Health & Wellness

Women Compare Their Beach Style To Society’s Expectations For A Body-Positive Trend

While everyone has a body, not all bodies are judged the same in our society. For curvier women, body shaming has been commonplace, especially when it comes to wearing bathing suits. The idea that plus-size women should be afraid to show off their bodies for some fun in the sun isn’t just wrong, it’s ridiculous. The newest viral TikTok trend is encouraging plus-size women to embrace their beach bodies and styles, and most importantly, forget the haters.

As usual, Lizzo started the trend.

Iconic singer, Lizzo, is known for uplifting larger women and challenging societal beauty standards by shamelessly flaunting her plus-size body in all of its glory. She posted on her Instagram page, writing, “PSA: BIG GRRRL SUMMER = BREAK OUT THE BIKINIS,” along with a video of her strutting her stuff in a bikini and some neon green sunglasses. For many, her post was the empowering dose of Lizzo magic they needed to take action, too.

TikTok users decided to expand the conversation.

Lizzo has opened many doors for discussion when it comes to plus-size women asserting their bodies and showing them off despite any public scrutiny. Plus-size TikTokers decided to take this stance to the next level by posting TikTok videos of themselves covered up (what society expects) and then how they actually go to the beach (in cute bathing suits that show some skin). The trend has gone viral.

They’re ditching societal body standards.

From an early age, many are taught that big people, especially women, aren’t beautiful. In a toxic culture of fatphobia, people are forced to associate being thin with being worthy, attractive and successful. This TikTok trend has people expressing just how tired they are of that old narrative. The idea is, and continues to be, that beauty comes in all sizes.

A body size is never something to apologize for.

For too long, plus-size women have felt pressure to apologize for the way they look when wearing bathing suits or even showing a little skin in public. However, the pressure to apologize, is something they’ve been conditioned into believing is necessary. The reality that TikTok users joining this trend want to point out is, size shouldn’t equal shame.

Body-shaming takes a toll on mental health.

Body shaming is closely related to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, and overall self-hatred. People joining this trend are daring to defy what they’ve been taught to believe about their bodies, and the bodies of others, to finally change the narrative around body image. They’re hoping to not only uplift themselves, but others as well.

Plus-size women are often harassed about their bodies.

As if body shaming in general isn’t enough already, plus-size women are also targeted by strangers based on what they “should and shouldn’t wear,” which is body policing. Body policing is not only horrible, but it’s also harassment. It’s literally no one’s place to create their own personal dress code based on which bodies they consider valuable. TikTok user Themhoffers captioned her video, explaining that she’s been told to “cover up” because “no one wanted to see all that,” and once upon a time, she agreed with them. However, now, she shows as much skin as she pleases with pride.

#AllBodiesAreSummerbodies is a popular movement online.

Every year, diets, workouts and trends are dedicated to helping people get the “perfect summer body,” which usually means thin, toned and small. This standard makes those that don’t fit into that very narrow body category feel as if they’ve failed and should be embarrassed. However, #AllBodiesAreSummerBodies on TikTok is highlighting people that believe that their bodies are ready for the sunny season just as they are.

The support has been pouring in.

TikTok | @itsjustjocelynk

To little surprise, plenty of people are pretty tired of being pressured to wear (or not wear) certain things depending on their bodies, and just want to celebrate each other in healing and supportive spaces, which is powerful. The comments for many TikTok influencers have been exceedingly positive, including @itsjustjocelynk’s glowing comments section.

We can only hope the trend keeps going.

It’s time to replace comparison with collectivism, and it looks like these TikTok users are moving the Lizzo beat along with their sense of community-building and body love. Plus-size isn’t a “bad word,” but it’s bad to make people feel as if it is. @itsjustjocelynk, who’s a therapist, in addition to being a TikTok influencer explains, “When we receive these awful messages from society and feel the pressures of it, or see things on social media that can put individuals in a place of comparison, our mental health can suffer. I know for me personally, comparing is easy to do — we are human! Comparison can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and/or depression.”

Let us know what you think of this TikTok trend in the comments and if you’re down to ditch body image standards and rock your best beach outfit regardless of size.

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