Last Saturday my friend and I went shopping. Considering summer is rapidly approaching, bathers were silently placed at the top of the list.
I say silently because, between us, the particular time of the month we visited, pizza and vino consumption from the night before, lack of waxing and a full time job/ disgusting university assignments deemed us less than cover shoot ready. According to ourselves anyway.
Doubt surrounding whether we were beach ready was quickly forgotten however, when we entered the Seafolly haven of bright colours, barely- there brazillian style genital cages, mixed in with fuller briefs and one pieces that seem to be missing parts. All in the name of farrrsharn, right?
Despite the scary thought of being caught in a rip in the majority of pieces, I was rather impressed with the brands latest range. It was not until I had both arms stacked with varying styles in a cloud of optimism and exotic island fantasy, when I heard a lovely, down to earth, very approachable shop assistant say, (in an empathetic tone, while frantically clipping the high pile of change room returns) “Nobody is ever happy. Every day I hear about the body parts women dream of nipping and tucking…”.
Remaining on my delusional planet, I brushed off the comment with a “poor girls, fuck society” thought, while rolling my eyes at the model on the wall. It wasn’t until someone FINALLY freed up a change room (departing in a huff) that I could join my pal in the neighbouring box. And then BOOM. My plane landed so suddenly on the tar mat, that I hit my head.
Well that is what it felt like, as the wave of self-doubt and ridicule set in. That poor little gluten-free pizza was copping a lot of blame for the mirror image staring back at me… apparently the hips don’t lie. (What purpose have all the kale juices served? maybe I should have given up sugar after all!)
Now, I’ve never been one to shy away from water environments, and I love the free feeling of floating around in my kini’ poolside, particularly with a coconut or mojito in hand. I usually do so after devouring some form of carbs, I’m married to pasta after all. Simply put, I consider myself a comfortable bikini wearer.
Maybe it was hormones, the confined space in which I assessed ever angle of myself in, or the ‘pressure‘ from the poor souls offering constant support to silent customers. Or maybe it was the images I had been swamped with in the catalogue, on social media, or in my head. Ridiculous expectations once again, had dropped a hot (bird like) shit on my head.
Luckily, my wonderful gal pal came to the rescue, slipping into my changing hot box and sorting me out (just as she has, time and time again, throughout Europe and over lotsa vino and antipasto). Thanks to our backpacking experiences, my gal is well and truly familiar with my body shape and proved that, she does actually know what suits me, better than I do. Funnily, I was able to do the same for her, just not myself.
After re- evaluating my priorities, self-development and whether or not all those meditation classes had actually been worth the silence and ass numbing, I went on my phone, and saw the back lash the latest Victoria Secret campaign has received world-wide.
And then I realised: ohhh that’s right, I’m just another gal, who has fallen victim to the UNREALISTIC expectations created by the media, once again.
- This might be why we are never happy
- This might be why eating disorders, depression and anxiety rates are on the rise
- This might be why women bitch about each other and themselves all the time
- This may have something to do with the beauty industry
- This may be why so many fad diets exist
- This DEFINITELY is a major issue.
THERE IS HOPE THOUGH!
In response To the Victoria Secret campaign, lingerie brand JD Williams has launched a #PerfectlyImperfect campaign to promote body confidence for all women, of all ages, sizes and shapes.
The campaign includes the above image which features models size 10-16.
The brand hopes that the #FavouriteFlaw hashtag on social media platforms will inspire women to share the things they love about themselves and encourage others to look at their own bodies in a positive light – in a celebration of real beauty.
When I next brave the self sabotage that can be swim suit shopping, I plan to take this image with me, along with perspective in the form of an honest friend, quite like Stephy.
In the mean time, I’ll eat some curry, do some yoga and continue to work towards challenging to dominant views that are eating us up.
FYI- I found two fabulous sets that I plan to rock all summer along.