An Open Letter to Everyone Promising a Bikini Body by Summertime
You’ve seen them, I’ve seen them, in fact if you haven’t seen them I’m going to question if you live under a rock. I’m talking about the magazine articles, the Facebook ads, the Instagram stories, the blogs, the TV segments all promising you 6-weeks or 4-weeks or 21 days to a bikini body or a flat stomach or your best beach body. The promises of being “bikini-ready” by summertime if you just give them your money and follow their plan.
This letter is for those people. The ones promising the results and using scare tactics about swimsuits and warm weather to get people to buy their products and programs.
Dear Person Promising Me 6-weeks to a Bikini Body,
First of all, you are a liar. I could follow your program perfectly, eat everything you tell me to and do the workouts exactly like I am supposed to and six weeks from now I’m still not going to have a bikini body like the one you are advertising. I’m not going to have a flat stomach or have perfectly toned arms just in time for tank top weather. Trust me, I’ve tried. And it’s not fair to advertise a plan that will give you “flat abs” when in reality your plan is only going to work for women with less than 15 pounds to lose to get the “perfect summer body”. It’s not fair to take our money guaranteeing results that are never going to come (not in the timeframe you are selling anyway).
Second of all, and vastly more important than my first point, can you please stop spreading the harmful idea that women need to look one certain way in order to have a “bikini body” or be ready for summer? Can you please stop spreading the lie that only certain bodies are worthy of wearing bikinis? Can you please stop telling women that in order to have a fun summer we need to shrink our bodies first?
You’re not selling a healthier lifestyle, because I’ve never seen a “get a better body by Thanksgiving” plan being sold. The workout plans, the diets, the pills, the lose-weight-quick-fixes all come out in force this time of year, not because anyone wants us to be healthier by summertime, but because you are preying on the insecurities of women everywhere in order to make money. Because any program with the sole focus of being “bikini ready” is selling a certain look, and it’s a look that probably isn’t attainable for a lot of the women buying your program. Not all women are made to look like Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models, not all women can have six-packs and a thigh gap, not all women have perfectly perky D-cups.
Yes, summer is the time when most people wear swimming suits and trade in pants and sweaters for shorts and tank tops or sundresses, and naturally more skin is exposed, but that doesn’t mean we all need to lose weight so it’s “acceptable” for us to put on a swimming suit. If you want to help more women have an enjoyable summer, then sell a program that teaches them to be comfortable in their own skin. Because you, whether you are a multi-billion company or a mom hustling to make extra income for her family, are perpetuating the idea that the only acceptable type of body is a thin, toned one. Whether you are doing it on purpose or not, you are using the fears and insecurities of women to make money. And you are training the next generation of girls to hate their bodies in the process.
You are telling everyone who sees your advertisement that their bodies aren’t worthy of wearing a bikini unless they look like your models. You are telling everyone that in order to enjoy the beach you have to be a size 6 or less. You are telling everyone that that type of body is the only acceptable one. You are part of the reason why so many women and girls struggle with body image, why so many women and girls develop eating disorders in order to look a certain way, why women and girls spend their whole lives never enjoying the beach or the swimming pool because they aren’t worthy of showing their skin too.
And thousands, maybe millions of women are buying into your lies, only to be disappointed and sad when they still don’t have a “bikini-body” after 21 days. Millions of women and girls are hiding under cover-ups and not enjoying their summertime because you told them they needed a flat stomach to have fun at the beach, and they don’t have one.
Bikinis and beaches are not only for people with tight, toned bodies. Everyone is worthy of having the best summer of their lives, regardless of whether they get a thigh gap first. And I for one, am going to rock my plus-sized bikini this summer and not give a damn about it, because life is too short to be spent playing by someone else’s rules.