With the summer months fast approaching, women – and men – are already being urged to ‘get their beach bodies ready’ so that they can look their best when the time comes to slip into a swimsuit.
But a new social media campaign is aiming to prove that it takes nothing other than putting on a swimsuit in order to get a swimsuit body, encouraging women from across the country to share pictures of themselves stripped down to their swimwear in celebration of their natural body shape.
Created by Target, the campaign sees women proudly sharing images of their bodies on social media using the hashtag #NoFOMO – or, no fear of missing out – fighting back against the suggestion that a woman might feel she has to miss out on wearing a swimsuit because of the way her body looks.
Sharing it all: Women across the country are sharing images of themselves in their swimwear as part of a new campaign aimed at celebrating body diversity
Happy with what you have: The campaign, which uses the hashtag #NoFOMO – or, no fear of missing out – hits back at the suggestion that women have to look a certain way in order to wear a swimsuit or bikini
Proud: Many of the women involved in the campaign also took the opportunity to detail their own experiences with body shaming, or to share their insecurities about their looks – and how they overcame them
Led by a group of fashion bloggers, the hashtag has since seen hundreds of posts, with many of the women opting to share stories of their personal experiences with body shaming, as well as the images of their physiques.
‘Real talk lady friends, let’s talk about swimsuit season,’ Robyn Coale wrote alongside her image. ‘Back in college my prideful heart ached to be the girl with the best body, and although I felt good in a bathing suit, there was always the annoying voice in my head telling me I could tone up a bit more.
‘Enough was never enough. And then a couple years ago, I recovered from hypothalamic amenorrhea [a condition which stops a woman from menstruating] after years of doctors telling me not having a period was “fine” and giving me birth control to “fix” things. Well it’s not fine.
‘But gaining 10 pounds and some beautiful, womanly body fat IS FINE. And it IS OKAY. And this body IS ENOUGH. I’ll happily be your average gal on the beach, rocking a two piece without flat abs, toned arms, or long and lean legs.
Speaking out: Jessica Cheesman (right) admitted that when it came to taking her swimsuit images, she broke down in tears because she ‘felt fat’, but later realized that she had nothing to worry about
‘Be confident’: Many of the women, like Alex Carreno (pictured) urged others to be more confident in their appearance, no matter what they believe a ‘perfect’ body ‘should’ look like
Recovery: Robyn Coale (right) revealed that she put on 10 pounds after she recovered from an illness, but noted that the ‘womanly body fat’ is ‘fine’ and ‘okay’
‘Because this life is way too short and this body is just but a perishing shell.’
Meanwhile blogger and make-up artist Katie McBroom shared alongside her image that, despite being at her heaviest, she has never felt more confident and happy about her body.
‘At 28, I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, but I would never let the number on that scale determine my self worth,’ she wrote.
Doni Brown, who posed in a khaki green bikini for her shot, admitted that she hoped her selfie would help to encourage others to see past the stereotype of what makes a ‘perfect’ body and learn to love the shape that they have.
‘I want to not only embrace my own body more, but I hope this #NOFOMO pledge inspires you to embrace your body more as well!’ she wrote.
Setting an example: The women featuring in the original campaign have very different body shapes
Everybody’s different: Women of all ages, shapes and sizes have taken part in the campaign so far, with the hashtag racking up hundreds of posts in the past few weeks
Joining in: To celebrate the launch of Barbie’s new range of diverse doll shapes, the Mattel favorites joined the campaign, showing off their different physiques in tiny versions of Target’s swimwear
Blogger Jessica Cheesman took the opportunity to share some of her insecurities with her readers, while sharing a series of swimsuit shots on her website.
‘Yesterday was one of the those days. A fat day,’ she wrote, candidly, before continuing: ‘Even though I was feeling like a beluga whale, I knew that it was the only day I had available to take these pictures for this post.
‘Regardless, I proceeded to brainstorm any and all ways I could take these photos later when I felt “skinnier”, but came up empty-handed.’
She then admits that she broke down in tears, sobbing to her husband because she ‘felt fat’ – but later reveals that, once she got over her fear, she had a great time shooting the images for the post and that, looking back on them, she feels confident and incredibly happy with how she appears.
‘We all have our good, bad, and fat days, but I hope this post inspires you to feel confident in your swimsuits this summer!’ she concluded.