We Are All “Beach Body Ready”

Whenever you scroll through Instagram and see women with toned bodies, I’m sure it makes you feel as if you’re doing something wrong because you don’t look like them (no matter how awesome you maybe).  

During 2015, Protein World released an ad for a slimming product that showed a woman wearing a bikini next to the question “Are you beach body ready?” This happened in London, where women held a demonstration against this campaign. They accused the brand of sexism and body-shaming women.

A petition to ban the ad received over 70,000 signatures. Although the brand didn’t do anything about the ad, three years later in 2018, a plus-size fashion brand, Navabi, reclaimed the “beach body ready” slogan and aesthetic of the ad to launch its own campaign. It featured three plus-size models wearing swimsuits.

Bethany Rutter, a social editor at Navabi, told the Independent that “there shouldn’t be a black cloud hanging over your summer because you think you don’t have the right kind of body,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Discomfort from the original ad comes from the fact that the image carries the implication that if you don’t look like that, you shouldn’t be exhibiting your body. This sets unrealistic expectations for people about how their bodies should look and it makes them worry about something they shouldn’t. Are you comfortable with your body? Are you happy with your body? If the answer is yes, then you already have a beach body!

According to charity DoSomething.org, 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies. We deserve to feel better about ourselves, so don’t feel guilty, and appreciate your body type. In the age of social media influencers and flat tummy tea promoters, it can be hard to feel comfortable in your own skin. You have to remember that social media isn’t real life. It’s an act that people put on. A lot of influencers only post the good parts of their lives. And even then, I’m sure they have bad days too.

Jameela Jamil boldly critiques this trend of celebrities and influencer promoting products that promise slim bodies.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Realizing your beauty and owning it's a revolutionary act. Improving your body confidence has nothing to do with looking a certain way. Self-esteem is an inside job. We absorb so many messages about how our bodies should look like that we often forget to appreciate what we already have. We need to change what we put into our bodies, and it has nothing to do with food. Being insecure about your body is not necessarily a sign that you should change it. It’s a sign you should change your point of view.

“For those suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), real or imagined physical flaws come to rule their lives. One percent of the population men and women alike—experience BDD, a mental health disorder characterized by a continued obsession with one or more parts of their body, causing severe distress that interferes with daily functioning.” Those of you who have experienced BDD or other body image issues, know that it’s okay to feel insecure, everybody has insecurities. If you need some help to feel better about yourself you can try to focus on your great traits (make a list!) and know your power. Your body can do amazing things. It's important to know that BDD, specifically, is an illness and you can get help, go to a doctor, a friend, professor, counselor and speak out about it.   

For more information about BDD, call the OWH (Office on Women’s Health)  Helpline at 1-800-994-9662.

Having good self-esteem and body confidence means that you value and respect yourself. Appreciate your strengths (and work on your weaknesses) and don’t put yourself down whenever you feel like you made a mistake.

We should feel “beach body ready” all year, not just summer because you do not need to change your body to go to the beach or to the mall or anywhere. Everybody, every shade, size, and shape is beautiful the way it is.