In case you haven't noticed the weather lately it is warming up in Australia. Summer is upon us, beaches, bikinis, BBQ's and beers it is that time of the year. I am a winter person through and through, always have been and probably always will be. I am sorry but I cannot find any happiness in the fact that you are sweaty ALL. THE. TIME, that you have to watch specifically where you are walking because hello.. snakes! and the self-consciousness that comes along with bathing suits. Ya' feel me?
It is usually around this time every year that we are bombarded with advert marketing "bikini bodies" or being "bikini ready". A marketing tactic designed to poke at the insecure little girl inside of us that feels we have to change our bodies in order to wear a certain design of the bathing suit. "Lose five kilos in time for summer!", "4 simple steps your best bikini body ever!", all articles and marketing ploys centred around having to change your body in order to wear a swimsuit.
I was a SUCKER for these advertisements, a sucker I tell you! It would get to the middle of October each year, the sun would be shining, the warmer weather fast approaching and I would be inside looking for the latest way to lose weight so I could emerge and have that "bikini body" everyone was aiming for. I spent FAR too much money, more than I would ever care to admit on products that sold me the promise of losing weight. Meal plans, exercise plans, supplements, if in someway promised me that it would help achieve this image I had in my head for how I should look in a bikini, I was willing to throw my money at it.
I spent far too many summers wearing black because it was "slimming", too many summers declining an invite because it would mean I had to wear a bathing suit, too many summers staying indoors in the aircon because it was too hot to go outside in jeans and it was terrifying to expose the cellulite and "flabby bits" on my legs. That was always one of my main concerns- not having a thigh gap. Ridiculous isn't it? That I was so caught up in the fact that mt thighs touched that I secluded myself from people who probably didn't give two sits that there was not a sizeable gap between my thighs.
This year, I'm older, wiser (and more tired) and it is now October. I should be in full-blown "summer shred" mode. I should have spent countless amounts of money on products that are promising the loss of the few extra kilos I put on in Winter. If this was a few months ago the situation would have looked vastly different to now. I would have been working out two times a day, meticulously tracking and weighing every scrap of food that went into my mouth. There would be countless "weightloss" supplements going into my body that I didn't need (and they would be added to my daily calorie total too!). I would be obsessed.
I have really changed my thinking surrounding weight, body image and food in the past few months- believe me it has not been easy. But I am starting to dock at a station where I am comfortable with my body- I still pick apart the little bits of fat on my hips, I still grab at the fat on my stomach and wonder where it all came from. But I always return to the mindset that I am happy how I am, I am healthy and girl, I WILL be rocking a bikini this summer, without a doubt.
I want to share with you some thoughts I have been having surrounding this topic, because we all know I like to share my opinions and thoughts (hence this blog!).
- If you are supposed to be a certain size to wear a bikini.. why do they manufacture them in all sizes? Funny that. If you find a bikini you love, they've got it in your size, it makes you feel fabulous and you want to wear it to the beach... bloody do it! Fuck having to be a certain size and shape in order to rock a bathing suit. You don't have to be a size eight to wear a bikini and you don't have to be a size 18 to wear a bodysuit. You can whatever you want, whatever you feel comfortable and kick arse in, this is not dependent on the size on the little annoying label at the back that makes you itchy.
- Who the actual fuck came up with the idea that you need to be toned and slim in order to wear a bathing suit? The fashion police? Wrong. It was people on the internet who mistake sitting behind a screen for having some kind of right to tell people what they should look like in order to wear a bikini. Abbie Chatfield (yes, the one from my last Bachie post) this week slammed comments on a Daily Mail article, who were downright body-shaming the girl for wear a bikini to the beach.... the horror! I cannot believe we live in a time where even our own bodies are put on a pedestal to be ridiculed by faceless people behind a screen. (BTW: Abbie looks hot AF in the pictures, fuck what anyone thinks.)
- In a society where mental health issues are so prevalent shouldn't we be holding each other up instead of bringing each other down for our bodies? I don't even just mean those anon comments either- I am mean the girls on Instagram who release "Bikini body guides", why are we preaching self-love and acceptance and then contradicting that with "hey! you need to buy my program and lose weight to look good in a bikini!" Is there not a better marketing tactic that targeting someone's biggest insecurity? Is there not another way to make sales than telling women they must look a certain way in order to be considered suitable for wearing a bikini?
Was that starting to get ranty? Maybe. But here is the message behind this post: let women wear whatever they want. Let them wear a bikini and not be made to feel as if they are too big for it. Let women wear a swimsuit without pointing out the rolls on her stomach or the cellulite on her thighs. Let women be.