Thursday, May 31, 2012

Every Body is a Bikini Body


I’d like to tell all of you a secret. Are you ready? Can you move in a little closer, maybe shade your screen so no one peeks from the side? Ok, good. Here it is:

There is no perfect bikini body. It doesn’t exist. It’s a lie designed to sell you weight loss products and food with the caloric content (and taste and texture) of styrofoam.

There is no way for any human woman to achieve the perfect combination of curvy, yet skinny, toned but not too muscley, with that exact ephemeral shade of skin that’s somehow just dark enough but not too dark and perfectly even, and absolutely no cellulite whatsoever. It can’t be done.

You can show me pictures that claim to portray it, but you know those pictures were carefully lit and all received at least some hit of photoshop in post to remove unwanted shadows, smooth out folds or bones, remove the dreaded cellulite or even shave off actual bits of person to achieve the look they wanted.

Or surgery that shaves off real bits.
Perhaps the years I lived in Miami have skewed me towards a more “let it all hang out” approach, but every year when the chorus of advertisements about swimsuit season and getting a bikini body start up I wonder if those advertisers realize that bikinis come in more than one size. And you know what, there are some frighteningly unflattering pieces of swimwear out there that are awful no matter what size you are. Monokinis are number one on that list. String bikinis are number two, if you’ve got even a small amount of padding they look kind of like sausage casings when you tie them tight enough to actually swim in. I know it’s hard and trying on swimsuits is awful, but it’s like any other clothes shopping; identify what works for you and stick to it while having fun. Tankinis, skirted bottoms with high waists, one pieces, all of these can help if you’re self conscious about certain areas.

If you love the beach or the pool or the water park or anywhere else that requires a swimsuit, buy yourself a swimsuit and get out there! Waiting to be whatever size the TV thinks you should be to enjoy the beach is like waiting until you’re fluent in all the world’s languages before traveling. Sure, it’s a nice thought but how practical is it?

Take pride in your body. Find things you can do with it that make you happy, whether that’s running, zumba, walking, or anything else. Look at your body as something active, something that brings you joy rather than something passive that is only discussed in terms of how pleasing it is visually to others, particularly nameless faceless others you will never know or speak to. Their opinions should not affect your life.

Working what her Mama gave her!
And should you be uncomfortable with the whole concept of revealing swimwear? Well, they’re making Burquinis now, so you can find the quite literally full coverage swimwear to fit your needs through the magic of the internet. I love the beach, I love the pool, I love SUMMER and I want each and every one of you out there to have a fun and happy summer and the first and biggest hurdle for so many is the swimsuit issue. Let’s change that.


  1. I wore a bikini for the first time in years on my honeymoon, per my husband's request. I was self conscious for about 30 seconds - then I saw all the other body types doing the same thing, realized it was bullshit for me to be hard on myself and that the only person there who had an opinion I valued thought I looked smokin' hot, and went on with business as usual. I still prefer my tankini (mostly cause I burn like paper) but it's nice to know I have options!

  2. Great opinion piece Rusty!