Changing the Definition of "Bikini Body"

By: Ashtyn Dolenuck (@electrashtyn)

If I asked you what the words "bikini body" meant to you, what would your response be? Would you use adjectives along the lines of "toned, strong, sexy"? Would it make you think of an unattainable standard?

Women's Health Magazine said yes. This led to the ban of the words "bikini body" and "drop two sizes" from their magazine, this starting year. Women's Health's editor-in-chief Amy Kellar Laird said, "You told us you don’t love the words shrink and diet, and we’re happy to say we kicked those to the cover curb ourselves over the past year. But we’re still using two other phrases – Bikini Body and Drop Two Sizes –that you want retired. Since our goal is always to pump you up, and never to make you feel bad, here’s our pledge: They’re gone."

Now, I understand what they're trying to do here. They're trying to drop the idea that you need to be "skinny" or "fit" to be beautiful, which is fantastic. However, censorship is never the way to go about doing something like this.

Let me point out to you where dropping the phrase "bikini body" may have its faults.

Banning this phrase will not change the false pretense every woman has in the back of her mind – which is that skinnier looks nicer. It will not change societies ideas or opinions on the female body. It just censors it out temporarily, while we all continue thinking "skinnier looks nicer," like a bunch of robots.

If they really wanted to pump you up and never make you feel bad, then they would be doing something to change women's minds on their bodies. If they're really all about women's health, then maybe they should be doing something about women's mental health and her false pretenses about her own body and the way it looks.

Changing the idea of what having a "bikini body" should mean would do so much more than what their censorship will ever accomplish.