, bathing suits and different levels of vulnerability that can trigger apprehension and even fear in some people. As soon as the thought of wearing a bathing suit comes up, people can jump into a mindset of over-exercising, restrictive eating and negative thoughts to achieve this ideal look that our society has characterized as a “bikini body”. In reality, we all have a “bikini body”. It may be hard and confusing to understand that but let me clear it up for you.

  1. 1. How the “Bikini Body” Started

    Before I begin, let me say that no one’s body is “good” or “bad” and doesn’t need to be categorized as skinny, fat, scrawny, wide, chubby, the list goes on. However, in the twentieth century, advertisements often displayed women as having a specific body type which was that of a skinnier woman. In no way is having this body type a negative thing, but many women were influenced to believe that they had to fit this standard. This was reiterated by the media and society and had a profound impact on society today as many still believe this to be true. Advertisements such as “Cigarettes are like women. The best ones are thin and rich” (Insider) from 1967 clearly depict this ideal.  Today we see a more diverse array of body types in the media. An example of this is seen through Dove who have many campaigns that support women diversity, one of which is the “Women Get Told” campaign that highlights how women are often told how to look in order to be accepted (Dove). However, the embedded assumption that women are met to fit a certain body type is still prevalent today and leads many to believe that they don’t already have a “bikini body”.

  2. 2. Why you Already have a “Bikini Body”

    Every individual has different genetics, health requirements, living environments, etc. that impact their body type. So how are we all expected to look the same? Well, we simply shouldn’t be! No one in this world can tell you what swimsuit would fit your body best. That is a personal decision that every woman should be empowered to make. Whether you work out six days a week or spend your time lounging on your couch, you are beautiful, your body is beautiful just the way it is and no one can tell you otherwise. At the end of the day, the standards that you may feel pressured to meet are made up by society. We are now entering a period of individualism, self-expression and empowerment so let your actions reflect that. 

     

    In the next few months, you may feel the pressure to look a certain way but I am encouraging you to encourage yourself. Put on some sunscreen, throw on your suit of choice because everyone's body is a bikini body.

References

 

Insider 2014. “26 Sexist Ads Of The 'Mad Men' Era That Companies Wish We'd Forget.” Insider Inc. Retrieved March 11, 2021.  https://www.businessinsider.com/26-sexist-ads-of-the-mad-men-era-2014-5#1969-1970-jell-o-doesnt-think-a-woman-can-understand-office-hierarchies-20 

 

Dove. “Women Get Told.” Dove. Retrieved March 11, 2021. https://www.dove.com/us/en/stories/campaigns/women-get-told.html