What is a bikini body anyway?

Feeling a bit sluggish after being completely inactive for a couple weeks, I came to the realization that I needed a new workout routine. As an active runner and having just completed a marathon, a, well-deserved, two weeks were taken off from any physical activity. Now, as I get back into the swing of things,  decided I needed a new, exciting workout plan. Instagram is a great platform that people use to promote themselves, businesses, hobbies, etc., using pictures.  While scrolling through posts on Instagram, I stumbled upon a trainer who promotes her workout regiment, marketed mainly towards females, with the title “Bikini Body Guide 1.0.” I instantly thought to myself ‘YES! I want a bikini body.’

With my interest sparked, I continued to browse this trainer’s Instagram page, which displayed many progress, before and after, pictures of women who completed this program. All the after pictures showed women with tight and toned ab, leg, and arm muscles. Additionally, these marketing-blog-postwomen were all posing in bikinis, which plays into the name of the program, “Bikini body guide 1.0.” It was then that I realized this image is being promoted to females, young and old, of what a bikini body is “supposed” to look like, and, based on my initial reaction, I realized I had fallen under the influence of these marketing messages as well.  

Now, everyone has a different intention for getting into a new workout routine, whether it be to simply lose weight or to improve their overall health; however, seeing this workout guide being named “Bikini body guide 1.0” along with the progress pictures, I could not help but to think about the struggle of body image that girls, particularly teenage girls, have.  

Social media is very popular in today’s world and many, many people are addicted to posting, liking, commenting, and browsing anything and everything on social media. With models, typically being rail thin, and workout guides being promoted as a way to get a bikini body, these teenage girls, who are trying to find their identities at such a vulnerable time in their lives, are constantly being influenced by these marketing messages.

I, too, struggled from time to time with the idea of body image. It is very hard to grow up being constantly surrounded with messages about what women are “supposed” to look like. To be a model you must be tall, skinny, have perfect skin, white teeth, beautiful hair, etc. These models are used to promote beauty, and all types of, products. So, what’s a girl supposed to think? In order to be beautiful I need to look like these models?

This is a sad struggle that a lot of girls go through. It is important to understand and take note of the fact that the way a product is promoted sends a lot of messages, good or bad, to a lot of people. I do not believe that it is the intention of marketing campaigns to send a bad message to the public; however, it easily could be received that way.

Workout guides should be promoted as a way for you to better yourself to live a healthier, and happier, lifestyle. Not to impose body image standards, whether the intention to do so was there or not, about what a bikini body does or does not look like.

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