What Does It Mean to be Beach Body Ready? Swimwear and Sexual Appeal
Identity

What Does It Mean to be Beach Body Ready? Swimwear and Sexual Appeal

By Emmeline Peaches, 21.04.2022

The sun is coming out and, in some places, it’s already in full force.

People are swarming to beaches, sunbathing in their gardens, and generally getting themselves in to swimwear and bikinis to enjoy the weather.

And, with that, comes the ‘beach body’ trend.

Being ‘Beach Body Ready’

The idea of a ‘beach body’ has been around for many years but it really came in to the public limelight back in April 2015 when a protein company posted up a bunch of adverts in the UK asking individuals if they were ‘Beach Body Ready?’ alongside a very slim female model and their weight loss products.

The gauntlet was thrown down.

Body positive individuals highlighted the fact that every body is beach body ready. The company tried to defend themselves saying that their advert was not body shaming, as many people accused it of being, but was more about giving people a choice of how to manage their body around the summer season. Here’s the thing though – it’s hard to say you’re not shaming people’s current body when you’re trying to sell people something to shrink their body in the actual advert.

The term ‘beach body’ has been around since 1998, at least in an exercise and weight management capacity. The ‘Beachbody’ company has a better ethos to the idea of beaches and working out but, again, the idea that exercise or being perceived as ‘fit’ being linked to a ‘beach body’ is inherent in the idea of this workout company.

Before the ‘beach body’ there was also the ‘bikini body’ which touted the exact same notion of fitness being a necessity before you could dare to consider taking your body to the beach. The premise behind all of these companies, terms, and trends being a social pressure to look a certain way in order to actually earn the right to put on swimwear and enjoy the beach.

But, here’s the thing…

Your Body Is Beach Body Ready

The protestors to the 2015 ‘beach body’ advert hit the nail on the head – every body, any body, is ‘beach body ready.’ If you have a body and you’re planning on taking it to the beach then you’re already ‘ready.’

Okay, maybe there are a few pre-requisites, but those are mainly sun screen lotion, sunglasses, and other skin and body-protective items that will make sure that you don’t have any long-term health concerns from prolonged sun exposure.

There is a trend in our society to shame people for not meeting certain aesthetic criteria, especially if criticizing that criteria can get profits in to the wallets of companies that are looking to expand their profit.

There’s a reason that the weight loss industry was worth $175.94 billion in 2017 and it has very little to do with how people look in their swimwear.

What matters when we go out in the summer isn’t the shape of our body. Instead, it’s our quality of life and the emotions that we experience during our adventures.

Being able to run, love, laugh, swim, and splash about frantically in deep blue oceans is much more important then whether or not we have a body that meets a specific visual criteria – a criteria set by people who make a profit through telling us that we’re not quite there yet.

The secret element that ‘beach body ready’ companies are trying to sell us can’t be gained through their products. It’s a sense of confidence, playfulness, and self care that we must nurture internally, not seek for externally.

The Devil’s Advocate

That’s not to say that bikinis, flowy dresses, and other beach wear isn’t important. It is.

People like to feel good about themselves. It’s an inherent human desire. Clothing is part of our identity – it helps shape how we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us. How others see us isn’t really important, but how we want to present ourselves to others is, for our own wellbeing more than anything else. Because of this, we place a lot of importance in dressing in ways that make us feel good.

So, being ‘beach body ready’ by feeling happy with how we look is important in many ways.

But, again, feeling good about our appearance is much less about how others look (or how others tell us we should look) and much more about how we feel in ourselves.

It’s about feeling true to ourselves, confident, and doing our best to make sure our internal identity matches our external display of that identity.

For some people this might mean meeting a certain body shape, but that’s not the only way.

Nurturing a strong sense of self identity, focusing on confidence-developing exercises, and then enjoying life on life’s terms, is much more important for being ‘beach body ready’ even when it comes to picking the right outfit for the occasion.

So, Are You Beach Body Ready?

We’d like to think so.

If, however, you are feeling a bit tentative, remember – what you do to love yourself is infinitely more powerful then any product, garment, or external standard will ever be.

Be true to you, enjoy your time at the beach, and rock your own original style and you are more prepared then any advert will ever try to make you be.

You got this. 

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