Sexist Ad Saturday: Bikini Bodies?

“Women’s magazines” have a way of inspiring body hate year-round, from featuring tips on how to avoid gaining weight over the winter holidays to their fixation on “bikini bodies” from the first moment Punxsutawney Phil pokes his head out of a long winter.

In my teenage years I dreaded bathing suit situations, especially when I’d be around other girls who were constantly comparing bodies. Since I ditched the women’s magazines at the beginning of 2009, my skepticism of the alleged “perfect bikini body” has grown. What exactly does a “bikini body” look like? Why do women need to change their bodies just to wear a functional (if revealing) piece of clothing? Why must our bodies be first and foremost something to be seen?

Why are “bikini body” diet and workout tips often linked to “confidence”? This phrasing implies that we should only be confident about our appearances if we are perfectly thin, toned, and hairless. Can’t we be confident about our bodies without changing them or fitting into some arbitrary body norm?

When we put all our energy and concern into how we look for the pleasure of others, we lose that energy that wants to do, help, create, and change the world around us. Don’t fall for the futile search for the perfect body. Cast off harmful media like women’s magazines and body-negative health and fitness blogs and learn to love your body for what it does rather than what it looks like.

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1 Comment

Filed under body image, feminism, gender, sexism

One response to “Sexist Ad Saturday: Bikini Bodies?

  1. I have always thought when other girls wore a bikini that they did not care about their bodies. Whether that is true or not who knows. When I wore a bikini in the past, I felt naked. Is that why we see a girl or woman in one that we think of it as nothing more than a bra and panties?

    Something else to consider is the fact that you leave nothing to the imagination when you do so. I think there is only one way I would ever buy or wear a bikini again. I would only wear one for tanning in private or if I owned my own pool. Otherwise, I do not think you could find me in one.

    Society enjoys it when women are naked or nearly naked. I have to wonder if other women are comfortable in that fashion. I think we all should all wear what we feel comfortable wearing. I do not believe that wearing a bikini is sexy. I think all a bikini does is encourage people to ogle you.

    I think that any woman can wear a one-piece and elude sheer confidence. It is helpful to remember that clothing does not make an individual rather it is the attractiveness of their personality. I do not read women’s magazines because I believe it encourages fakeness or shallowness.

    I may not have the perfect body but then again I never will. Neither will others ever have a perfect body. The perfect body is nothing more than something society conjured up. Trying to pursue this fakeness will result it nothing more than pure unhappiness, regret, despair, depression, etc.

    One final thought: If you focus your entire life on flaws then you are guaranteed to find them. In the end it all could be consider a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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