Translation: In order for you to feel good about being in a bikini, you most lose weight/inches BEFORE you even think about putting the bikini on.
I resent this because I firmly believe having a positive body image is a mental process, not a physical one. People can be body-confident and bikini ready regardless of their size. (Maybe I'm saying this because I posted a picture of myself in a bikini on the internets only when I was sure that nothing anyone said would bring me down.) Besides, there are just as many larger people that feel sexy and confident in a two piece as there are thin people that hyper-critical (See Brazil).
So of course I tweeted a one-liner about being pissed off about this (my anger toward magazines should be nothing new to anyone who reads my blog):
And of course that snowballed into a conversation and then the usual being misconstrued.
While I understand what @monikawoolsey was trying to say about drawing more attention to the obsession not helping people be less obsessed, I disagree firmly. There is no counterbalance if no one (either professionals in the health/fitness community or consumers themselves) speaks up and says "Health and wellness (mental and physical) comes in all sizes and shapes. No one body shape owns the bikini."
As for being misconstrued, if you read the link you'll see that she calls me "a woman who advocates for size acceptance." Okay, that's far from slander, but it's terribly inaccurate. NAAFA I am not.
Where the size acceptance community and I diverge in opinion revolves around the issue of health. I don't think someone who is obese or morbidly obese (overweight is a different story) is in their right mind if/when they claim to be healthy (i.e. without their weight impacting their health). I'm not saying one needs to be able to run a marathon in order to be considered healthy, but I'd venture to say there are certain co-morbidity factors that would suggest being excessively overweight is in the "to be avoided" category.
So yeah... doot da do.... if you've done the work to feel good about yourself physically and mentally, why should anyone or anything tell you that it is not enough (whether you're at the finish line or in progress)? Why should the world's opinion of your physical/mental wellness out-rank your own? If you feel confident in a bikini, then wear a fucking bikini. Own it! Strut down the beach in the bikini. Gracefully float in that bikini. So what if the world (or magazines, or other people) doesn't think you're worthy of donning the itty-bitty-teenie-weenie yellow polka-dots? The world can shove it.
|this is what freedom looks like|
I think Sheryl says it best (as she often does):
You may not be able to change certain aspects of your physical self, but you *can* change the way you think about them and accept them, at least eventually. But just like everything else, you will only get there if you begin to work on making that change. And just like everything else - you can do it, you can make that change. If you believe you can. So believe. And do it! Your body is amazing and you need to see that - even if you don't see it in the mirror. Yet.