Redefining a Bikini Body

Redefining a Bikini Body

Brace yourself; it’s that time of the year when we are inundated with “Get Beach Ready” articles in magazines and social media. These articles are a reminder our bodies are a constant work in progress. “Get a bikini body in 21 days” headlines have always made me uncomfortable as it sets unrealistic body standards for women to fit into and promotes the idea that you need to lose weight or get in shape first before wearing a bikini.

There are plenty of articles circulating at the moment with unachievable standards, putting so much pressure on women. Only once you’ve achieved the perfect body, then you can purchase the swimsuit and flaunt the new body you have. Think about the magazine covers or articles that you’ve seen recently. You would probably have seen body-shaming-for-profit headlines or ads, promoting the idea that a bikini body has a thin waist, long legs, large breasts and round butt. Oh and let’s not forget, there shouldn’t be any cellulite, stretch marks, body hair or blemishes. Basically you need to look like you’ve been Photoshopped. The bikini body sells a dangerous idea that our bodies need to be fixed (quickly) and has nothing to do with overall health or fitness.

Campaigns promoting the bikini body

According to an article in The Cut, the term “bikini body” was made popular by a weight loss company called Slenderalla (the name alone is shady). In 1961, Slenderella launched a campaign that read: “High firm bust — hand span waist — trim, firm hips — slender graceful legs — a Bikini body!” The campaign set the precedent for women to aspire to these unrealistic expectations for many years to come.

Rejecting the Ideal Bikini body

The new bikini body

Image not my own.

The new definition of a beach-ready bikini body is anyone who graces the beach with a bikini. And that’s it folks, you do not need to aspire to a certain shape or size before wearing a bikini. Everybody already has a bikini body. No matter your shape or size, you are ready for Summer and the beach!

I’d like to challenge all women, men and individuals from the LGBT community this Spring/Summer. My desire is that you’ll reject the ideal, wear the bikini and have fun while you’re doing it.

You deserve to have fun.

You deserve to be in the pool or on the beach.

Be happy and rock the bikini you’re wearing, inspite of your body shape or size.

There is no wrong way to have a body. Your body does not need to be fixed.

Here are a few Instagram posts and accounts to follow for inspo:

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I've made it my mission to post more quotes and thought-provoking statements on Body Positivity. But you have to practice what you preach. So this summer, I decided to invest in a bikini and WEAR IT. A few years ago, at my lowest weight, I did not have the courage to walk in a bikini because I was so unhappy and uncomfortable in my body – even more so because the “fat” no longer protected me. Now, after gaining back all the weight I lost, I decided to do things a little differently… It’s time to get comfortable in the body I have. Right now, right here. Let’s face it, if I am not comfortable now, in this body, I will never be comfortable when I start becoming healthy and fit again. So I’ve decided, EFF it, I’m going to do it. And I did, but only for a few minutes. This may be silly to some, but it took so much courage for me to do this. I felt exposed, afraid and uncomfortable, like everyone was watching me – looking at my imperfections. But it’s a start, a start in the right direction. And I am proud of myself for taking a step in the right direction and loving what is! Here’s to loving my body and celebrating it!

A post shared by Megan Richards (@theauthenticgirl) on

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The chunkiest of them all 🤭

A post shared by thickleeyonce (@thickleeyonce) on

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WEEK 98 // TUESDAY 🏖👙 The weather in Cape Town was glorious today (& we got blessed with rain!) which had me thinking back to my absolutely incredible beach holiday in Plett 🏝 It also got me thinking about what it really means to be BODY POSITIVE VERSES HOW THE SCALE MAKES US FEEL…. This is the conundrum I’ve been faced with recently & I thought I would share a little more on that…. ~ I remember how I felt when this photo was taken. I felt like a million bucks in my @theashleygraham @swimsuitsforall bikini 🌸 Unbeknownst to me, at the time I was not as “light” as I thought / felt that I was. I only discovered that I was actually 3kgs heavier than I am now, later when I got back to CT & weighed in. Point is, our minds are sooo so powerful. That is where being BODY POSITIVE actually starts. It’s a feeling. A way of being. It is so much more a mental game than we give it credit for. We also give the scale waaaay too much power over us & I am constantly guilty of this… When I got back from holiday, I was actually quite excited to see how much weight I had dropped over the holiday. Turns out, I had gained 3kgs. WHAAAAT?? But how?? I felt soooo confident in Plett?? None of this makes any sense?? Was feeling confident just all in my head? Well YES…. That’s precisely it. I believed I looked good, so I felt good & oozed confidence. I can promise you that had I weighed in in Plett, I probably wouldn’t have ever worn that bikini 😞 And how sad is that? That we can let a little metallic object & a digital flashing number, define our happiness, our self worth, & self-love? ~ Being BODY POSITIVE means more than just being anti-establishment or intentionally going against the “norm” or trying to “shock” society. ▪️It means loving myself through every single season, no matter what my size; ▫️It means never comparing myself to others, or wishing for someone else’s body type (something I had often wished for in the past); ▪️It means setting my own beauty standards & learning to embrace ALL of me, & not just the parts the media tell me are acceptable; ▫️It’s about practicing, kindness, self-love & affirmation; ▪️It’s about existing LOUDLY and PROUDLY. Every. Damn. Day.

A post shared by transformation ✘ body positive (@fitnessgirl_za) on

Love and light,

Megan

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