It’s officially hot out there. And if you’re lucky, at some point this summer you may find yourself at the beach/pool/lake/etc. This means you’ll be wearing a bathing suit, unless you enjoy wearing all your clothes in said body of water for some reason.
Understandably, this can make some of us really nervous. Sometimes it’s hard to feel completely confident at this level of undress, especially if you feel like your body is going to be judged the minute you step out onto that beach. Many of these insecurities come from our lifelong exposure to media that has been shoving the idea that an exclusive body type (skinny, tall, long hair, not-too-large-but-just-large-enough-boobs) is inherently better down our throats. So sometimes you need to do yourself a favour and expose your eyes to a more diverse range of body types.
I always find it grounding to look to the women I see on the street, at school, or at work instead of in magazines for assurance in my own body, but lately, I feel like more and more body sizes are actually being represented in the mainstream media. Instead of trying to fight our bodies, we are really starting to see how ’embracing it at any shape’ is an actual option when we see awesome women in the spotlight doing so themselves. Here are a few of these dope women, who show us all that there is nothing about your body that should make you feel like you don’t deserve to fully enjoy the goddamn beach! Because at the end of the day, your body is the only one you have, and you look your most beautiful when you treat it with respect.
Too many girls stop playing sports they love when they feel like they look “too muscular” and therefore “too masculine.” We need to stop equating strength with manliness (and therefore what women should avoid). Despite being heckled constantly for her size and appearance in the past, tennis all-star Serena Williams continually shows us being strong and being sexy are not mutually exclusive.
Paloma Elsesser looks absolutely stunning stripped down for Glossier’s Body Hero campaign, as well as in stylish swimsuits, furry coats, mom jeans, bodycon dresses, and any damn thing she wants to wear! It is awesome to see how her Instagram-cool-girl look is because of, not in spite of, her fuller figure
Photo by Anthony Beauchamp, 1951
5. Marilyn Monroe
It’s hard not to include Marilyn Monroe in an article about bikini bodies. Her status as icon is first and foremost that of a sex symbol, and yes, look at her curvy body! Back in those times, women were actually going on diets to GAIN weight, which just goes to show you how quickly we can change our minds, and that the practically unattainable body type women are “supposed” to have is not a permanent notion of ideal feminine beauty.
Princess Nokia’s song “Tomboy” features some of the most fun body-posi lyrics to hype yourself up to: “with my little titties and my phat belly…” over and over. It’s a completely shameless, confident, and unapologetic celebration of her body, that might inspire you to scream about your own
Ashley Graham’s Instagram is full of gorgeous bikini pics, and what I love is how she doesn’t hesitate to go for looks that are body hugging, not body hiding. Her fuller stomach and thighs are super relatable to a lot of the women in my life, and it’s awesome to see part of yourself in a wildly successful model for the first time.
Obviously we love Rihanna at NBGA, so we have to give a special shoutout to one of the coolest voices in body positivity out there right now. Her attitude about something we are told to feel ashamed of, weight gain, is inspiring. Coming out to The Cut to say she has the “pleasure” of having a fluctuating body type is the kind of thinking that honestly never occured to me. But suddenly, I’m starting to look at myself a little differently. Now if only we could’ve been told that earlier!
The amazing model Jill, also known as @jilla.tequila, has one of the most empowering feeds on the ‘gram. And as one of her captions goes: “Just showing that we should love our bodies in all different sizes and shapes. Let’s not forget mental health is way more important than a number!” She never ceases to share body positivity in the most authentic and inspiring of ways.