It seems like everyone is always trying to prepare themselves for summer. Working out and dieting for months on end to achieve that perfect summer body, the perfect beach body.
Slowly society is shifting to come to terms with the fact that you don’t have to be perfectly toned and chiseled to wear a bathing suit out in public. Every body is a beach body.
The majority of people are average sized, and that same majority feels a lack of confidence showing off their body on the beach because decades of societal standards have told them that that isn’t acceptable. Decades of media and implied standards of beauty in advertising have created a baseline standard that just isn’t acceptable anymore; in fact I don’t think it ever was.
Social media has become a double-edged sword. On one hand there are people perpetuating the myth that the perfect body is easily and naturally attainable—that beauty comes in one size, and on the other there are the people dispelling those myths.
Everybody and every BODY have their own flaws. Social media and influencer accounts are rife with digital retouching and physical body and light manipulation. Instagram accounts like @danaemercer point out that most of Instagram is finding your light and posing strategically, that in fact the ‘perfect’ people out there aren’t unattainable they have just found a way to pretend they are. She points out the normalcy of your body, and that it is okay, even enlightening, to embrace your flaws.
The narrative set out on most social media platforms that you need to fit model industry standards to be deemed attractive to society is so damaging for anybody participating or viewing the content.
Its important to recognize that everyone has flaws and if you want to, you can wear whatever you want.
And although it may be slow, the beauty and fashion industry is shifting. Plus size models like Ashley Graham have made a significant name for themselves by embracing their bodies and spreading body positivity through their work.
This summer plus size model Hunter McGrady had a featured photo spread in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2020. This magazine would have never featured a plus sized model in the past. It is progress.
In an interview with FOX News about her photo shoot McGrady said, “of course I always know I’m going to get killer, beautiful shots with SI but most importantly I know that the woman who for so long hasn’t seen her body represented will hopefully feel seen, heard, and understood.”
As a size 18, plus size model, McGrady is working towards stomping out the stigma regarding plus sized women.
Plus sized does not automatically equal unhealthy. You can take care of your body with the right nutrition and exercise, but there is only so much you can do to fight genetics. And the real issue is that plus size people should not have to consistently be scrutinized by others because their bodies are not the same.
People who sneer at plus size bodies will say they are ‘concerned about their health’. This is a lie. If you are disgusted by plus sized people it isn’t because you are concerned, it is because you lack basic human empathy and feel that you have the right to dictate what others do with their life. It doesn’t make you cool—rather it paints a bold line straight to your blatant lack of confidence in your own body and life.
The world is full of people of all shapes and sizes, and people should be able to enjoy life without the constant fear of being belittled. It’s time that everyone minds their own business and realizes that they don’t get to have an opinion on someone else’s body.
Representation of all these bodies is crucial moving forward in social media and beyond, and I look forward to seeing the revolution of acceptance and body positivity as it progresses.
Every body is a beach body if they choose to be.