The Instagram and Twitter hashtag, #fatkini has been gaining popularity, encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to post pictures of themselves in bikinis as a way of showing acceptance for their bodies. There are some who believe that by encouraging women in this way, it is the equivalent of saying that morbid obesity is okay and that health should not be a priority.
Here’s the the thing…
Issue #1: Size is not the only indicator of health.
There seems to be this belief that any woman who wears plus-sized clothes or self-identifies as “fat” is automatically, absolutely, without any doubt, unhealthy. There are slender people who fit into the average or below average weight columns that don’t eat healthy, don’t exercise, smoke, drink excessively and generally don’t take care of their bodies but once they slip on their socially acceptable two-piece bathing suits they are suddenly the picture of health.
Why? Because they have low body fat or were genetically gifted with a fast metabolism?
Some people are naturally lean while some people … aren’t. (gasp)
I know a number of people (myself included) that would be considered “fat” in the traditional sense that eat relatively well, workout, have a healthy mindset and take care of their bodies but still hold extra fat. Yes, in many cases, obesity has a direct correlation to serious health issues but can we put every person under the same umbrella?
Why does the sight of a bigger woman in a bikini illicit responses like this:
On a better note, all the people happy about #Fatkini will probably be dead in 2 years from heart disease/heart attack/diabetes
— Offen (@OffenFeind) August 11, 2014
— Wendy O (@glockster6) August 11, 2014
You cannot tell me they aren’t. Unless you’re their physician.
Issue #2: It’s okay to love yourself
Based on societal pressure to look a certain way, a lot of women hate their bodies. Slender women, average women, fat women, all women have at one point or another hated something about themselves for one reason or another.
No one should be shamed for loving the skin their in. Accepting and loving yourself at a certain size doesn’t mean you’re endorsing or obesity or unhealthy lifestyles. Maybe for some people it does mean that, but ultimately in order for anyone to be motivated to make healthy changes, they need confidence.
Shaming someone into hating their body is not going to give them the confidence to make positive choices, it will likely drive them deeper into a negative, self-hate-filled despair which ultimately makes an impact on a person’s overall mental and physical health.
Let’s not forget that an overwhelming majority of women posting bikini pictures and being labelled as “fat” and “unhealthy” are actually average-sized.
Issue #3: What’s it to you?
Since when are adult women, in free countries, not allowed to make choices about the clothing they put on their bodies?
If someone who you don’t find attractive puts on a two piece bathing suit and struts their stuff on the beach, you’ll just have to get over it because there are plenty of topless men out there that don’t have a ripped six pack and we’re all pretty okay with that.
Wear what makes you feel good about yourself without shame. No one else’s opinion really matters but your own.
Ultimately, rock whatever bathing suit you want. Enjoy what’s left of summer before we’re all wearing coats again.
— Cecily Grace (@cgmilligan) August 11, 2014