You wanna know what you need to have a "bikini body"? A bikini. And a body.
Laci Green agrees, reassuring viewers in her latest MTV Braless video that "Every body is a bikini body."
"The message that we get over and over again is that some people’s bodies shouldn’t be seen," Green says. "If you don’t look like this, if you don’t fit into that, you need to hide your body. You shouldn’t go to the beach or pool and have fun and enjoy your life. You should just stay home and feel ashamed."
Green takes us through the lifecycle of bikini anxiety. When we were kids, whipping out the bathing suit meant a fun day in the sun, splashing around in the pool before we ever knew what "cellulite" was. But suiting up can become more and more fraught as we're exposed to society's absurd standards for what a "bikini body" should look like.
The irony of the "bikini body" as we know it is that initially -- when the two-piece swimsuits were introduced in the 40s and 50s -- bikinis were considered immoral, and "women who wore them were daring rebels against tradition," Green explains. But this air of female liberation was quickly trampled by the diet industry and the media, both of which capitalized on the sex appeal of the bikini body, turning a woman's appearance into "a marketing strategy...to make women feel bad about themselves."
In the video, Green proposes an alternative to the "bikini body" stereotype, urging women of all shapes and sizes to "stand up against companies and media that are profiting off the body-shame machine." "We need to just enjoy ourselves at the damn beach," Green says. "Being in public and participating in summer activities are not privileges reserved for the ultra-thin and able."
Ain't that the truth. Now throw on that bikini (or one-piece or whatever) and be confident in the body that's working it. And remember, there are no bikini bodies -- only bikini weather.
Still not sure if you have a bikini body? Click here to find out.