Summer is a time for unwinding, getting outside, and finally getting away from the seasonal depression that can plague the colder months. But for so many people, unwinding by the pool comes with a whole new problem; the anxiety around having a “bikini body.”
Maybe you (like so many others) are a victim of this mindset, whether you started your New Year’s Resolution with a summer-ready body goal or are scrambling to find a “quick fix” before an upcoming pool party.
While we love taking care of ourselves through health and fitness, we don’t love doing it in a way that promotes harmful routines and damaging mindsets.
This summer, we’re debunking the myth of the “bikini body” once and for all.
It’s Allllll in the Marketing
The term “bikini body” was first made popular in a 1960s ad campaign. Since then, the phrase has made its way from being strictly marketing vocab to having a place in everyday conversations.
It’s still used in marketing ventures, though. Just not in the way you might think. From fitness influencers selling their weight loss programs to “slimming” protein shake products and everything in between, having a slender, toned “bikini body” is the ideal that’s advertised to us year after year.
What’s especially dangerous is that through social media, the messaging is a lot more subtle. And even though we’ve come a long way when it comes to anti-diet culture language, building an unhealthy routine to achieve a certain summer look is not just socially acceptable, but almost expected.
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It’s Caused A Lot of Swimsuit Trauma
The thing about the “bikini body” is that it tells a narrative of self-worth. It leads you to believe that you have to have a specific look in order to be worthy of wearing a bikini.
Even from a young age, being surrounded by this kind of talk promotes being ashamed of bodies that don’t fit the norm. (You’re not alone! Click through the Blogilates Team #swimsecrets above for proof).
Once you’ve got this mindset, it’s hard to shake it! It takes years (maybe a whole lifetime) to relearn those habits. Feeling ashamed of your body can also make it really difficult to help foster a more positive self-image for the other people in your life. (Especially the young girls who are listening to everything you say about yourself, both positive and negative).
Let’s Talk Sustainability
Getting a “bikini body” is a short term, appearance-based goal. It’s based on how you think you should look (or at least how others think you should look). Instead, it’s a lot more sustainable and healthy to focus on gaining strength, speed, agility, or other fitness goals that have to do with how you feel.
It’s Time to Shift the Narrative
It’s time to reframe the way we see swimwear, both for ourselves and for future generations. The diet culture of the 2010s that damaged so many of us needs to be left in the past.
It starts with being kind to your past self, especially when looking back at old pictures. Be kind to your body, in every form it has taken. Adopting a more body-neutral approach can help separate your self-worth from what you see in the mirror on a given day.
To help overcome that diet culture voice in your head, we’ve got some mantras for you. These affirmations can help cultivate a positive self-image that can get lost in the diet culture atmosphere of the “bikini body” season.
My body is not for others’ approval or satisfaction.
I won’t let my brain bully my body.
My body deserves respect and love from myself and others.
I appreciate my body for everything it can do.
I give my body permission to change.
My body is my home and I will build it up, not tear it down.
Every Body is a Bikini Body
Every body deserves to soak up the summer fun! Even if you don’t look like the stereotypical swimsuit model, trust us; you’re still a total beach babe! Your body is amazing because it’s yours and you deserve to dress in whatever swimwear makes you feel comfortable and stylish!
If you’re on the search for some size and style-inclusive beachwear, head over to the POPFLEX Swim Shop!
It’s time to rewrite our swim story. How are you finding joy in swimwear this summer? Inspire the Blogilates community; share your story below!