Ah, Spring Break. The cherished and much needed week-long break from classes and responsibilities. This time consists of people heading out for a deserved vacation, whether to a beach to lounge and tan or to mountains to ski on the snowy slopes.
As a college student and as a female, however, I have noticed a growing trend in females prepping for Spring Break by getting "Bikini Ready," or working out and extreme dieting a few weeks or months before their vacation to lose weight to look or feel better in a bikini for the beach.
And honestly, I am bewildered by this.
I personally never felt comfortable in a bikini. Since I was young, I preferred wearing either one piece or a two piece "tankini" swimsuit whenever I would head out to the pool or the beach. I didn't feel confident in my body, even as a young kid. But other kids would splash around in the pool in their bikinis from Justice or Limited Too (what a throwback) and I would lounge and soak in the sun with my Old Navy one piece proudly.
For me to not feel comfortable in a bikini from an early age says a lot about our culture. We are taught that a bikini should be worn by a skinny woman with a thigh gap and not fat whatsoever. Growing up watching TV, glancing at tabloids and celebrity magazines as our moms and dads checked out groceries at the store, we saw images of celebrities ridiculed for their bodies in bikinis as they had a small belly sticking out or they lacked a thigh gap.
From an early age, we are conditioned to believe that is what it means to have a "bikini ready body." And that's not OK.
Despite the fact that there is a growing trend in body positivity in our world, with campaigns from companies such as Aerie from American Eagle and Dove promoting the idea that beauty is all shapes and sizes, people still promote the negative ideas of what real beauty looks like. Social media has become a major influence on the young people in society, and the effects it has on their minds and ideology about beauty standards has contributed to the idea of having the "bikini ready body."
So ladies. I urge you to not try and starve yourselves to lose a few pounds. I urge you to not push yourself like crazy on a treadmill to look good in a swimsuit.
Because you know why? You already look good in a swimsuit. Like really good.
Don't let society define your body as not swimsuit ready. You are perfect the way you are and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.