So this summer, after 42 years of being body-shamed! I have finally done it….. I have bought a bikini! I’m wondering will you be wearing shorts, vests, playsuits, bikinis this year? 2019 is set to see massive changes in the way we see ourselves & show our bodies. With many mainstream companies adding plus-sized clothing ranges for both male and female bodies, encouraging us to love the skin we are in. The way we see ourselves & our self-esteem is being bolstered by those of us who champion the body-positive ideals.
So many empowering and body-positive adverts in the media have influenced my summer wardrobe have found my wardrobe see a lot of ‘firsts’ this year. I have stepped out of my comfort by wearing a ‘T-shirt dress’ and having ordered some very different clothes from the retailer Simply Be. The advertising that ‘we are more than our bodies’ and Sainsbury’s Tu ‘Summer of love’ campaign. So many body-positive messages & acceptance of those of us who are plus size and those who are smaller than the standard sizes.
The ‘Eff your beauty standards’ campaign started by plus-sized Tess Holliday in 2012 was a challenge to anyone who believes that you cannot be beautiful over a size 10. Holliday, the first plus-size 26, tattooed model signed by a modeling agency in 2016 catapulted the idea that people who are different sizes should be celebrated and everyone should feel beautiful, this has fuelled a social media campaign that influencers & alike have made these retailers take notice.
There have been so many discussions in the media around body positivity. Recently Nike London’s flagship store added plus-sized & para-sport mannequins which caused some pretty strong opinions. Nike’s plus-sized collection which goes up to a size 32, celebrates and advocates for all athletes. Nike hasn’t just sized up existing products, it’s adapted the range in mind that body weights are distributed differently for everybody & they have made variations to suit different shapes and styles. Why shouldn’t we be able to exercise in comfort if we are bigger or smaller than the average?
The introduction of the plus-sized mannequins caused uproar with The Telegraph’s writer Tanya Gold claiming that ‘obese mannequins are selling women a dangerous lie’ by spouting vitriol at the plus-sized mannequin claiming she is ‘immense, gargantuan, vast and heaving with fat’ she also goes in to say ‘The new mannequin is obese and not readying herself for a run in her shiny Nike gear. She cannot run. She is more likely, pre-diabetic and on her way to a hip replacement.’ Surely having a more extensive range for all shapes & sizes will encourage more people to exercise.
Having seen a picture of Tanya Gold, I would say she is over a size 12 and perhaps her self esteem around her own issues caused this outrageous post. The post on 9 June 2019 implies that people who are plus size are uninterested in fitness and exercise. Gold has received backlash from body positive advocates and plus-sized models & influencers.
Nike’s ‘powerful decision’ to showcase plus-sized mannequins coincides with Sainsbury’s Tu ‘#summer of love’ & Simply Be’s ‘#MoreThanOurBodies’ campaign. Could this shift in consciousness be something that scares those who are happy to just see what they class as ‘nice shaped body average size 10-12’ & have to experience people who used to hide their bodies away showing curves & lumps & bumps.
So which will you be doing this summer? Baring the skin you are in & embracing your body? There has never been a better time to buy clothes no matter what your size, shape & confidence level.
For me, I will be the plus-sized ginger one in the bikini or crop-top and ‘short’ shorts. Dresses without leggings, vests or plus size swimsuits & enjoying the rest of this journey me and my body are on & ignoring the fat shamers & enjoy the skin that I am in.