I saw a post on Instagram the other day from a very well-known influencer and ex-reality TV star. She was promoting a diet drink I have seen before, with a caption which light-heartedly spoke about how she wanted to be ‘bikini-body ready’ for the summer, and I nearly threw my phone at the wall.
The concept of being a certain dress size to be able to wear a bikini is ludicrous. Ads like this on social media platforms are a regular sight nowadays. This often leads to many people trying dangerous diets and unrealistic exercise plans which ultimately lead to a system of self-reproach. I tried a diet drink when I first started uni and all it did was cause stomach pain and remove £20 from my purse. These failing ‘quick fixes’ make whoever tires them feel exactly that: like they have failed. Your mental health takes a dive-bomb because you begin to think that you will never look like those people in magazines, but what you need to remember is that it’s perfectly okay. You can be ‘bikini-body ready’ and healthy at any size.
The presumption that because you’re plus-sized you are unhealthy and lazy is another concept which should frankly just get put in the bin. So many people who are plus-sized are fat-shamed and ridiculed daily if they wear clothes, including swimwear, that are deemed inappropriate by others. People see skinny and they think ‘healthy’. People see fat and they think ‘unhealthy’. It isn’t always the case, and if our society equates our value to our body size then we need to do something about that.
When you get the chance to wear something like a bikini, the priority is really to enjoy yourself, right? I mean you’re probably on holiday and looking to have some fun. I think it’s amazing to see people of all ages, races, identities, heights and weights just doing what they want, wearing what they want. We need to change what the narrative of a ‘bikini body’ is so that it includes everyone.
So, I’m going to wear a bikini this summer, with all my wobbly bits, stretch marks and the rest on display. I am proud of my body and I will wear what I want.
[Sarah Montgomery – she/her – @sarah_montyx]
[Photo credit: American Eagle Outfitters]