You probably aren’t used to seeing swimwear models who look like this, but seriously, it’s about time.
Swimwear retailer Swimsuits for All launched a new body-positive campaign featuring plus-size models Robyn Lawley, Jada Sezer, Shareefa J, and fashion blogger Gabi Gregg — showing that beauty comes in all forms. In a nod to Sports Illustrated‘s annual swimsuit issue, the models also posed in a reenactment of this year’s, ahem, cheeky cover.
It’s been 10 years since Dove launched it’s iconic “Real Beauty” campaign, but despite its huge success, there still remains an unrealistic standard when it comes to beauty. Turn on any channel, flip through any magazine, and you’ll see it right before you.
The truth is, a lot of women do not like their bodies, and undoubtedly, media coverage contributes to feelings of inadequacy. According to DoSomething.org, approximately 91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape, even though only 5 percent of American women naturally possess the body type often seen in the media.
“The representatives of women in mainstream culture are usually so small,” Gregg, who’s a size 18, says in the video below. “Just because we have such a diversity of sizes in the real world, what happens is that so many women see those girls and they think they have to look like them.”
Since body image is so closely linked to self-esteem, a slew of problems can result, including eating disorders, depression and isolation, when women (adolescents especially) have such negative thoughts about their size.
While swimwear campaigns might not completely change the way the majority of women feel about their bodies, it’s important to keep positive and affirming messages and images out there.
Especially if it means one more woman feels confident enough to rock a bikini on the beach this summer.