bikinis and body shaming in all shapes and sizes

by monica

black string bikini from H&M

black string bikini from H&M

black string bikini from H&M

Have you seen the anti-body shaming campaign sparked by one of those typical "are you bikini ready" ads? (see pic 2) I totally understand why women are resorting to the same shaming tactics that weight loss and fitness companies have been using in advertising for decades to get you to buy their useless products.


But let's get real here; those companies would not use shaming tactics in ads if they didn't work to sell products.

Now imagine if every woman on the planet stopped buying weight loss and fitness products that used body shaming tactics. Would body shaming end? It might end from a commercial end but it probably wouldn't end on a personal level.

Women have been body shamed for decades before the weight loss and fitness industry became the million dollar monster it is today. And the body shaming hasn't always been for not being thin enough or not being fit enough.

Lots of ad campaigns in the past shamed women for being too thin and not having enough fleshy curves (see pic 3). I personally had to deal with this type of body shaming in my early teens because I grew up in a culture that glorified the voluptuous super curvy latina (see pic 4) which I wasn't. My aunts used to call me little ironing board (flat as a plank on both sides if you need a visual).

But believe it or not that type of body shaming was nothing compared to the kind I experienced from the fitness community in my 20s and 30s for not being muscular enough or lean enough even though I was small enough AND fit enough. The pressure in fitness to look like a super muscular six pack bikini model year round is crazy intense and it can really mess with your self esteem especially when it's coming from personal trainer friends (so glad that phase of my life ended 5 years ago!)

So how do you deal with individuals who feel the need to body shame you or with companies who WILL continue to barrage you with ads that make you feel like you need to go hide in a cave because you don't live up to THEIR standard of beauty?

You dig deep inside and you find your true underlying motives for wanting to look healthy fit and sexy. Only when you know WHY you want to reach your health and fitness goals does all the noise about how you're supposed to look begin to fade and not affect you.

If you fail to uncover your true motives for eating healthy and exercising consistently (which usually have nothing to do with looks) then your body image and self esteem will be forever at the mercy of disapproving comments or condescending ad campaigns claiming to "help you look bikini body ready".

Trust me when I tell you that the body shaming NEVER ends. Just two weeks ago a close friend sent me a rude fb message telling me to "stop being so skinny". His comments made zero impact on me like they would have years ago and did not shame me into not wearing a bikini at various beaches on my recent vacation where I enjoyed myself throughly and did not feel the need to cover up or hide my body.

I realize that I've written about underlying motivation many times before but it's such an important part of every ybff plan that it bears repeating. I promise that once you do this your entire outlook on health and fitness will transform you into the best you that you can be and also shield you from all the body hate that will forever exist in this world too!

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