England-based plus-size blogger — Caroline, of the popular Instagram account curvywordy — fully embraces the skin she’s in. She’s also passionate about encouraging others to do so with their own bodies.
The lingerie and clothing influencer recently shared an image modeling a high-waisted bikini on vacation and attached a powerful message on body acceptance to it.
“I’m on holiday at the moment and I wear bikinis everyday,” she began in the post. “Nobody has died looking at me; nobody’s eyes have burned at the sight of me. In fact, if anything, the opposite has been true, but that’s not the point of this post.”
“This is my body. It’s my #bikinibody, my #summerbody, my #beachbody. It’s my 24/7, 365 body,” she added alongside the image. “The majority of media outlets tell me to despise my body because it doesn’t conform to the perceived ‘ideal’. I’m told to lose weight, do more exercise, do whatever it takes to be thin. But how can I hate something that enables me to live my life? My body can run, walk, skip, jump, cuddle, swim, love, and much more. Just because it’s larger, just because it wobbles, just because it has cellulite, should I hate it? No. All of these things are perfectly natural and I refuse to restrict myself just because a magazine tells me I should hide away until I’m thinner.”
Caroline feels that the stigma attached to having the perfect “bikini body” is fueled by celebrities and unrealistic images on Instagram and other social platforms.
“This whole ‘bikini body’ nonsense is something that is promoted by the media in order to feed into diet culture,” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “As a society we obsess with what we eat and don’t eat, what we wear, and how we look. Social media in particular drives this forward, with people posting Photoshopped pictures and ‘before and after’ pics, which are often nothing more than a carefully angled body and some strategically placed clothing. Sometimes this obsession can stop us doing things — as we are told that we shouldn’t dare to wear swimwear unless we have lost at least 10 pounds on some crazy crash diet.”
She feels that famous figures play a large role in the ways young women see themselves. “Celebrities can be very influential too — Kim Kardashian posted on social media about how happy she was that having the flu had caused her to lose weight. Utterly ridiculous, and it sends out a very dangerous message to young women,” she says.
She believes these messages can shape body image ideals in society in an unhealthy and negative way. “When we’re surrounded by these messages, it can be hard to ignore them, and women in particular can feel under pressure to conform to a perceived ‘ideal,’” she says. “The fact of the matter is that your body is your business. If people don’t like how you look, they can easily avert their eyes.”
Unlike many women who struggle with body insecurities, Caroline has always been pretty comfortable with herself. “I think I’ve always embraced and accepted the skin I’m in; I’ve always worn bikinis — one-piece swimsuits simply didn’t work on my out-in-out body — and I don’t think I’ve ever felt the need to be ashamed of my body. Yes, I have days when I feel less confident or where I compare myself negatively to others, but I just get on with life,” she says.
To those who choose to critique her body and leave hateful comments, Caroline has a strong message. “If judging me is how they choose to spend their day, then so be it; but surely there are a million nicer and more enjoyable things they could be doing instead,” she says. “Judging me based on my appearance alone makes you a very shallow person. I feel sorry for people like that, as very often this sort of behavior comes about because the people themselves have experienced it. It’s a form of bullying, and it’s completely unacceptable. If it’s not hurting you, why is it any of your business?”
The blogger says she will continue to use her platform to support body positivity. “I’ve been blogging and posting on social media for five and a half years, and I regularly get messages from women asking how they can be more body-confident,” she shares. “I have posted similar statements in the past, and I’ll continue to do so, as it’s important to buck the ‘bikini body’ trend that’s spouted by the media and get the message across that all bodies are good bodies and people can wear whatever they want.”
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