It’s getting to be that time of year again. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and if I have to see another ad on getting ready for “bikini season,” my head will explode. On a quick Google search of the term, some of the first articles to appear had titles such as “7 things you can do now to get ready for bikini season,” “4 weeks to a bikini body,” and “How to Prepare for Bikini Season.”
When looking at pictures tagged with #bikini season on tumblr, I found a lot of disturbing pictures. There were the (unfortunately) common pictures of super skinny bathing suit models. There were some memes meant to be funny that showed larger animals, cartoons, and celebrities like Honey Boo Boo with the hashtag. There were also work-out pictures with captions about getting ready for bikini season. Finally, there were very disheartening posts that said things like “Keep Calm and Stop Eating” and “Need to Lose Weight.”
To me, this “season” is more depressing than the four months of frigid winter we had this year. One of the aspects I find most disturbing is the idea of a “bikini body.” This term implies that you have to have a certain body shape or BMI in order to wear a bikini. If you want to rock a one-piece or a tankini, that’s totally cool. The same goes for a bikini. In my opinion, if you have a body and you want to wear a bikini, then you have a bikini body. Those should be the only two qualifying aspects of having a bikini body. As a society, if we continue fat shaming and obsessing over thigh gaps, we are going to have even more of a problem with eating disorders, and from experience, I know that dealing with an eating disorder is difficult and heartbreaking.
Please respect everyone’s discussions regarding what they wear, and feel free to wear whatever makes you happy. So, get ready for the upcoming “bikini season” by appreciating your body. Get excited for warm, sunny weather. See you on the beach!