Opinion

Editor’s column: sod having a “beach body”

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Welcome to my first column at the newly revamped Liberty Belle Magazine (check back each month for my thoughts on various on-goings). It’s been a long road but we are finally live!

Thanks to all of the team, from the writers to the section editors, who helped us get the magazine to this stage – here’s to a successful future for Liberty Belle.

“SOD the so-called BEACH BODIES and enjoy your summer.”

Oh, piss off.

piss off, please

I saw a picture on Facebook the other day with a caption that first made me laugh, then made me think. It read “how to have a bikini body: step one, put bikini on; step two, have bikini body.” Simple enough.

If only it were as simple as that though. Right from the moment we enter the world we are exposed to numerous pressures about how we should look and behave. If we don’t, we feel such a weight on our shoulders that we don’t fit in with the norm, and even if we do, the concept of the “ideal woman’s body” is a constantly changing entity that you couldn’t hope to keep up with if you tried.

Indeed, women’s perceptions of themselves have a bit of a bad rep: apparently we all think badly of ourselves and have low self esteem, especially if we are not living up to the “ideal” standard. It seems to me that the 2010’s ideal is, frankly, more unattainable than ever: a round, squat-induced bum, DD boobs, a flat, sculpted stomach, a tiny waist and a pair of pins a gazelle would envy – with the appropriate thigh gap, of course – all in one woman. God forbid that you can’t achieve that one on your own merits.

It’s difficult not to succumb to pressures to try and live up to an ideal like this, though. It’s well known that we envy the well-exercised celebrities we put on a pedestal and thus are drawn to online articles with the headlines “get so-and-so’s killer arms/legs/stomach/bum.” It only takes a glimpse of these to make us feel guilty about that Nando’s we had last night or our terrible relationship with the gym. The most vulnerable of us may even feel like we need to abuse our bodies because we don’t live up to such standards.

unnamed unnamed

THIS IS NOT OKAY, LADIES. Nobody can make you feel like you aren’t good enough the way you are and you shouldn’t feel like you need to change because of the say so of anyone else. Putting your body through hell just to live up to someone else’s expectations is just not worth it.

I am learning to embrace my thick thighs and the little muffin top I have because in reality they don’t affect the kind of person I am, and I don’t need to measure myself against a supermodel status to feel beautiful (and I just love food, OK?). A healthy mind and body lead to the feel good factor and having self confidence is something I’m pretty sure is never going out of fashion.

There’s such a huge range of swimwear out there nowadays that I can 10000000% say that there’s a style that makes you look good. Whether you’ve got a straight up boyish frame or curves a Greek goddess would envy, it doesn’t matter so long as you’re healthy: we all have a bikini body so learn to embrace yours. You are beautiful, girls!!

We can always convince ourselves that we need to be better, thinner, prettier, have a smaller boobs or a bigger bum. Learning to be content with your body image is a difficult thing but its far cheaper than a life of diet shakes, plastic surgery and a hardcore personal training routine. Having a positive view of yourself is one of the most difficult things to achieve, but the most rewarding. So let’s aspire to being a bit more positive about ourselves and a bit less influenced by a (non-existent) “bikini body” ideal. Put that bikini on and embrace your bikini body.

Enjoy this month’s content,

Lucy x

Aminah Khan is your Editor-in-Chief

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