Wednesday, April 23, 2014

You Already Have A Bikini Body

Good evening SSR readers!

I'm sorry this post is so late everyone.  I really had to think about this one.  I know I normally have a well thought out one with pictures and all sorts of hyper-links. But I just had to chat (aka rant) about something as we head full force into summer.  I have noticed that every other beauty blog headline seems to be "Get Your Bikini Body in 20 Steps"; "How to Get Your Body Bikini Ready"; "10 Things to Eat For Your Bikini Body"...and on...and on...and on...  I really wanted to write something about this because it bothers me on a number of levels.

It has been kind of bothering me that it seems like nobody is saying anything about "Your Body Is Good Enough for a Bikini".  It infuriates me that women have anxiety about molding themselves and mentally attacking/berating themselves for a piece of clothing.  You don't have to fit your body into a bikini, the swim wear doesn't own you and you don't owe a piece of fabric anything.  I have several complaints about this "Bikini Body" trend in women's media:
  1. What is this mythical bikini body I'm supposed to be striving to get?  Ok, so a lot of them say that it is the healthiest fittest you that you want to be.  BUT I take issue that each of these articles is paired with a bunch of perfectly toned women who are rocking defined abs and thigh gaps (on that note, when did people start caring about thigh gaps...seems ridiculous to me).  How about we see happy ladies of all sizes in bikini's in theses "Getting Your Perfect Bikini Body" articles?  Maybe they should accurately title them "Getting OUR Idea of a Perfect Bikini Body".
  2. "Eating/Excercising For A Bikini Body" should just be "Eating/Exercising To Be Healthy".  Eating healthy foods is eating healthy foods.  Eating clean is eating clean. Exerting physical effort to burn calories and tone muscle will happen regardless of if you are thinking about swimwear or not.  You should strive to be healthy whether it is summer, winter, or the moon is full.  To me, these articles seem to be repackaging the good message of eating healthy and being fit into a message to eat healthy because otherwise you won't look like the beauty standard.
  3. It Reinforces a Beauty Standard.  While everything you see in the media would tell you that there is a "right" way to look, the reality is that there isn't!  You should want to be healthy, happy, and able to do the things you want to in life.  There is no perfect body, just the one that you want/can achieve the most at this point.  There are infinite factors that play into your appearance.  Embrace your own beauty and embrace your personal body goals.  Looking like "that girl" (whoever "that girl" is)  is much less important than looking like the version of yourself that you are happiest with. 
  4. Lowers Confidence and Self Esteem.  When anyone is constantly seeing things that tell them that there is change needed to their bodies to reach a certain standard, it is natural to start nit-picking away at your confidence in your body.  Perhaps before you were perfectly happy with a little extra ramen noodles contributing to your BMI, you are now thinking "oh no! Those ramen noodles are destroying my potential bikini body".
  5. My last thought is YOU ALREADY HAVE A BIKINI BODY!  All you have to do is WEAR a bikini and you have a body in a bikini.  There is no shame in rocking whatever swimwear you feel comfortable and attractive in.  I truly feel there is too much shaming that "ooooh why does she think she can wear that" from both men and other women.  I think the better question is "why do you care what she's wearing if it makes her happy?"
That being said, we all have certain expectations for what we would like to look like in a swim suit.  This is FINE!  If you want to change your body in a healthy way and a bikini is a good motivation, go for it!  However, it annoys me that it seems like the media assumes that the vast majority of women NEED to do something to get bikini ready, while in fact, you don't NEED to do anything.  Especially for a piece of fabric!

So enough with my Ms. Sparkles Chats post...which is more like a Ms. Sparkles Rants post.  But I hope it inspires you to think about this trend in posts a little differently.

 As always,

Shine & Sparkle!

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