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Why the Idea of Getting a “Bikini Body” is Toxic

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. John's chapter.

When approaching spring break or summer season, society has enforced this ideology of having a “bikini body” or “summer body.” Over time we’ve been exposed to advertisements and social media influencers who encourage having a bikini body. But what is the “summer body” referring to? There’s a stereotype on body image which portrays the woman as skinny with an hourglass figure. Nowadays, trying to get a bikini body can make some of us feel pressured and lowered our self-esteem, resulting in being extremely toxic to our mental health and how we perceive our bodies. Most of us are vulnerable and feel deeply insecure because other body types are not represented or loved enough. Social media plays a significant role in toxicity in body image, especially because some even go to the extent of editing and creating a fake body image to please society or because some feel insecure about showing the flaws that form a completely normal body. 

There’s an evident cycle that comes from wanting a “bikini body,” which can be incredibly hurtful to our self-love and confidence. When being active on social media, we tend to compare ourselves to other females and what they have that some don’t. It brings out depression within ourselves, and we overlook why our body is different. This standard of a perfect body can even be toxic and harm our physical health. Some might even let it affect their nutrition and what they digest to obtain this body. Others might be persuaded into the idea of getting surgeries to have this body. This can be very draining, and it should be known that there’s no need for surgeries to have a perfect body because your body is perfect the way it is. If going through surgery, don’t let it be because society is manipulating you into thinking this is the way to obtain a “perfect body.” There’s no such thing as perfect, and we will always find flaws, but those flaws are what make it beautiful and normal. 

Furthermore, this issue is no stranger to men and how they are also exposed to this toxic standard of a “summer body.” Most men feel vulnerable and have a poor body image. In most cases, men that don’t have the “perfect body” can be very insecure and hide their bodies by wearing oversized clothes. The topic of body image affects every gender and race, and it grows every day due to the activity of users on social media constantly shaming bodies. One very common is the shame of cellulite and stretch marks. Some are very aware and fear what others might say on social media, so they grow the habit of editing these flaws and using filters to illustrate a perfect skin. The ongoing issue is that if we keep abiding by what society thinks a body should be, we are on the bandwagon in support of such stereotypes. We must not hide our flaws and show what is normal and real. It is important to spread awareness on this issue and support each other to obtain a healthier way of living and spreading self-love. 

Lastly, it is vital to be you and be happy with your body and skin, as long as you feel healthy, don’t let social media or society let you believe otherwise.  Show off your body because it is beautiful, and this summer season, you already have your “bikini body” because we all have unique features that make our bodies special, and that is the real “bikini body.” Don’t shame others but be proud of those who are spreading awareness of this issue and embracing each other’s flaws and let that inspire and motivate you. Additionally, do what makes your body feel good and happy. It will help the way you perceive yourself, giving you confidence and supporting your mental health.  

Melody Melo

St. John's '23

Hi! I'm Melody Melo I'm currently a sophomore at St. John's University and I'm majoring in legal studies with a minor in French. I love learning about different cultures and adventuring. I’m interested in philosophy and arts, and I enjoy expressing myself through my writing and style.
Ivy Bourke

St. John's '23

Campus Correspondent for St. John's. I am a Sports Management major with a concentration in Business Administration, and a minor in Journalism. My passion for writing has never dulled so I hope to always use this passion for entertainment, and change.