'Bikini Body' is a phrase we hear everywhere at this time of year: '10 steps to that perfect bikini body', 'Get that bikini body in just 30 days', 'Are you bikini body ready?'.
That alliterated phrase. What does it even mean?
Google it and you're faced with an array of slender, toned, tanned models and celebs. Washboard stomach? Check. Big boobs? Yep. Perky bum? Of course. Don't get me wrong, all of these ladies are gorgeous and hats off to them for what must be a huge commitment to the gym and a flawless diet. What I wonder is: are we all supposed to aspire to this one image of ideal?
In January I got it into my head that by summer I could alter my body to mirror the tsunami of bikini body images you'll find everywhere from magazines to adverts to apps. I made exercise plans, watched fitness videos, bought running shoes, and scrolled through Pinterest and We Heart It for 'fitness inspiration.' I'm not saying I went all out and nothing happened, because I really didn't commit to the exercise plans I made. My body is the same as it was in January but its taken me until now to think, what if its ok to just wear a bikini the way I am? What would be so wrong about that?
While exercise and a balanced diet are things we should all be incorporating into our lives, this should not be done with the intention of altering your body (unless its for health reasons etc). For example, I should accept the fact that my body is always going to be naturally bottom heavy. Even if I went to the gym everyday chances are I'd still carry extra weight on my legs because that's just my build.
Its important to remember, in this media frenzied society, that the images we are bombarded with of the 'ideal bikini body' don't reflect anywhere near what the majority of people look like or can achieve. Sometimes, it takes a reality check, or a little moment of inspiration, to realise 'Oh wait- there are other options.' Mine came a few days ago when I was looking through Tanya Burr's holiday snaps and saw her in her bikini and just thought wow. She looks amazing. Totally embracing her figure and not being afraid to do it with confidence. Everyone has a body. Anyone can have a bikini. Surely that means everyone has a bikini body?
So, instead of being disappointed in myself for not dropping a dress size or becoming a toned goddess, I'm just going to put on a bikini the way I am. Really, when was the last time you looked at someone and thought 'OMG they should not be wearing a bikini- they need to cover up from head to toe before I am sick?' because I personally never have. To be honest, most people are too preoccupied with their own thoughts and dramas to look twice at the girl who had that double cheeseburger instead of doing that hour workout.
There is no such thing as a perfect bikini body. Everyone's bikini body is different. We all have our own 'perfect' body: the best body we can realistically achieve. I have realised that its not possible to change your body into someone else's. Your body is yours and you're going to have it all your life so you may as well accept it; and maybe even love it.