‘Get bikini ready,’ ‘Lose weight for bikini season’ and ‘Check out our bikini body makeover’ are slogans that are frequently seen on newspapers, magazines, fitness ads, and of course, the social media pages of plastic surgeons. However, many would argue that the entire concept of an objective bikini body (36” 24” 36”) has been eroded over the decades, with the new millennium putting the final nail in the coffin.
The question these days isn’t whether your body is good enough to display in a bikini; rather, more important questions include, ‘What color and style would suit me best?’ ‘How waterproof is the material on this bikini?’ or ‘What is the influencer I most identify with wearing on the beach this summer?’
Diversity Strikes A Chord In Fashion
These days, it is not uncommon to find top fashion brands relying on models with diverse body types. Just a few ‘body positive’ brands include Alpine Butterfly, Bruna Malucelli, and Lonely Label. These and many other brands openly claim to promote self love ‘at any size’ and they are designing bikinis that follow the latest trends, the only difference being that their models (and sizes) represent the different body types of fashion buyers.
Designer Anna-Maria Sommer celebrates bikini day 2020 by recommending a few trends for this year. These include shiny lycra and high-cut bottoms, as well as classic yet minimalistic cuts. Mix and match is also in; mix colors and prints for an individual, cheeky look that will look great on your Instagram page.
More Than A Publicity Stunt
Graphic designer and slow fashion advocate Elise Epp describes a sensation she had recently when viewing an Instagram post by a swimsuit brand displaying their collection in a wide array of body types. “Warm fuzzies” is what she called it, and it may strike a chord with you. There is indeed a big difference between campaigns that feel like ‘publicity stunts’ and those that simply display the female body in all its unique wonder. Body diversity is good for business, but it also helps undo the years of pressure to conform to unrealistic standards or to images that have been (unbeknownst to the public decades ago) significantly retouched.
There is a big difference between promoting unhealthy lifestyles and simply showing that everyone should be able to enjoy the summer, regardless of there they have a bikini body or not. Now you can just go out there, cellulite, blubber, and all and don a beautiful plus-size swimsuit while you enjoy a day out beneath the sun (and a few dips into the pool or ocean).
Body Diversity Is Part Of A Bigger Mission
For many designers, hiring models of various sizes is part of a bigger goal – that of promoting acceptance in all its forms. In 2017, fashion brand Eckhaus Latta broke the mold by featuring a pregnant model on the runway. More recently, 22-year old catwalk sensation Sofía Jirau (who happens to have Downs Syndrome) stunned audiences at New York Fashion Week, donning gorgeous designs by Marissa Santiago.
It is almost surprising these days to think that it has taken literally hundreds of years for diversity to take hold of the fashion industry the way it has. These days, catwalks represent the true gamut of human beings like never before. Swimwear is one industry that has embraced all body types, with top brands featuring models donning clothing in a variety of sizes. It makes sense, considering that the average person does not have the model-size proportions and cliche “bikini body” that was once almost ‘imposed’ in decades like the 1980s and 1990s. Today, it’s all about enjoying the best that nature has to offer, just the way you are.