It's that time of year again. The "bikini body" time of year.
As the weather gets warmer, advertisers want every woman to believe that her body isn't in good enough shape to be seen on the beach. Instead she needs to purchase a diet plan/ gym class/ sculpting regimen/ low-fat yogurt to "fix" herself and get "beach ready." All women should aspire to be healthy and strong, but the focus on how ladies look on the shore is getting completely out of control.
While men are certainly subjected to body scrutiny, the "beach body" rhetoric seems to be a particularly female circle of hell. For example, check out theSE pop-up ads on the complementary Women's Health and Men's Health websites:
Women are told they should only opt out of the 21-day plan if they "already have a bikini body" -- which, by Women's Health standards, looks like the slim, perfectly toned, white woman's body on their pop-up.
Here's the cold, hard truth: a bikini body is simply a body with a bikini on it. If you have washboard abs and Michelle Obama arms, that's great for you, but those things shouldn't feel like a necessary precursor to wearing a bathing suit in public. Just because that two-piece looks amazing on the Victoria's Secret model in the catalog doesn't mean it's only "meant" for women of that body type.
In the name of celebrating that all bodies are bikini bodies, we're inviting our readers to send in pictures of themselves in their bathing suits. Because all bodies are beach bodies -- skinny, fat, curvy, straight and every variation in-between.
LOOK: Real 'Bikini Bodies'