Ah yes, it is the time of year when we hear messages around us like, "Is your body beach ready?" and "It's almost bikini season! Get into shape now!"
Our culture is deeply fatphobic and one of the many ways this plays out is by insinuating and outright stating that the leisure activities of swimming or hanging out on the beach are reserved for people with a certain body. Or if you are a fatty and you dare go to the beach anyway, you sure better not wear a bikini because bikinis are reserved for those elite who have this certain body that they often worked really hard to get. But don't worry...if you don't have this certain body there's a billion people with products, diet plans, and medicines to help you get that "beach body."
|[Image text: an article that reads, "Karl's Fab 30 day beach body plan.]|
|[Image text: An article that reads, "Get a bikini body in 4 weeks."]|
I read two really great pieces that I wanted to highlight about this topic recently. The first is by Lesley Kinzel at xoJane:
“I have a beach body. It’s this one, the one I take to the beach..." Work it out if you want, or feed yourself a certain way because it makes you feel good, but don’t let not doing these things limit your confidence or your ability to go out and buy a damn swimsuit and go to a beach.The next is by Kath at The Fat Heffalump and it's all about how fat people are told they must wait for all great things (like going to be beach) because we don't deserve it until we loose weight. Here's a snippet, but I highly recommend you read it all:
Wait until you lose weight. That’s what they say. When you lose weight, then you will get a great job, live in a nice house, wear cute clothes, travel the world, boys will like you, you’ll be happy...
...I stopped waiting. I forgot about waiting and I embraced my weight. I stopped waiting for others to give me the respect I that is my human right and I gave it to myself. I wrapped my arms around my full, fat body, I embraced my prodigious belly, my thick thighs, my mountainous bosom, my chunky arms and all my glorious chins.
I got tattooed, I got a lover, I got a promotion, I got a passport, I found my voice, I got a life.
How long will you wait?Listen...if you want to go to the beach and strut in a bikini. DO IT. There's no point in waiting. And there's certainly no point in missing out on any fun because our society has a fucked up notions about bodies.
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