Labeling your body at all, much less in terms of an article of clothing, is counter-productive says Tracy Stickler, editor-in-chief of Healthline.com. Labels assume there is a “good” or “bad” body or a “right” or “wrong” way to dress said body. In reality all bodies are good bodies. “We need to move beyond labeling our bodies as anything […] and respect our bodies, as is, regardless of the season or what we’re wearing,” she adds. (Labels are not for people but they can be hilarious on inanimate objects, like these 21 hilarious product labels.)
“Bikini body” is code for “go on a diet”
When you hear the phrase “bikini body” or see it on a magazine, it’s never just a statement of fact. More often than not it’s used as a bludgeon for women to punish themselves and their non-perfect bodies with. “The phrase ‘bikini body’ is almost always paired with action items like ‘how to get a…’ or ’10 steps to a…’,” Stickler points out. “Instead of offering yet another reason to diet and exercise our way to Sports Illustrated perfection, let’s move beyond the notion of an ‘ideal body’ and empower one another to #embracethesquish.” Not to mention crash diets don’t work anyhow.
It implies that you aren’t good enough
“When we read the words ‘Bikini Body’ in a magazine, we are reading in between the lines that say, ‘I’m not good enough unless I have that body of that girl on the cover’,” explains Robyn Cruze, Eating Recovery Center national recovery advocate. “For me, just the term implies that if I show up as I am, I will be judged and rejected.” And not only does it set you up for feeling less-than, it also gives other people power to judge your body based on that arbitrary standard, making for a vicious cycle of self-hate and public body shaming.